All Posts By

Sementha Mathews

PAAC Hosts May 21 Meeting via Facebook

By Blog

The Valdosta Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. will be streamed on the PAAC Facebook page for community engagement.

The purpose of PAAC is to further the purchase, creation and appreciation of public art for its aesthetic value to the community. The PAAC also encourages the preservation and protection of works of public art which play a vital role in the economic development of the community.

PAAC meets on the third Thursday of each month, and meetings are open to the public. For more information about the PAAC, call 229-247-2787.

Kristy Hughes, artist-in-residence

Turner Center Artist-In-Residence Program Inspires Creativity

By Blog

A new program at the Turner Center for the Arts is giving regional artists the opportunity to explore their creativity outside their typical environments through an Artist-in-Residence program.

The residency is typically a six-month commitment, takes place in a Turner Center studio provided rent free, and results in at least one original art work for the Center. The artist-in-residence is only responsible for utility costs and other maintenance of the studio for the duration of the commitment. Read More

Spring Into Art – Change of Plans

By Blog

Because we care. 

The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts has implemented changes to its Spring Into Art Exhibition on account of the COVID-19, by canceling its Spring Into Art Gala which draws more than 800 visitors in one evening and by adding safety precautions to the free public exhibition that draws in thousands over the six-week period. Read More

April 16 PAAC Meeting Canceled

By Blog

The Valdosta Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 16, 2020, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The next meeting is scheduled for May 21, at 11:30 a.m., in the second-floor board room of the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, located at 527 N. Patterson Street.

The purpose of PAAC is to further the purchase, creation and appreciation of public art for its aesthetic value to the community. The PAAC also encourages the preservation and protection of works of public art which play a vital role in the economic development of the community.

For more information about the PAAC, call 229-247-2787.

Valdosta Photographer Documents Frontline Heroes

By Blog, News
Brittanie Metzler_CNA/MA @ Valdosta Family Medicine

Brittanie Metzler

CNA/MA Valdosta Family Medicine

Brittni Harvey, LPN @ SGMC

Brittni Harvey


Amidst the tragedy and fear that has surfaced due to COVID-19, one local photographer is documenting the unsung heroes who have also surfaced as beacons of light behind the masks.

Javon Longieliere, photographer/owner of Javon Longieliere Photography and photography instructor at the Turner Center for the Arts, is capturing life in the moment.

“My goal with this project is to spotlight the members of our community who are sacrificing tirelessly to keep our own part of the world healthy, fed and running properly,” said Longieliere. “I am creating simple portraits of our frontline neighbors so that I can showcase the fighting and selfless spirit that they demonstrate to the rest of our community.”

Longieliere said these are not glamour shots; these are real portraits of local people in a worldwide crisis. They are our neighbors, our family doctors and nurses, our local government leaders, our grocery store workers, law enforcement personnel, sanitation workers, etc., all rising from their everyday duties into the battlefield.

As Longieliere utilizes his professional skills to document this time of our community’s history, each of his subjects receive a digital copy of his or her images as a token of his personal appreciation for their services.

For more information, visit

Turner Center Reschedules Spring Into Art

By Blog

The Turner Center for the Arts has rescheduled the opening of the 33rd Annual Spring into the Art Exhibition to Monday, May 11, allowing artists an additional four weeks to create outstanding works of art that the community has come to expect at this event.

“We have adjusted our schedules—as everyone is having to do—on account of the coronavirus pandemic and in consideration for the health and safety of others,” said Executive Director Sementha Mathews. “In the weeks ahead, we will continue to monitor conditions and will make additional adjustments as necessary.”

Spring Into Art, the Turner Center’s largest exhibition and fundraiser of the year, traditionally features more than 200 regional artists and showcases more than 400 original works of art. The entries will be accepted and displayed within the Turner Center’s elegant gallery space at 527 N. Patterson Street. All artwork will be available for purchase and are eligible to win award prizes totaling $6,000.

The artist entry deadline is Thursday, April 16, and the entry fee is $40 for one piece or $60 for two. Delivery of the art work is scheduled for April 23-25 and 27-28.

“We have received a flood of calls and emails from artists concerned about the original scheduling of Spring Into Art. The outreach has shown us that the artists, for whom the exhibit was created to support, have strong desires to continue this annual tradition,” said Curator Bill Shenton. “We are so grateful for the artists’ continued support and participation in Spring Into Art, and we look forward to celebrating the art in life with our community on May 11.”

The Center is also currently welcoming sponsors for the 33rd annual event. All Spring Into Art sponsors are listed in the exhibit program, on the walls of the Turner Center galleries, on the Center’s website, and in other printed and online materials to show appreciation for their commitment to the arts.

Additional information about artist deadlines, sponsorship opportunities and revised Spring Into Art schedule may be found at here.

Classes Cancelled Through End of March

By Blog

In consideration for the health and safety of our patrons and guests, the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts has cancelled all of its classes through March 28. All facilities are closed; however, staff is accessible by phone and email and all center-related information is posted at

We’ve been keeping up with the troubling news of how quickly and severely the Coronavirus is spreading, and we are trying to figure out how to keep our doors “open” while keeping them shut. Beginning today, Turner Center staff will post daily art engagement activities to keep our homebound audiences of all ages entertained and engaged via social media and website posts. We thank our local artists and art teachers who are also supplying us with inspiring information to share with you. We hope it will bless you as much as it does us to serve you.

According to the Americans for the Arts, the arts are fundamental to our humanity. They inspire us and foster creativity, goodness and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts are also a fundamental component of a healthy community, strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times.

As always, thank you for your support. Most importantly, please be safe as you make your own decisions for personal health and safety. Our community will endure this, as we’ve done many other incidents, by praying and working together.

Calloway Wins Military Tribute Public Art Naming Contest

By News

The Valdosta Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC) and the Turner Center for the Arts recently awarded Molly Calloway a gift certificate for winning the Military Tribute Public Art Naming Contest. Calloway’s name suggestion, “Wings of Freedom,” was selected from among dozens of entries.

“The highly-visible monument located at Freedom Park has remained nameless, since the public event for the Military Tribute Public Art, held on Nov. 11, 2019,” said PAAC Chair Bruce Smith. “Everything was literally set in stone, with the exception of its name. The PAAC voted to hold the naming contest to further engage the public in this particular piece and in the arts community in general.”

The statue, an 11-feet high mosaic work that includes historical images fired on ceramic tiles, was created by Thomasville Artist Marty Haythorn, with some additional help from the community, as tribute to the men and women who have served in the armed forces in protection of our country.

Calloway said that she decided to name the art piece “Wings of Freedom” because of the way the eagle is displayed on top of the monument with fierce beauty and strength. She said she enjoyes viewing the photos of military heros depicted in the tiles on the monument, many of them affiliated with Moody Air Force Base and those who have once served at Moody.

“’Wings of Freedom’ just came to me in seconds, and the name seemed fitting,” she said. “I’m very honored and thrilled to be a small part of a really wonderful public art piece that honors our military.”

Calloway participates in Veterans Day events every year, and said she believes it’s important to continue to pay tribute to people who continuously fight for our country.

“I think we all need to be aware of those who defend and protect those freedoms that we all enjoy, and that the freedom came at a price. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t yet seen the monument to go visit Freedom Park, because it really is a very unique piece. I hope it is a community treasure years to come.”

For more information about similar events in the arts community, contact the Turner Center for the Arts at 279-247-2787.


Turner Center Hosts William Rawlings, Feb. 4

By News

The Turner Center for the Arts will host Georgia author William Rawlings, Jr. for a book signing on Feb. 4, 2020, from 4-6 p.m.

Rawlings, a semi-retired internal medicine physician and the author of 10 novels, will review one of his latest books, “Girl with the Kaleidoscope Eyes,” which was released in fall 2019. His newest book “Six Inches Deeper—the Disappearance of Hellen Hanks” is scheduled to be released in spring 2020 and is the true-crime account of a murder that took place in South Georgia in 1972. Rawlings will give a preview of his latest book at the Feb. 4 book signing, along with a discussion about his life and work as an author.

After spending most of his life practicing medicine, Rawlings began fiction writing relatively late in life. His first novel, the thriller “The Lazard Legacy,” was published in 2003 when he was age 55. Set in a small Georgia town much like his hometown of Sandersville, it involves a doctor escaping big-city life only to stumble onto a nightmarish secret. Other books that followed include, “The Rutherford Cipher,” “The Tate Revenge” (winner of the Golden Eye Award), “Crossword” and “The Mile High Club.”

This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the author, visit For additional information about the event, visit or call 229-247-2787.