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Featured Exhibitor: Richard Turnbull

Richard Turnbull likes to say that he has a “two-fold” career. He’s an archaeologist and art history professor during the day, where he teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but in his spare time he owns his own visual arts practice. He’s spent the last 20 years focusing on printmaking and artist books, along with trying new things when the inspiration strikes. Both of Turnbull's parents began experimenting with different forms of painting and photography as they got older, a practice that piqued his interest. He spent so much time teaching and talking about art, but he hadn’t made any. He started taking workshops and courses, where he learned about bookbinding and letterpress printing, and several types of printmaking. From there, his art took off, within the next few years he found himself submitting work for exhibitions and attending various fairs.

Turnbull hadn’t always been drawn to the arts, he initially started out as a biology major in his undergrad years, before switching to history. It was during a gap year before graduate school that he found himself working as a graphic designer in the mid 1980’s.When he went back to school, it was art that captivated him, and the only thing he could see himself studying.

Art is everywhere. Whether Turnbull is in New York or Massachusetts, the two places he spends the most time, he’s always surrounded by art, from galleries to museums to local showcases. He loves being a part of small art communities, where work can be appreciated and relationships can be made on a personal level between different parties involved with the work at hand. There's more intimacy that can be built and found away from the sound and noise of the city's modern ideas on what art should be. Turnbull believes in content over form, he’s creating a story when he makes his pieces. The finishing product is not always the same as the initial idea, there's a journey in between where the art changes. He enjoys layering and playing with photos in silkscreen, as well as incorporating cleaner ways of making art into his work. This includes using green materials that are better for both the environment and one's overall health. Not being a full time visual artist, Turnbull works mainly in a printmaking studio in Massachusetts, in order to embrace a healthier form of art making,

In 2007, Turnbull began exhibiting his work at book fairs and print fairs in New York City, Boston, and Maryland. He typically exhibits the artist books he makes, both big and small, made with silkscreen or letterpress, with etchings or collages, and so much more. This year, at the upcoming Northampton Fair, Turnbull is excited to showcase some of the 3D books he has been working on, where 3D pieces are embedded in the pages.

*Featured above is "IN DARKNESS THERE IS DARKNESS, 2016, seven etchings by Douglas Collins and texts by Richard Turnbull. Letterpress printing on Revere Silk with St. Armand covers. Drum-leaf binding. Book size: 7 x 7". Edition: 10." - Found on Richard Turnbull's website - Furious Day Press

Written By: Meghan Cenci - 11/14/22


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