Dec 22, 2016

Columbia State Receives Artwork Donation From Con And Mary Vrailas

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Dec. 22, 2016) - - - Columbia State Community College recently received an artwork donation from Columbia State supporters Con and Mary Vrailas.

"Con and Mary give from the heart to our community and Columbia State is privileged to be a benefactor of their generosity," said Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. "Education is of highest importance to them and this painting allows students to experience excellent art that is engaging and thought provoking."

After viewing the artwork in the Pryor Art Gallery "Return from Exile" exhibit, Con and Mary were inspired to purchase and donate a beautiful piece of art, titled "Self Portrait" from the Earth Renewal Series, for the college's permanent collection. The piece was purchased from Shan Goshorn, Eastern Band Cherokee artist, who has art in the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution and in many other notable museums across the world. Goshorn wrote a note to Con and Mary thanking them for supporting Columbia State with a piece of her work.

Con serves on the Columbia State Foundation Board. Both he and Mary have been supporters of the Performance Series and have provided scholarships that benefited their employees and have established scholarships for public service men and women and their families.

"Con and Mary are among Columbia State's finest supporters," said Bethany Lay, Columbia State executive for advancement and executive director of the Columbia State Foundation "We appreciate their devotion to the college and its success."

The artwork is housed in the Pryor Administration Building on the Columbia Campus located at 1665 Hampshire Pike.

Self Portrait Earth Renewal Series
Photo Caption: "
Self Portrait" from the Earth Renewal Series

Shan Goshorn, artist
Photo Caption:
Shan Goshorn, Eastern Band Cherokee artist

Portrait presentation
Photo Caption (DSC_6421):
Pictured (from left to right): Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president; Con Vrailas, Columbia State Foundation Board member; Michelle Wilkinson, Pryor Art Gallery curator and Patrick Gilbert, Columbia State Foundation Board chair.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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