When she was two years old, Mary Nell’s family moved to Gordon County where her parents, Charles and Neta Smith taught at Fairmount Schools. Podgorny graduated from Fairmount High School in 1976, and went on to receive her bachelor’s degree in Art plus Teacher Education from Shorter College. She taught visual arts in Talbot County Schools for 26 years, working with students from Kindergarten through 12th grade. While in Talbot County, she met her husband, John Podgorny, who is a sculptor. She received her Masters degree in Art Education at Columbus State University. Early retirement became a viable option for Podgorny and in 2009 she and John moved to Calhoun, and are living in the house where she grew up. Volunteering is a joy for the Podgornys, and they spend much time at the Harris Arts Center, the Voluntary Action Center and at New Echota State Historic Site. They have taught Art classes at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, and Mary Nell was an instructor at this year's Harris Arts Center's summer Art Camp. In her spare time, she enjoys ceramics, watercolor and pencil illustration, sculpting in miniature, needlework, and just creating in general.
The Children’s Clay Class is scheduled to begin Tuesday, September 28 from 3:30 until 5 p.m. at the Harris Arts Center 212 South Wall Street. In this six week class students will learn the basics of pinch, coil and slab construction as well as basic glazing and firing techniques. For more information or to register please call 706-629-2599. Cost for the class is $75 HAC Members $85 Non Members.