Athens, Ga. – A pictorial exhibit of University of Georgia football by photojournalist Wingate Downs, “1980 Championship Year Revisited,” will be on display in Hill Atrium at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel, Sept. 1 – Jan. 7. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Georgia Center is located at 1197 S. Lumpkin Street.
This exhibit profiles UGA’s 1980 National Championship football team. The collection tells the story of that successful football season and the players who made it possible. Downs captured the excitement of this legendary year of UGA football including Herschel Walker’s first day of practice, Walker’s touchdown at the Sugar Bowl and fans watching home games from the railroad tracks.
Downs is an Oglethorpe County resident and a graduate of UGA’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He was chief photographer for the Athens Banner-Herald and Athens Daily News for 18 years, photo director of Athens Magazine for nine years, and stringer for the Associated Press and United Press International for 20 years in Athens. He earned more than 30 state and national awards for his news and advertising photography throughout his career, including an Instant Citation from the Associated Press. Downs’ photography has been printed by Life, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, and People magazine, and many books on Athens and UGA sports, including Glory! Glory! Georgia’s 1980 Championship Season: The Inside Story by Lewis Grizzard and Loran Smith, and Dooley’s Dawgs: 25 Years of Winning Football at the University of Georgia, by Loran Smith and Vince Dooley. Downs currently operates a freelance photography business.
The Georgia Center is a unit of the University of Georgia Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach. On UGA’s campus, the Georgia Center includes a full-service hotel with 200 rooms and suites, restaurants, ballroom, banquet areas, conference rooms, auditoriums, a fitness center, and a computer lab – all under one roof. For more information, see www.georgiacenter.uga.edu.