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.

Kristy Hughes, an art instructor at Valdosta State University, has enjoyed the opportunity since February 2020. The Turner Center art studio, located on the second floor of the Art Annex, has afforded Hughes the space to create in solidarity, around her schedule and at her own pace.

“Having the studio at the Turner Center has been a gift,” said Hughes. “Before the residency, I worked from home, with only the space to make one piece at a time. In the Turner Center studio, I’ve been able to work on a number of pieces at once in a much larger space, making both paintings and sculptures that are cohesive and grow together.”

Hughes said the studio has also created a mental space where she can solely focus on her work.

“It’s been generative and restorative,” said Hughes. “I highly recommend local artists apply for this opportunity. It has really made a big difference in my practice, and I’m excited for what I’ve been able to accomplish during the Turner Center’s Artist-in-Residence program.”

Hughes will paint a mural in the Art Park, located at 605 N. Patterson Street, on the Turner Center for the Arts campus, as part of her agreement with the Center. The mural will become the backdrop for the park pavilion, the location of the Center’s Music in the Park series on the second Friday of the month beginning in June 2020, and other outdoor events.

Local art enthusiasts may enjoy watching Hughes complete the mural during the week of May 18, 2020, between the hours of 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Physical distancing is still requested for those who enjoy the park, and patrons are urged to practice the guidelines provided by the CDC while enjoying the Turner Center campus.

“The Artist-In-Residence program strengthens the Center’s relationship with local and regional artists by providing an opportunity for them to get away and create in a secluded studio, apart from their regular routine,” said Executive Director Sementha Mathews. “We trust the program will have a long-standing impact on our participating artists and the overall artist community.”

For more information about the Turner Center Artist-In-Residence program, visit www.turnercenter.org or call Curator Bill Shenton at 229-247-2787.