Mosaic Gallery: Janet Turner

The Mosaic Gallery in the Mosaic Restaurant features quarterly exhibitions of work from Northstate artists organized by Turtle Bay Exploration Park. It operates as a sale gallery to support local artists and arts education at Turtle Bay. 

Featured Artist: Janet Turner - Painter, Printmaker, Educator, International Art Ambassador, and North State Art Legend
On display through April 19, 2019
(Note: These works are not for sale.)

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Turtle Bay Exploration Park is fortunate to own an extensive collection of the works of the late Dr. Janet Turner (1914 – 1988), fifteen of which are currently on exhibition in the Mosaic Art Gallery through April 19, 2019.

Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Janet Turner graduated from Stanford University in 1936 with a B.A. in Far Eastern History and an extensive background in botany. It was at Stanford that she made her first linocut prints. Following travels in the Far East, she went on to receive a diploma in painting in 1941 from the Kansas City Art Institute where she studied with Thomas Hart Benton. Turner continued her education with a Master of Fine Arts from Claremont College in 1947 where she studied under Millard Sheets and Henry McFee. After a stint teaching at Stephen F. Austin State College in Texas, she went on to receive her Doctorate in Education from Columbia University in 1958. 

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Dr. Turner is known as an iconic California State University, Chico art instructor where she was appointed Assistant Professor of Art Education in 1959. At the time, the University taught art as a means of art education for future teachers. Turner was instrumental in developing the University’s Fine Arts Program and implementing a new art major with a printmaking emphasis. She retired from Chico State in 1983 and continued making art until her death in 1988.   

Often people associate Janet Turner with birds and many of her works, particularly from her Chico years, are of winged creatures. However, she also worked with human figures, architecture, and abstract forms.

Turner also utilized more than one printmaking technique. Turtle Bay’s collection includes linocut serigraphs, etchings, intaglios, collographs, and more. Known for being highly experimental and somewhat eccentric when it came to her printing processes, Dr. Turner would leave off and pick up print runs, sometimes changing the colors as she went. For example, Turtle Bay has two versions of Magpie in Almond Tree with different colored backgrounds. This particular serigraph required 18 separate screens!

In addition to being an artist and art instructor, Janet Turner was an avid art collector. In 1981, she donated her comprehensive collection of prints spanning six centuries and 40 countries to the Chico State campus where it is now the cornerstone of the Janet Turner Print Museum.