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Georgia Southern marks 50th Anniversary of the Betty Foy Sanders Georgia Artists Collection

STATESBORO, Ga. — The Betty Foy Sanders Georgia Artists Collection, one of Georgia Southern University’s largest permanent collections, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. To mark the milestone anniversary, a special exhibition of the Georgia Artists Collection will be on view at the Center for Art & Theatre from Sept. 25 through March 9, 2018, and a special event is set for Sept. 28.

“The Georgia Artists Collection is the cornerstone of the Center for Art & Theatre’s art exhibitions. The collection offers a wealth of styles and disciplines to exhibit for the benefit and inspiration of our students here at the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art,” said Gallery Director Jason Hoelscher, who oversees the collection. “That Mrs. Sanders had the foresight to establish the collection 50 years ago, and has kept it vital through her continued generosity, is a testament to her passion for the arts, and to her passion for exposing our students to artists and artworks from the many walks of life here in the state of Georgia.”

The 50th Anniversary Exhibition will feature a large sampling of the Georgia Artists Collection’s nearly 100 pieces of art, which ranges from textiles, woodwork, paintings, ceramics and more, and features notable artists such as John Abbott, Lamar Dodd, Betty Foy Botts, Mary Engel, Matthew Hatala, George L. Parrish and Steven Penley, among many others.

A 50th Anniversary Celebration is set for Thursday, Sept. 28, from 5-7 p.m., and will feature live music, a gallery talk and refreshments. Running in parallel with the event, former first lady of Georgia Betty Foy Sanders will present her final exhibition, “Fluid Structures,” which consists of more than 40 recent works. Paintings by Atlanta-based artist Katherine Taylor, an exhibition of Georgia Folk Art from the Smith Callaway Banks Southern Folk Art Collection, and work by Georgia Southern alumnus Timothy Earls, an art director and set designer who has worked on many popular feature films including “The Avengers” movies, also will be on view.

The Celebration will be followed by a  performance of “Anon(ymous)” at 7:30 p.m. in the Center’s Black Box Theatre. Poster Artwork for the 2017-2018 Theatre season was created by Georgia Southern students and faculty artists. The original work and prints will be available for purchase in the lobby with proceeds supporting the student artists and theatre scholarships. 

In 1967, Betty Foy Sanders established the Georgia Artists Collection when she donated a painting of her own, “Coastal Sand Dunes,” for permanent display. Since then, Sanders has curated the collection by adding key works of art created by notable artists. With her impeccable aesthetic sense and critical eye, Sanders chooses artworks for the collection based upon their association with Georgia—whether the artist’s origin, the indigenous materials used or the regional content of the artwork.

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is the largest of the eight colleges that make up Georgia Southern University, and it plays a central role in every student’s core of knowledge. CLASS, also described as the University’s College of the Creative Mind, prepares students to achieve academic excellence, develop their analytical skills, enhance their creativity and embrace their responsibilities as citizens of their communities, their nations and the world. CLASS offers more than 20 undergraduate degrees and several interdisciplinary minors from its 11 departments and five academic centers. CLASS offers eight master’s degrees, two graduate certificates and one doctoral degree. For more information, visit

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 118 degree programs serving 20,673 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit


Posted in Betty Foy Sanders Georgia Artists Collection, Gallery Programming