CSU, Chico News

The Turner Biennial National Print Competition Exhibition Open through March 4

Date: 02-03-2012

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Catherine Sullivan, curator
Janet Turner Print Museum

The Janet Turner Print Museum, in collaboration with The University Art Gallery at California State University, Chico and Bell-Carter Olive Company, presents the 9th Biennial Turner National Print Competition and Exhibition.

This every-other-year event, open since Jan. 30, runs through March 4.

“Since we in Chico are geographically isolated from major metropolitan centers, this exhibition will give us a look at what is new in the printmaking world, not only for CSU, Chico students, but also for those in our community and region who want to see original, cutting-edge art," said Catherine Sullivan, curator of the Turner.

Presented in two locations—The Turner Print Museum in Meriam Library and The University Art Gallery in Taylor Hall—the exhibition/competition has a new twist this year.

In the past the exhibition/competition was an “open” affair—submissions were accepted from print artists of all levels; a guest juror would then select works that would be used for the exhibit. This time around, University curators, local printmakers and the Turner Board of Directors re-focused the aims of the national exhibition and issued invitations to emerging artists, those past their academic careers, who are pushing the boundaries of traditional printmaking.

Franklin Sirmans, curator and department head of contemporary art for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, viewed more than 260 slides sent in from artists from all over the U.S. He narrowed the submissions down to works by 88 artists from 15 states for the exhibition/competition.

“The selected works represent the cutting edge of what is happening right now in printmaking, as far as new print techniques,” noted Sullivan. Some of the more innovative techniques represented include screen-prints on mylar; letterpress works with laser cuts; etchings on paper with string; and screen-prints made from ash and charcoal.

“Each curator brings a unique perception to a set of prints, and we are pleased to host Mr. Sirmans and his vast experience with modern art,” said Sullivan. “Bringing a curator of his national prominence together with a wide array of new work gives us a wonderfully fresh perspective on printmaking.”

An added benefit of the exhibition/competition is that the best works submitted to the competition find their way into the Turner collection. These “Purchase Award” works—works selected as best in the competition by Sirmans—are bought by The Turner and added to its prestigious 3,500-plus collection of outstanding print works.

“Janet Turner, whose collection began the museum, was always on the look out for new art to broaden the collection,” said Sullivan. “This follows her philosophy of growing the collection with new and relevant works.”

In addition, the printmaker whose work wins the major prize, the “Friends Award,” is invited to give a solo exhibition at The Turner the following year.

The Turner Board of Directors and the University gratefully acknowledge Bell–Carter Olive Company for their generous support of this exhibition.

The Janet Turner Print Museum is located in CSU, Chico’s Meriam Library and is open during exhibitions Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The University Art Gallery is located in Taylor Hall, on First Street between Normal and Salem Streets, and is open during exhibitions Monday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

More information can be found online at The Turner’s website, www.janetturner.org. If you have a specific question about the exhibition, please call 530-898-4476 or e-mail csullivan@csuchico.edu. The website also has information for schools and groups wanting to book docent-lead tours.