The Department of Art and the Africana Studies Program at Youngstown State University united to bring an art exhibit to campus supporting African American History Month, featuring the artwork of YSU alumnus Maple Turner III.
Turner began painting at the age of six, with encouragement from his father Maple Turner Jr. who is also an art enthusiast. Turner began his studies at YSU in fine arts and graduated with his B.A. in 1999. He then moved to New York City, where he sold his works. After a time in Paris, Turner returned to NYC and attended the Parsons School of Design, where he earned his Associate Degree in Fine Art in 2001.
After his experience at Parsons, Turner returned to Paris to create a series of French inspired collections and upon returning to New York City, he entered City College where he earned his Master’s Degree in Fine Art (MFA) in 2005.
Turner works in various art media – sculpture, painting, ceramics and textiles. He creates his art with watercolor, acrylic, oil, sand and reused materials. As a batik artist – decorating cloth using wax and dye – he applies the unique process to superimpose imagery that is both colorful and abstract. The aim is to give the work a sense of perpetual freshness, no matter how long they are around. As he indicates, “Doing batik allows me to spiritually connect with my roots and beyond… with those cultures and people that have practiced it for many centuries around the world.”
The exhibit will run through February 28 in Bliss Hall’s Gallery. An opening reception will take place on Friday, February 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Gallery, after which an artist presentation and discussion will occur from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the McDonough Museum of Art next door.
The exhibit and opening are free and open to the public. More information is available by calling the Department of Art at 330-941-3627.