News from The Turner

School of the Arts Publicity Office: J. Paul DiMaggio, Publicist, 898-5739;

Story Contact: JoAnn Morgan, Turner Publicity Coordinator, 898-4476

Stop Date: Dec. 12
For Immediate Release

Art Exhibit — OPtical: Op Art and Its Continuing Effect -- at The Turner, Nov. 5 – Dec. 12

Treat yourself to a psychedelic, kaleidoscopic experience of swirling geometric shapes, patterns and vibrating color by visiting The Janet Turner Print Museum’s latest exhibit, “OPtical Art.”

An abbreviation for “Optical Art,” Op Art debuted during the turbulent cultural climate of the 1960’s, a decade of global, social and technological change.  Time Magazine coined the name “Op Art” in 1964 to describe this new form of abstract art that fooled the eye by creating the illusion of movement.  The impact of the Op Art movement was far-reaching.  Its use of bold color, geometric design and moving patterns spilled over into the worlds of advertising, fashion and interior design, where vestiges of Op Art still endure.

California State University, Chico MFA candidate, Erin Kelly, curated, the exhibit, a project she began six months ago in Spring 2008.  Her first task was to narrow down the print choices. “I began by pulling close to 100 prints from The Turner collection of more than 3,000,” explains Erin.  “The prints you see exhibited are all about viewer participation and immersing yourself in the art – two ideas that art continues to endorse more than 40 years later.  The whole process of selecting, researching and exhibiting the various images was a great learning experience for me,” adds Erin.

Op Art has its roots in Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Futurism and Constructivism.  It was the first artistic movement to introduce technology into art. With math and geometry as its core, Op Art bridges the gap between narrative pictorial art and art as a visual perception.  

Turner Print Collection’s Catherine Sullivan points out that, although the exhibit prints may look like computer-generated graphics, each piece is a hand-generated, printed image - a very complex and difficult feat.

Please visit the Turner on the mezzanine level of Laxson Auditorium Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  The exhibit dates are Nov. 5 – Dec. 12, 2008. Admission is free.  The opening reception is Wed., Dec. 5, 2008, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Laxson Auditorium.  For more information about the collection, go to: