Turner Print Museum Honors Founder with “Legacy” Exhibition

Janet TurnerSampling of Exhibition Artworks
Janet Turner: A Legacy in Art

The Janet Turner Print Museum at California State University, Chico is marking the 100th birthday anniversary of its founder with an exhibition entitled “Legacy: Janet Turner – Artist, Mentor, Teacher.”

This exhibition, open to the public Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Oct. 25, honors Turner’s legacy as a masterful printmaker, meticulous collector, dedicated teacher and caring mentor. Curated from the CSU, Chico Janet Turner Print Collection, this exhibition features prints by both Turner and a selection of her former students.

Turner (1914-1988) was a Chico State art professor and nationally renowned printmaker who devoted her life to the arts. Although she was well respected as an artist and an educator, most of her past students remember her as a dedicated mentor. Turner encouraged her students to grow in their printmaking skills by adding their prints to her ever-growing collection. She included these prints not only to support her current students in their career-building endeavors but also to provide examples to inspire the next generation of artists.

“Janet Turner is an example of a person fully vested in place, allowing for growth in relationships, contributions and expansion of talent,” curator Catherine Sullivan notes in her exhibition essay. “She was a richer, more developed artist by her commitment to place, and she in turn gave back fully in dedicated teaching, mentoring and in supporting the care of the environment she came to embrace and the students she taught.”

The Turner prints selected for this exhibition focus on her grasp of graphic forms, from the delicate and overlapping line work in her etching and the variety of strokes in cutting. As a colorist, Turner’s painterly aspect emerges with her full knowledge of color theory, pitting color against color as well as subtle blends with graduating tonal values.

A testament to the evolving artistry she promoted as an instructor, prints created by former students Steve Miranda-Byer, Susan Champion, Denise Devine, Michael Halldorson, Julie Shaw, James Snidle, William Houck and Susan Van Horn will be displayed. Additional prints by other former students are featured in CSU, Chico’s Ayres Hall in the first-floor art cases.

Sullivan will give a curator’s talk on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m. in Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall (PAC 134) followed by a reception in the Janet Turner Print Museum Gallery.

Additionally, on Oct. 16, The Turner will posthumously recognize Barbara Edmonson, Janet Turner’s sister, with the Turner Prize for Excellence in the Arts. After retiring to Chico in 1983, Edmonson took a leading role as her sister’s archivist, agent and, later, organizer of posthumous exhibitions and a catalogue raisonnè of Turner’s work. In honor of Barbara, a print has been purchased for the collection, Kiki Smith’s “Still” (2006), currently on view in the museum’s lobby.

Finally, a reunion of Janet Turner’s students is taking place Oct. 16-18. All former students of Janet Turner are welcome — go to The Turner website to RSVP to the reunion.

The Turner is located in Meriam Library on the CSU, Chico campus, adjacent to the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology. Viewing hours are 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday-Saturday. Parking is available on nearby Chico streets and at adjacent CSU, Chico parking lots.

For more information on the exhibition, Turner Prize, or reunion, call The Turner at 530-898-4476, email the curator at csullivan@csuchico.edu, or visit www.janetturner.org. Groups and classes can go online to arrange for visits to The Turner, including visits outside the public viewing hours. The website has a section for class applications for docent tours and related activities. Please frequent The Turner Facebook page for continuing updates.