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Julie Smith named Turner Center’s 2018 Art Instructor of the Year

By August 1, 2018No Comments

The Turner Center for the Arts held its first Instructor of the Year Reception on Monday afternoon. The center employs more than 20 art instructors throughout the year.

Ceramics instructor Julie Smith has been an instructor at the center since 2014, teaching four to five classes weekly including throwing and hand-building pottery classes, empty bowls program, and ceramics on the road, as well as other specialty classes and workshops throughout the year. Hundreds of students across the city and region have benefited from her passion and talent.

Smith has been aptly named as the center’s 2018 Art Instructor of the Year.

“The Turner Center gave me the opportunity to resume pottery in an environment that I would have never thought I could. I started doing this for high school credit , and now here I am doing it for a living. Had it not been for the center, I’d still be wondering how to fire my pottery, instead, I’m sharing that knowledge with fellow artists every day,” said Smith.

Smith completed a degree in art in 1980 and went on to complete her masters in her minor study, archaeology. After nearly 33 years, Smith decided to give pottery another try and purchased a used potter’s wheel that she says is still in her den. She sat down to the wheel with a lump of clay from Hobby Lobby and in her own words: “…here I am. It’s like riding a bike, it doesn’t go away, thank goodness!”

At the reception, Executive Director Sementha Mathews publicly thanked the teachers and instructors for their time and dedication to the Turner Center for the Arts. For information about classes and events, contact the center at 229-247-2787 or visit