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Meet Our Instructors

Say hello to our art education team! These wonderful artists are passionate and experienced in their respective fields. Click on each headshot to learn a little more about the instructor’s background and artistic interests!

Photography

Lydia Bell

Lydia Bell, a Tallahassee, FL native and proud mother of one very talented daughter, (Isabelle, 18,) and one rather demanding chocolate lab, (Lucy, 3,) has been a practicing professional photographer for more than 15 years. For 10 of these, Lydia built the region’s largest creative studio for creating, teaching and learning various imaging technologies. With an expansive list of experiences from portraiture, real estate, live event, photojournalism, automotive, e-commerce, commercial, advertising, corporate, wedding, newborn, pet, school, sports, landscape, travel and more, her list of clients all over the country is rather impressive and something Lydia is very proud of.

Feeling very fortunate to have found success in a creative, entrepreneurial venture, Lydia jumped at a chance to share her experiences with students interested in making photography their career, as well. She joined forces with Florida State University and FAMU to host internships and shadow days throughout the school year for college students whom would benefit from learning the business of imaging during a number of years of studio operation. Her own diverse education and previous experience as a teacher in a classroom made this an easy partnership and one of the most exciting parts of her career to date.

Lydia is thrilled to have found the opportunity to join the team at Turner Center and once again share her excitement of art by teaching Beginner’s Photography.

Youth Summer Art Camp 2024, Drawing, & Artist in Residence

Christine Cabral

Christine Cabral is an artist and a teacher of art. She holds a BFA degree from Valdosta State University and an MFA from Florida State University, with an emphasis on mixed media and installation. Although her earlier works were largely three dimensional, her current focus is acrylic paint on canvas. She occasionally incorporates mixed media fabrics and vinyls into her paintings as well. Christine’s studio is in Valdosta, Georgia where she lives with her husband and two young children.

Image: CAVERN by Christine Cabral

Cheryl Carvajal headshot
Literary Arts

Cheryl Carvajal

Dr. Cheryl Carvajal, facilitator of the Young Writers League and the Writers League and coordinator of the Art of Writing Contest, is the Assistant Dean of the Arts and Sciences Department of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, where she teaches English, speech, and humanities. When she's not writing, she's making music, singing, painting, drawing, and sewing, though she wishes she had a time-turner so that she had more time for all of it.

Author of several books, including a researched book of ghosts and the first book in a young adult fantasy novel series, she also writes short stories, plays, screenplays, and exceptionally bad poetry. Married with two kids, a dog, and a cat, she tries each day to balance family, teaching, and creating.

Colored Pencil

Anda Chance

Anda Chance exhibits her work in galleries and art exhibitions and has received recognition for her work in watercolors and colored pencil. Her work has been purchased for government locations and charitable fund raisers. In addition to showing her own work, Anda also curates and installs art shows and exhibitions for galleries, art groups, public exhibitions, and individual artists. Currently she works out of her studio in McAlpin and stays busy working with the Live Oak Art Guild, and as an Exhibitions Director for the Colored Pencil Society of America. She attended Arkansas Technical University majoring in Art and Art Education and then went onto earn a degree in Education at Florida Southern College. Anda holds two signature recognitions from the Colored Pencil Society of America.

Art Instructional Experience:
Art instructor - Osceola Center for the Arts
Art Instructor - Orlando Museum of Art
School District Osceola County, Florida
Santa Fe Community College Outreach Adult Programs
Local and statewide workshops

Affiliations:
Florida Art Group (FLAG)
Live Oak Artists Guild, Inc.
Colored Pencil Society of America
Gainesville Fine Art Association
Ann Kullberg Colored Pencil Magazine & online instruction

Image: All That Remains by Anda Chance

Youth Summer Art Camp 2024, Paint & Sip, & Artist in Residence

Annette Crosby

For Annette Crosby, all roads lead to Valdosta, Georgia. Her enthusiasm for her life there is evident in her energetic personality, immersing herself fully in home, family, community, and art. She grew up in Valdosta, went through all levels of school there, including college at Valdosta State University, and lives there now in the same home where she and her husband raised their three children. From childhood to now, she has consistently been an artist, her forms and techniques shifting and maturing to shape the established artist she is today.

She earned two degrees, a BFA in art education and a MEd in Elementary Education. She has garnered awards in regional and national juried competitions, exhibits in invitational solo and group shows, and her work is held in numerous public and private collections. She has been published in The Palette and Southern Living magazines and other publications around the South Georgia area. See her work on her website (annettecrosbyart.com), Facebook, Instagram and her gallery Artists on Ashley in Valdosta. But she will also effusively add, “and you can come to my studio!” at the Turner Center for the Arts, where she is artist-in-residence and teaches classes.

Like her personality, her abstract work is vibrant and lively, full of energy and sensation.

Paints & Pastries

Nancy Crombie

Why do I paint? It is my passion, something I do for my own pleasure. There is nothing so rewarding as “making something from nothing.” Some people say, “Oh, but I don’t have any talent. I can’t even draw a straight line.” My answer is that if you have the desire and commitment, you can learn the skills. I did.

After a career in social work (adoption and foster care), I retired in 2005. Wanting to learn something new, but having never held a brush, I decided to learn how to paint. I took numerous workshops with well-known artists. Although I was usually the “new kid on the block” in the classes with the most to learn, I never gave up. After miles and miles of painted canvases and tubes and tubes of paint, I am still learning. BUT, nothing gives me more pleasure than to share what I have learned through instruction and practice with anyone who, like me, has the desire. Thus, the Turner Center for the Arts has given me the opportunity to share my passion with others. I hope my enthusiasm for art and painting might give others the incentive to pursue their own creativity.

Most recently, I have enjoyed painting notecards using gouache (opaque watercolor) and gift bags and tags with acrylic.

Class Assistant

Valencia Fussell

Valencia Fussell is an Art Education major at Valdosta State University. At VSU, Valencia has been able to learn from talented professors who have fueled her love for all things Art. Her dreams consist of obtaining her bachelor's, furthering her education in a master's program, and teaching her deep love of art to future generations.

Valencia has a passion for teaching and prays that she can inspire creativity in young artists. Valencia is a firm believer that every child can create great art. She hopes to encourage students' artistic abilities inside and outside the classroom. With the help of the Lead Instructor, Valencia’s main goal is to create a loving, positive, and welcoming environment.

Youth Summer Art Camp 2024

Anita Gillis

Anita says "I’m a 41-year-old mom and rug hooking artist. I have a background in retail and graphic art. I was also a junior trainee at Northern McGown Workshop. I focus on learning everything I can about rug hooking so I can help you on your journey. I dye, color plan, customize patterns, and provide video tutorials and personal lessons in my home or through the web camera. I also sell kits, wool, and more."
Guitar

Ken Hase

Ken Hase came to the Valdosta area a little over twelve years ago to take a position at Packaging Corporation of America in Clyattsville as a senior environmental engineer. Although having previous musical training in guitar at college and in private lessons, he began taking lessons in Valdosta just to have someone to play with. As one jam has leads to another, he began playing regularly with other local area musicians and his church’s praise team band. Now he has been asked to relay his musical knowledge to underprivileged youth as part of the always new and exciting Hal and Jill program being offered at the Annette Howell Turner Art Center which has been running non-stop since in July 1916.

Ken says, “I am very excited about this opportunity to relay what I know about music to others. I have found music to be a challenging, fulfilling, and very enjoyable part of my life. The challenges never end. Everyone finds themselves somewhere on a skill level between the worst and best musician they have ever heard, always wanting to move themselves up the continuum. I have taught beginning guitar lessons privately for some time and look forward to the group setting offered by the Center. I enjoy playing a wide variety of music; from contemporary to traditional, rock to folk, bluegrass to jazz; and believe I can find something that each student can relate to.”

Come and join us at the Annette Howell Turner Art Center for the Hall and Jill Project. It is being conducted as a community service to the underprivileged youth of our area but all interested parties are welcome. Got an old guitar, sets of strings, music stand, old guitar lesson books? Why not drop them off as a charitable contribution? Cash is also welcome as the office supply and string inventory will always need replenishing. Outreach of the arts is Center’s mission. We sincerely hope the Hall and Jill Project makes a positive impact on that mission and in our community. With your support and participation, it will.

Videography

Steven Heddon

Steven Heddon has been the owner and creative director of Fusion Creative Marketing for the last 17 years, offering photography and video production services. His videography projects include advertising, promotional, corporate, educational, tourism, and entertainment content. Through his commercial work, Steven expanded into film making. He has produced three documentaries - The Southside Project, about the Southside minority neighborhood in 2022, and two others in 2023 - Below The Line, on homelessness in the Valdosta area, and The Reformation Project, which explores the hardships experienced by those incarcerated and their families, as well as issues within the criminal justice system. He was Key Grip/Key Gaffer for "Three Times a Lady," a proof of concept film that was featured at the 168th film festival in 2023.

In the summer of 2022, Steven was an instructor for The Philanthro Films film camp as part of South Georgia Film Studios. He has mentored multiple Mass Media interns from Lowndes High School, Valdosta State University, and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. Many of his interns have gone on to have successful careers in the film industry. Steven is also screening films for the 2024 South Georgia Film Festival.

Youth Summer Art Camp 2024, Sheriff's Boys Ranch, & Valdosta Housing Authority

Debra Kantelis

Debra developed her love for Art visiting the Detroit Institute of Arts on Sunday afternoons with her father when she was a child. After taking a summer semester at Parsons School of Design at NYU, she attended College for Creative Studies at in Detroit a block from the Art museum she lived as a child. After a career in advertising design she “retired” to raise her two sons.

Debra re-entered the workforce as a Realtor when her children were grown; but returned to her artistic beginnings in actual retirement. When she’s not playing with paper, paint and pastels in her home studio, she enjoys sharing her love of art by teaching painting and crafts to local area adults and children.

Fused Glass, Stained Glass, & Glass Arts Open Studios

Emma Kostopolus

Class Assistant

Iliana Liborio

T.G.I.T. Oil Painting Club

Dean Little

Dean says, "It is hard to remember a time when I was not focused on drawing and painting and experimenting with all kinds of media. In my young life I was absorbed with the love of drawing. This, however, did not serve me well. It seems that I spent a lot of my time drawing cartoons behind my spelling book.

I was very fortunate to know what I wanted to do in life, but I just didn’t know how it was going to pay the rent. So, I sought out a formal education attending Middle Tennessee State University, a small commercial art school in Nashville and finally the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. The realization was I needed to pursue commercial art and advertising.

After school my wife and I found ourselves in South Florida where I landed my first real job with a printing company. This gave me the technical experience on what could and could not be produced commercially. Within a few years the natural progression was to start my own business in graphic art and design employing full time and contract personnel. For 37 years we worked with the top 300/500 corporations in the country. During that period, I also taught adult classes in technical and freeform drawing, watercolor and other media. It has been a great, fulfilling experience. If only I had known where a simple cartoon was going to take me.

Our retirement 15 years ago brought us to Thomasville, Georgia. It was the first time we had slowed down in all those years. Being here has allowed me to appreciate the time and space to once again dedicate myself to the fine arts both in personal pursuits and teaching. To that end, I was first a student with Fay Bridges Hyatt at the Annette Howell Turner Center of the Arts. Since then, I have taught drawing classes at the Center and for the last seven years it’s been my pleasure to be an instructor of an oil painting class surrounded by enthusiastic students who share the same love of learning, experimenting and creating. I truly love the art of teaching and the teaching of art."

Dean was the 2023 Art Educator of the Year at the Turner Center for the Arts.

Danielle Martin
Youth Summer Art Camp 2024

Danielle Martin

Danielle Martin eagerly introduces the vibrant essence of India through Tissue Paper Bleeds to the upcoming summer art program. With my role as a middle school art educator, Martin harbor a profound appreciation for the distinct creativity and inquisitiveness inherent in young artists.
Class Assistant

Kaitlyn Murphy

Kaitlyn Murphy, a South Ga based artist, is currently pursuing her BA in Art at Valdosta State University with focuses in Ceramics, Photography, and Graphic Design. After graduation, she plans to get her master’s in art education to become an Art teacher at the Middle or High School level. Kaitlyn believes that every child, if given the resources, has imagination and creativity that can be nurtured into great artistic skills. She strives to incorporate the importance of art in the understanding of all other main subjects in school and how they overlap.

Kaitlyn taught in Art Explorations, an afterschool art program for which the Turner Center partners with the Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta, for 2 years total. This has helped her to build teaching skills. She was awarded 3rd Place in the VSU Day of Inclusion Student Art show for her Migrant Series Photos that were inspired by Dorothea Langes documentary photos.

Adult Pottery Workshop, Kids Pottery Workshop, & Ceramics Open Studios

Taylor Nalley

Phylisicia Lundy headshot
Class Assistant

Phylisicia Lundy

Phylisicia Lundy is a multifaceted African American artist hailing from South Georgia. Lundy specializes in graphic design, photography, and ceramics. Her identity deeply influences her work, rooted in a profound love for African American culture, architecture, and humanism. Drawing inspiration from various facets of American culture, Lundy strives to illuminate the shadows and highlight the diverse narratives that shape our society. Her art consistently reflects a humanitarian perspective, exploring themes of identity and individuality.
IMPROVment®

Melissa Pihos

Melissa Pihos, Associate Professor of Dance at Valdosta State University (VSU), began dancing at a very young age and has performed professionally across the United States for over 25 years. She is certified as an instructor in the IMPROVment® method.

Melissa is an award-winning filmmaker, and her film work has screened in several film festivals across the country. Her choreography has been performed internationally. She has danced for Flatlands Dance Theatre, Larry Keigwin, Van Dyke Dance Group, John Gamble Dance Theatre and Sidelong Dance Company. She has also performed in works by Martha Graham and Twyla Tharp. Melissa recently worked with Texas Tech University professors, Dr. Ali Duffy and Dr. Peter Fischer, on a multidisciplinary performance titled "Evolution of Gaia."

She is currently touring her work, "PIHOS A Moving Biography," at Alzheimer’s disease awareness events. "PIHOS A Moving Biography" is a documentary dance/film performance that explores the life of her father, NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame receiver Pete Pihos, and his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The work has toured to Charlotte, NC., Winston-Salem, NC., Lubbock, TX., Philadelphia, PA., New York City, NY., Valdosta, GA., and Santa Fe, NM. In 2022, Melissa was featured in an NFL Films Presents feature titled "Remembering Forgotten Heroes.”

Melissa has written, directed, and choreographed two children’s performances for the VSU Theatre and Dance department's Theatre for Youth Audiences Tour, titled "Planets View from the Hubble Space Telescope" and "The Butterfly and the Bee". Both performances incorporated science education. She has recently co-written and published an interactive digital dance textbook, "Dance and Culture" with Associate Professor at Florida Southern College, Erin LaSala Phillips. She has also written an essay for a new book by Dr. Ali Duffy, Professor of Dance at Texas Tech University, titled "Dancing Motherhood."

Melissa holds an MFA in Choreography/Dance from UNC-Greensboro and a BA in Biology. Her previous dance faculty appointments include UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Charlotte, High Point University and Salem College. She has been a national dance judge for Dance Machine and Boogie Fever since 2015.

Hunter Pope
Paints & Summer 2024 & Youth Summer Art Camp 2024

Hunter Pope

Hunter Pope is an award-winning artist from Valdosta. She earned a Master of Arts in Arts in Medicine from the University of Florida and a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Valdosta State University. She enjoys painting, drawing, pottery, photography, printmaking, and other art forms, including singing and learning to knit. She has worked as a private art tutor and has taught classes for Valdosta State University’s Camp Discovery, Learning in Retirement, and Continuing Education programs. She volunteers with South Georgia Medical Center’s In-Patient Rehabilitation Unit, where she uses art to help patients heal mentally and physically.
Weekday Pottery, Ceramics Open Studios, & Hudson Pottery Studio Manager

Ramiro Santillan

South Georgia based artist, Ramiro Santillan, is a ceramicist and oil painter who experiments with his mediums to tilt the ordinary on its head. Drawing references from modernism and pop culture, Santillan’s inspiration comes from asking questions about the everyday things we say, do, or see. With asking questions comes learning. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Valdosta State University where he studied and worked as a ceramic studio technician. Santillan is passionate about education and its ability to foster positive communities. Santillan is currently the pottery studio manager and instructor at the Hudson Pottery Studio at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts.
Class Assistant

McKenzie Simpson

McKenzie Simpson is the graphic design instructor for digital art programs, as well as a teaching assistant for adult pottery workshops at Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts. She is a multimedia artist and senior at Valdosta State University pursuing a BA in art. The main media forms she focuses on are graphic design, printmaking, and ceramics. She is experienced in both hand-building and wheel-throwing ceramics techniques.