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May 5, 2008

Treasures of the Turner Champagne Reception

The Janet Turner Print Museum will hold a champagne reception celebrating Turner’s contributions and the end of the yearlong “Treasures of the Turner” collaboration from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on May 20 at the Chico Museum, on the corner of 2nd Street and Salem. CSU, Chico President Paul J. Zingg will speak at 6:30 p.m.

“Putting on shows at the Chico Museum site, as well as at the Laxson Auditorium Gallery and Ayres Hall, was a wonderful experience and a lot of work,” said Barbara Morris, the president of The Turner’s Board of Directors, "But it is gratifying that we were discovered by so many people in our community.”

“Having a more central and accessible location enabled us to showcase the collection to a much larger audience than those who venture into Laxson Auditorium,” Morris said. "We appreciate that the Chico Museum gave us this opportunity."

Throughout the year more than 8,000 guests have explored print exhibits in the Laxson Auditorium Gallery and Chico Museum. Shows have included: “Due South: Prints from Mexico and South America,” “Grand Masters: Art History on the Walls,” “Photography in Print,” “Paper/Print/Bind,” “The Janet Turner National Print Competition Exhibition,” “Marcel Duchamp: The Large Glass” and the current and final show "Janet Turner: Collector, Mentor, Teacher."

“It’s a testimony to the thirst that people have for taking in great art,” said Joel Zimbelman, the interim dean of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. “It also celebrates the imagination, vision and tenacity of Janet Turner, the woman responsible for conceiving and assembling the collection.”

Turner, a late CSU, Chico faulty member and internationally known printmaker and educator, donated 2,000 prints to start the museum.

The final exhibit will showcase Turner’s collection and Vernon and Marie Fish’s generous contribution of Turner’s work. “Janet Turner: Collector, Mentor, Teacher” will celebrate her passion for printmaking and commitment to her students.

“This collaboration has helped us continue Turner’s legacy of collecting fine art prints and utilizing them for educating future generations of printmakers,” Morris said, adding that today the collection has grown to nearly 3,000 prints. "Her dedication has helped CSU, Chico stand out in this field.”

Through working with the Far West Heritage Association the Turner has been able to bring her collection to the community outside of Laxson Auditorium.

“The university and the general community has had a better opportunity to see our program and collection because the hours and space better suit the viewing public,” said Catherine Sullivan, The Turner’s curator.

“We hope to keep the momentum moving forward to find a permanent home,” Morris said.

Although the collaboration has helped The Turner reach a wider audience, CSU, Chico students and faculty members still frequent the Laxson Auditorium Gallery.

“One of the most pleasant discoveries I made about the Chico community when I arrived here was a treasure just next door to my office in Kendall Hall on campus–The Turner,” Zingg said.

Zingg’s speech at the reception will discuss the impact that Turner and her collection has had on CSU, Chico and the community, particularly in relation to the “Treasures of the Turner” collaboration.

“The wonderful thing about The Turner is that it provides North State residents with the chance to view world-class art and appreciate how Chicoan Janet Turner went about collecting these treasures,” said Natalie Birk, the former executive director of Far West Heritage Association. “We were delighted to partner with The Turner board to showcase both art and this extraordinary woman, artist, professor and collector."

Zingg also emphasized the importance of Turner’s collection and the reception.

“This is a celebration of an art form and a commitment to sustain and share it,” Zingg said. “Like any kind of art, the holdings of The Turner release the imagination and enable us to see objects, topics and ourselves in a new light.”

CSU, Chico students and community members are encouraged to attend the champagne reception, which is free and open to the public. The final exhibit will run through May 25.

For more information, contact Sullivan at (530) 898-4476.

-Hillary Feeney


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