William Turner’s paintings create an energetic abstract art that draws on the wide legacy of painting. His paintings are a sophisticated play of color and form relationships coupled with a raw energy that celebrates the act of pure painting.  He consistently fills his canvases with invented and spontaneous imagery encoded with landscape, interior and figurative metaphors.

Visual references are a framework for explorations in color and form.  The collision between abstraction and representation sparks his imagination and hopefully, the viewers.  Turner paints to jazz and find its rhythm is a key element in the expressive quality of his paintings.  In jazz, the musician works from a foundation of skill and discipline and then finds expression at a high level of spontaneous improvisation.  This is the area of creativity he strives to, offering access to the unconscious and the unexpected.

Turner earned his MFA from the University of Washington.  There he studied with Jacob Lawrence the master colorist, whose influence is evident in Turner’s expressive use of color.  He also studied with two of the Northwest’s finest painters, Michael Spafford and Alden Mason.  Both artists continue to inspire him.

Mr. Turner’s work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the country including solo exhibitions in New York, Tacoma Art Museum and two decades of exhibitions with Foster/White Gallery, Seattle.

Turner is a beloved teacher and has taught various painting classes and workshops at the Centrum Arts Center, Port Townsend, WA, Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, and classes at Tacoma Community College.

Among many grants and awards William Turner is a recipient of a Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant. His paintings are in the collection of the Washington State Arts Commission, Tacoma Art Museum, Amgen Corporation and numerous private and corporate collections around the country.  In Seattle, his work can be viewed at the SAM Gallery.

A native of the Northwest, Bill resides in Tacoma, with his wife, the poet Josie Emmons Turner. 


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About The Gallery

Mavi Contemporary Art showcases fine art, paintings, sculptures, glass, photography, and original prints from a select group of contemporary artists. With the remodel, the front vault is now available for installation pieces as well. Sculpture now has a stronger focus in the gallery already considered a “must see” in Tacoma. Mavi and Elizabeth plan to support the work of local artists in addition to bring in artists from around the world.