VALDOSTA – Three years ago, the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts decided to expand its world by establishing a digital arts program.

At the helm of the program is instructor Kaylyn Eanes, a graphic artist who came to the center in March.

She builds advertisements in The Valdosta Daily Times’ AdHub.

At the center, Eanes teaches youths about how to craft creative items such as digital portraits, book covers and posters. The students work in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

Eanes said education has always been a passion.

Harlee Webb, Turner art education administrator, called Eanes’ talent and skill amazing.

“She knows these programs like the back of her hand and she moves around flawlessly from each student to make sure they are taken care of and learning,” Webb said.

The digital arts course is for students ages 12-18 though Webb said children as young as 7 years old have been accepted.

“If you have a student who is younger but mature and eager to learn, we are more than willing to work with each student and meet them where they are at their level,” she said. “This program really is able to differentiate between ages and skill level so that each student is successful.”

She said she believes the class is an asset not only because it exposes students to a new art form but because there is a rise in graphic design and digital artists.

It is also introducing them to computer programs some people do not learn until college, Webb said.

Eanes said the class teaches kids life skills.

They can learn how to build resumes and dive into careers such as being a logo designer, newspaper and magazine designer and a website designer.

She said she believes these all could possibly be profitable careers for people.

“I would say if you put the time into it, there’s definitely a benefit to it,” she said.

Webb sees other benefits to being knowledgeable about computer arts.

“I think what is so awesome is that if there is a specific item you want to learn or make, the digital art program will work with you to make sure (it) caters to your needs and wants, and we are always so blown away at the amount of talent in these students in this community. It really is special.”

Masks are worn and social distance is practiced, Eanes said.

Webb said students receive a print-out of their completed work, if applicable.

For at-home learning, she recommends programs such as Procreate for visual illustrations, Stop Motion for animation and Lightroom for photo editing.

The digital arts program is held 10 a.m.-noon every third Saturday monthly at the Turner Center for the Arts, 527 N. Patterson St.

The cost is $20 per class.

More information: turnercenter.org, (229) 247-2787 and Turner Center for the Arts on Facebook.

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