VALDOSTA — The Valdosta National art exhibit has become one of the best annual art shows in Valdosta.

While the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts’ Spring Into Art is the premier exhibit to showcase local and regional artists, Valdosta State University Art & Design’s Valdosta National has become the region’s premier showcase of art from across the nation.

Granted, anyone nationwide can enter the open Spring Into Art, and anyone local can enter the juried Valdosta National, and occasionally these lines do cross, but the Valdosta National allows area art patrons the opportunity to see distant artists’ styles and themes.

The show opening Tuesday, Jan. 21, will be VSU’s 32nd annual juried art show open to artists nationwide.

Julie Bowland, VSU Fine Arts Gallery director, said 406 works were submitted this year by more than 146 artists representing 35 states.

From the hundreds of entries, 52 artworks representing 50 artists from 25 states were selected for the show, she said.

"The exhibited artworks show an astonishingly diverse variety of media and artistic visions," Bowland said. "The show is united by strong conceptual concerns and implied narrative undercurrents. There are many surprising aspects to the artwork that are delightfully unpredictable." 

Didi Dunphy is the person who made the choices.

"She received an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in the contemporary arts," according to a VSU Art & Design statement. "She is an accomplished artist having had exhibits in major venues such as the Atlanta Contemporary, COCA, St. Louis, Telfair Museum in Savannah, the Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art in Florida, the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, Calif., and more." 

Dunphy has been featured in numerous features including articles in Southern Living, Athens Magazine, Craft, CMYK, as well as art and exhibition reviews in the LA Times, SF Chronicle, Atlanta Journal Constitution, etc. 

Dunphy is represented by whitespace gallery in Atlanta.

"A former visiting scholar and professor in the contemporary and digital media arts at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Ms. Dunphy works as an independent curator in partnership with regional art museums," according to the VSU statement. "In the curatorial field, she manages and designs exhibits for the Gallery at Hotel-Indigo-Athens and the Indigo’s GlassCube artist residency and project space. 

"She is the guest curator at the Albany Museum of Art responsible for gallery and educational outreach programs through 2020. Having a career in arts administration, currently Didi Dunphy is the program supervisor at the Lyndon House Arts Center, the civic arts campus dedicated to incorporating visual art and arts education with the mission of enriching the community of Athens, Georgia and beyond."

Winners will be announced during the reception Tuesday evening. Winners will split $1,500 in prizes which are first, second, third and fourth, Bowland said.

GALLERY

What: VSU Art presents the Valdosta National 2020.

Where: Dedo-Maranville Fine Arts Gallery, VSU Fine Arts Building, corner of Oak and Brookwood.

When: The exhibit runs from Jan. 21 through Feb. 7.

Reception: A free, public opening reception is scheduled for 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Gallery hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays.

More information: Contact Julie Bowland, gallery director, (229) 333.5835, or email jabowlan@valdosta.edu.

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