by Sementha Matthews

Valdosta is committed to the arts, as evidenced by its thriving arts community that serves Valdosta-Lowndes and all of its surrounding counties. From exquisite art galleries at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, exceptional art businesses throughout the city, and various art events that engage locals and visitors alike year-round, the arts community provides enriching art, culture and entertainment opportunities that positively impact our quality of life.

To advocate on behalf of city leadership for public arts and aesthetics in all aspects of city life, the Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC) was created in 2010. The purpose of PAAC is simply to further the purchase and appreciation of public art and to promote its aesthetic value to the economic development of the community. Its eight-member committee develops and supports a variety of programs which reflect the cultural art needs and experiences of all people, which include the selection, purchase, installation and maintenance of a growing number of public artworks around the city. At present, there are 15 public art works in Valdosta, including the most recent located at the Valdosta Regional Airport—welcoming visitor and returning residents in the baggage claim area.

The City Center Arts District (CCAD) was established by the PAAC and approved by the Valdosta City Council in 2016, becoming the first arts district in the city’s history. Banners hang to mark the boundaries of the CCAD— which mirrors the Central Valdosta Development Authority’s boundaries yet extends two blocks north to include the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, as well as its Hudson Pottery Studio and youth Art Annex. The CCAD defines a place where arts, culture and creativity improve our community’s competitive edge, attract new and visiting populations, and contribute to the development of a skilled workforce.

Valdosta’s thriving arts community extends its warm South Georgia welcome to all newcomers. Jump into the growing excitement for the arts, find your niche, and let’s celebrate as we build our colorful future together.

For more information, call the Turner Center at 229-247-2787.

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