Campus museum celebrates Janet Turner’s 100th birthday

“Angles and Planes: Janet Turner and the Built Environment” is on display at the Janet Turner Print Museum. Photo credit: Chelsea Jeffers

It’s been 100 years since Chico artist and teacher Janet Turner was born. What better way to celebrate than showing a collection of her early work?

The Janet Turner Print Museum is featuring a collection of Janet Turner’s work from the 1940s and 1950s called “Angles and Planes: Janet Turner and the Built Environment” until April 12.

The exhibit features paintings of urban buildings and construction sites. Many of the paintings feature the same subject but use different mediums and construction to show a different view on the subject.

Two paintings can be identical in subject matter, but the type of paint makes a world of difference.

One is done in light watercolors, which show more texture and subtle shadows. The other is in acrylic paint, which is bright, and deeply layered. The work has an almost cubist feel to the work due to the bright blocks of color.

“She likes to look at something, and maybe she does it once but then she does it again in a different way,” said Catherine Sullivan, curator of the Janet Turner Print Museum.

Janet Turner was a teacher and artist who came to Chico in the late 1950s and was a huge contributor to the arts program at Chico State.

“She was instrumental in the development of the art department as we know it today,” Sullivan said.

The art featured in this exhibit is mostly Janet Turner’s early paintings. She didn’t begin to focus on printmaking until she began teaching at Chico State, Sullivan said.

This exhibit will be featured until April 12th. The museum will feature another exhibit on Janet Turner for her 100th year during the fall 2014 semester. It will feature more of her printmaking work alongside some of her students’ work.

Veronica Hodur can be reached at [email protected] or @VeronicaHodur on Twitter.