Turner Center Opens Glass Art Studio | Local News

VALDOSTA — After months of renovations, the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Valdosta’s first glassblowing studio, the Richard Hill Glass Art Studio, 506 N. Ashley St.

Plans to launch a glassblowing studio began in early 2021, when the Turner Center received a donation from Dan and Carolyn Coleman to acquire an unused building from Synovus Bank to add to the art center’s campus. . Other donations and program plans were provided by the studio’s namesake, Richard Hill, a retired architect and glass art enthusiast.

Sementha Mathews, the center’s executive director, said it was the perfect place to set up shop.

“Downtown Valdosta is getting a makeover and the old bank was exactly what we needed to launch the hot shop. With the old Synovus building being out of service for over 12 years could have derailed the project with all the potential renovations, but thanks to the efforts of Richard and the Colemans, we were able to get everything back up and running in just a few months,” says- she.

The Glass Art Studio officially opened in January and has hosted over 50 students in the tinting and glassblowing classes.

Hill, who has been making glass art since 1971 and has exhibited his work at art museums in the South Georgia and North Florida area, said the glass studio program is open to all South Georgia residents, but hopes to create school-friendly classes. older children in the near future.

“Glass blowing is something anyone can do. Right now our classes are primarily for adults, but it’s important to encourage art from the start, so I’m still working with the Turner Center to have some school-age programs included in the curriculum at hot shop,” he said.

The Glass Studio is part of a larger plan to completely expand the Turner Center campus. The center has also acquired 512 N. Ashley St. and plans to turn that building into a children’s art museum. Mathews said she hopes plans move forward as soon as summer 2022, along with plans to hold a glass blowing invite.

“People across the state of Georgia can submit their glass pieces for display between June 13 and July 27,” she said.

“I am very excited about what the future holds for Turner Center, and we are very proud to serve the Valdosta community and provide them with a studio that is not available anywhere else in South Georgia. “

For more information about classes or to participate in the glassblowing invite, contact the Turner Center at (229) 247-2787 or visit 527 N. Patterson St.

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