Skip to main content

The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts’ opening reception is Monday, June 12, from 5 to 7 p.m., at 527 N. Patterson Street. The gallery exhibit features the works of Hannah Gandy and Mary VanLandingham, Irina Kovnacka Ashcraft, the 2nd Annual Glass Art Invitational and the 15th Annual Valdosta People’s Choice Photo Contest. Admission is free.

Hannah Gandy is an award-winning artist from Valdosta, GA. Her passion lies with oil painting from landscapes to abstract art. However, oil is not her only passion, she has also grown fond of watercolor and is popular for commissioning house and pet portraits for her customers. Above all, one of Hannah’s favorite activities is plein air painting. She describes it as, “a way to fully engage in the moment and paint what you see. It is why I create and how beautiful the world is when you take the time to study what is in front of you. There is something about finding an ordinary scene in life that individuals pass every day and quickly depicting the area in which highlights its essence.” She has been an active member of the Regional Artist Community (RAC) at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts in Valdosta, GA, Pines and Palms of Thomasville, GA and in her sorority Phi Mu, Kappa Beta Chapter at Valdosta State University. (Photo courtesy of

Mary VanLandingham is a traditional painter based out of South Georgia. With the use of oil paints, Mary specializes in creating lively and vivid imagery referencing the outside world. Her love and appreciation for the natural world is essential, and she strives to recreate scenes that embody a sense of both comfort and bewilderment. VanLandingham was born and raised in South Georgia, and developed an interest for art at an early age. While pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Valdosta State University, she took an immediate liking to oil paints. She then combined her admiration for nature with her passion of oil painting, and began expressing place and perspectives that provide peace and familiarity. She has participated in exhibitions across to the United States and enjoys showing her work in new places. Mary works full-time in her home studio located in Nashville, GA. (Photo courtesy of

Irina Kovnacka Ashcraft was born in Latvia (a country on the Baltic Sea) and lived there the first twenty years of her life, and fell in love with art at a very early age, which led her to pursuing art in college. She earned her BFA in Oil Painting from Latvian Academy of Art in 1998. She moved to Orlando, FL, in 1999, and has been showing her work at several local and European galleries, art festivals and shows. In 2006, Ashcraft completed her MA in Art Education at the University of Central Florida. In addition to her professional artist’s career, she teaches art at Trinity Preparatory school in Winter Park, FL, as well as conducts workshops and private lessons to students of all ages. In 2017, she received the June Hinkley Excellence Award from the Florida Art Education Association. (Photo courtesy of

In addition to the 2nd annual Glass Invitational, the Center also welcomes the 15th Annual Valdosta People’s Choice Photo Contest exhibit. Entries will also be on display for public voting, which runs through July 17. For four weeks, the public can view the framed photos in the Center’s Jerry Tillman Gallery and vote for their favorites. Overall winners will be announced at the awards reception held at the Center on Monday, July 24, from 5- 7 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded.

All exhibits will remain open in the galleries and on the Turner Center website for the public’s enjoyment through Wednesday, July 26, 2023. For more information, call 229.247.2787 or visit Patrons who need special assistance may contact the Center to make those arrangements.