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The Turner Center for the Arts provides year-round growth opportunities for all levels of community artists, including Community Christian Academy art teacher Guthrie Groh and her student Israel Hopper. Groh and Hopper have both taken Weekday Pottery Classes at the Turner Center to further their skills under the expert guidance of Turner Center ceramics instructor Ramiro Santillan.

Groh loves to teach a wide variety of art mediums – however, she says that ceramics and painting rank high among her favorites. Groh describes being an art teacher as “one of the most rewarding jobs in the world,” going on to say that “watching children and young adults at different ages and skill levels learning new ways to be creative, problem solve, and communicate through the arts is just an incredible thing to get to witness day in and day out.” Groh has been involved with the Turner Center for nearly a year, since relocating to south Georgia from north Florida. Her students have enjoyed participating in numerous opportunities provided by the Turner Center for expansion of their knowledge of the arts – including the annual Youth Art Month Exhibit, free tours, a free viewing of the touring performance “Artrageous,” and the 4th Annual Art of Writing Contest. Groh is a participating artist in the Center’s 37th annual Spring Into Art Exhibit.

Student Israel Hopper with his State Beta Art Competition 1st place ceramics piece titled, “Weaving of a Community.” Hopper’s piece was created in the Turner Center’s Hudson Pottery Studio during Weekday Pottery Classes.

Groh also encouraged her students to compete in the State Beta Art Competition in December 2023. While Hopper was deciding what to enter into the competition, Groh suggested that they both expand their ceramics knowledge by taking Weekday Pottery Classes together at the Turner Center. During their classes, Hopper created an intricate basket woven out of clay, titled “Weaving of a Community.” This piece won first place in the ceramics category at the State Beta Art Competition, and Hopper will now compete at the national level of the competition in June 2024. Hopper’s piece also received an honorable mention when entered into the 2024 Valdosta State University High School Invitational, which is a part of the Turner Center’s annual Youth Art Month exhibit.

When asked what they would say to someone else who is interested in becoming involved with the arts, Groh said “I would say to anyone, if you have not participated in the local art scene, now is your chance. We are so blessed to have a thriving arts center that just continues to grow right in our backyards. Take advantage of it make sure and explore it and all of the beauty it offers to our youth and adults alike.” Hopper said “I’d say go for it. You only live once, try everything you have the opportunity to – you never know what hidden talents you might have!” “Being different isn’t a bad thing,” he added. “Don’t worry about what others think or say about you. Explore life and discover more things about yourself.”

Weekday Pottery Classes meet Monday or Wednesday mornings 10am-Noon, or Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday evenings 6-8pm. Ceramics classes for youth meet on the first Saturday of each month 10am-Noon or 2-4pm. An additional ceramics class for ages 12+ meets on the second Saturday of each month 10am-1pm. To learn more about ceramics classes, the 37th annual Spring Into Art exhibit, and many other opportunities to explore the arts, visit, or contact Turner Center Art Education Administrator Hailey Rathmann at 229.247.2787.