October 24, 2022
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator
Valdosta State University recently honored Janice Rago Carrs with the 2022 College of the Arts Distinguished Alumna Award. President of VSU Dr. Richard A. Photographed with Carvajal.
VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University recently honored Janice Rago Carrs with the 2022 College of the Arts Distinguished Alumna Award.
“This recognition motivates me to grow, learn and hone my skills,” he said. “Being a self-employed artist is a constant hustle, yet it’s so rewarding when I see people experiencing my work in person. It is certainly not a career that guarantees success at the start; For this you have to put in a lot of hard work, sweat and sacrifice. I love what I do and being recognized with this honor shows me that being dedicated and pushing yourself can really pay off.”
Rago lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband Nick and their beloved Australian Shepherds, Scout and Mango. As a full-time artist, he specializes in bringing the flora, fauna and female form to life through painting.
“I run my own business as a full-time artist,” he said. “I spend a lot of time in my studio creating gallery work as well as client-commissioned pieces. The other part of my business is creating murals for client spaces, both indoor and outdoor, including office buildings, salons, restaurants, apartment lobbies, parking garages, and anywhere else you can imagine.
Rago has contributed multiple murals as part of Atlanta’s Forward Warrior project, an all-day, live painting event that brings together artists and the community to celebrate public art along a half-mile stretch of Wylie Street in the city’s historic Cabottown neighborhood. He has used his talents to support a number of non-profit organizations in Atlanta, such as Tree Atlanta, the Captain Planet Foundation, and the Southface Institute. Her commitment to creatively serving her community earned her an Outstanding Georgia Citizen Award, the highest honor given to any citizen at the state level.
In 2019, Rago unveiled an Azalea-themed mural in Valdosta, Georgia, where she lived from 2002 until graduating from VSU. His mural work has also been featured in other cities in the southeastern United States, including Orlando, Florida; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Charleston, South Carolina.
When she needs to take a break to recharge and kick back, Rago enjoys playing with her two dogs, participating in book clubs, watching television shows and movies, and cooking Korean food. She and her husband love to travel, garden, and explore the ever-changing scenery, events, restaurants, and music scene in Atlanta and throughout the region.
Rago earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Arts in 2009.
Q: What are some highlights from your Valdosta State experience?
A: I have made wonderful friends that I consider lifelong friends from attending VSU. A few more highlights were working and having a blast in the art studio. I think I spent most of my late nights there working on projects. Mr. Harry P. Ally is the professor who really helped build my skills in painting and pushed me to get better at it.
Q: What advice do you have for current Valdosta State students? What did someone tell you when you were in college?
A: Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do in college. You will figure it out. Enjoy your college years. They were some of my best, and they go by way too fast.
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