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Janet Turner Print Museum opens new exhibit

Prints%2C+like+this+one+by+Kochi+Yamamoto%2C+will+be+on+display+at+the+Janet+Turner+Print+Museum+until+Feb.+20.+Photo+credit%3A+Chico+State+School+of+the+Arts+Facebook+page
Prints, like this one by Kochi Yamamoto, will be on display at the Janet Turner Print Museum until Feb. 20. Photo credit: Chico State School of the Arts Facebook page

Prints, like this one by Kochi Yamamoto, will be on display at the Janet Turner Print Museum until Feb. 20. Photo credit: Chico State School of the Arts Facebook page

Prints, like this one by Kochi Yamamoto, will be on display at the Janet Turner Print Museum until Feb. 20. Photo credit: Chico State School of the Arts Facebook page

Bridget Comito

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Chico State’s Janet Turner Print Museum highlights its collection of hidden treasures in its current location.

Dr. Janet Turner was a Chico State professor of art education and printmaking from 1959 to 1981. Turner started collecting fine art pieces in the late 1940s during her time at Chico State and collected in a span of over 40 years. Turner and other women artists had started the print club when her collection began to grow.

The Janet Turner Print Museum opened in 1981 when Turner donated her collection to Chico State. Turner retired from teaching in 1983. By then the museum had over 2,000 print pieces. The prints come from various artists and all with very different styles, showing the diversity of Turner’s interests in the art forum of print.

Now the museum has a collection of almost 4,000 pieces. The collection spans 40 different countries over six centuries.

The museum also holds some well known artists. There are prints from over a thousand artists from all over the world such as Dali, Goya, Hockney, Miro, Picasso, Rembrandt, Tamayo and many more.

There is no solid theme. Every new exhibit shows the diversity of different styles of printmaking. The art includes photorealism, abstract and impressionism among others.

“I bought as many styles and techniques as possible, regardless of the reputation of the artist,” said Turner in 1975. “In teaching printmaking, every new technique is interesting, and different ideas and different styles should interest different students, rather than trying to teach one method and rather than trying to teach my viewpoint.”

Catherine Sullivan is the current board of directors at the museum and she has been the curator since 1993. Sullivan also studied printmaking as part of her studio practice degree. Sullivan knew Turner personally in 1983 when Sullivan was the director of the University Art Gallery and then later assisted Turner with her retirement exhibition.

“History of printmaking is the democracy to widely disseminate information, both as a text or as a image,” Sullivan said.

The museum often updates once a month with new pieces on display. They have six different exhibits a year. There are always new and different pieces to view at the museum. They continue to add more pieces and some are from Chico State students.

Sullivan said that by the end of this spring semester they’ll open up their student printmakers collection exhibit.

“We honor Janet. Her thoughts were that students should be inspired by professionals but they should also get to see the work of their peers,” she said.

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Adria Davis is the collection manager for the Janet Turner Print Museum. Photo credit: Bridget Comito

Adria Davis has been the collection manager of the museum since 2007 and she was featured the same year. She was still a student when she became the collection manager. Davis studied at Chico State for a degree in art history then came back to receive a degree in photography.

“This museum is fabulous. It’s a little secret of Chico,” Davis said. “It’s one of the largest print collections between San Francisco to Portland. It’s a world class collection.”

The Janet Turner Print Museum used to be located at the Laxson Fine Art Gallery in the 1980s. The museum moved to Meriam Library over six years ago. The Janet Turner Print Museum will have a new location at the new arts and humanities building. The museum hopes to be moved into its new home by next fall.

“I’m really looking forward to moving the museum to its new home. I feel like what we’ve done here at the museum has gotten us more recognized,” Davis said.

“We have a better place in the community. It’s going to be a great experience to be in a much larger building,” she said.

The current exhibit features print pieces that are award winners from all over the country and will be displayed until Feb. 20.

The museum is open for Chico State students, faculty and Chico residents. The museum is open weekdays and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located across from Meriam Library.

Bridget Comito can be reached at [email protected] or @bcineg1992 on Twitter.

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Janet Turner Print Museum opens new exhibit