Turner Prize for Excellence in the Arts

Each year a fine art print is purchased and added to The Turner’s permanent collection in the name of The Turner Prize recipient. This special purchase is made in honor of an individual, business or organization that has made a difference to the vitality of the arts in the North Valley. The honoree's name is a permanent part of the artist label when that print is exhibited.

2014-2015 Turner Prize Award

Turner Board Members Patricia Roux and Susan Proctor join Curator Catherine Sullivan Turner Board Members Patricia Roux and Susan Proctor
join Curator Catherine Sullivan to view Still by Kiki Smith

The Turner Board of Directors is pleased to posthumously recognize Dr. Barbara Edmonson as the 2014–15 recipient of The Turner Prize for Excellence in the Arts. The Turner Board recognizes Edmonson’s stalwart support in the founding and development of The Turner. Edmonson (1912-2004) was Janet Turner’s sister, and she encouraged Turner to leave her personal print collection to the California State University system. After Turner passed away, Edmonson served as her archivist and dealer. She also donated to The Turner her sister’s blocks, plates, steps, and proofs, which are now visual aids in understanding Janet Turner’s printmaking processes. Edmonson served on the Turner Board of Directors for many years and also donated $100,000 to help fund The Turner’s move into more spacious quarters as part of the Turner 2000 Campaign.

Kiki Smith “Still,” 2006Kiki Smith “Still,” 2006

Although many knew Edmonson primarily in her role as a promoter of her sister’s work and legacy, Edmonson herself led a fascinating life. During World War II, she worked in Turkey for the U.S. Foreign Economic Administration. After the war, she taught children with developmental disabilities at the University of Kansas Medical Center. That experience helped inspire her to pursue an EdD in special education, which she received from the University of Kansas in 1970. Edmonson served as director of psychology training at the Nisonger Center for Developmental Disabilities at Ohio State University, where she also taught developmental psychology. She became a Chico resident in 1983, following her retirement.

The Turner Prize Print Purchase

sisters Janet Turner and Barbara Edmonson sisters Janet Turner and Barbara Edmonson

In memory of Barbara Edmonson, The Turner Board of Directors purchased for the collection Still by New York artist Kiki Smith. Primarily known as a sculptor and printmaker, Smith is no stranger to printmaking. She took her first classes in etching and monotype in 1978 at New York’s Lower East Side Print Shop, and she has also studied at Robert Blackburn’s Printmaking Workshop in New York. She has had a hand in many silkscreen projects and has made prints with everything from rubber stamps to photocopying. Since 1998, she has occasionally taught printmaking courses at Columbia University and New York University.

Still is a color aquatint inspired by the San Francisco homeless population. It depicts a woman’s bare feet emerging foreshortened from beneath a dress, and legs tattooed with stars. True to her dedication to materials, Smith and printer Emily York pressed real cloth into the soft ground on the etching plates to render the textures of the fabric of both figures’ clothing. The result is a visually profound, thought-provoking work of art.

View past Turner Prize Honorees