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About Karin Turner

karin turner Born: 09 nov 1962    Landstuhl, Germany
Currently residing & creating in Oakland, Ca.

I create positive African American images in the form of brightly colored original acrylic & watercolor paintings and drawings. My figurative portraits speak of the past relating to the present, while forecasting an optimistic future. Subscribing to the belief that "everything will be all right"; they reflect both whimsy and pride of my African American heritage.

I have been painting for approximately 4-5 years. Each completed painting is an exercise in the pursuit of perfecting my own personal style, mastering the chosen medium, and creating my own legacy as an African-American woman.

Studio Karin Turner

The content of my work consists generally of all female imagery either as icon type figures or as nudes. Currently I choose to paint African American women of color.

My images offer subtle commentary on racial/gender stereotypes simply by their existence.

I have chosen to illustrate the upside of having a heritage that has always been illustrated as a down time for African Americans...survival in spite of...along with triumph, could never be a downside: This applies to everyone, so I feel that my art is for everyone—not just black women who know what it is like to be stereotyped.

Although none of my images "cut you"—they certainly do leave an imprint on the mind, challenging your thoughts/opinions on racism, stereotypes of beauty, sexuality, & nudity. Often combined with levity or the very things that are used to promote stereotypes.

I invite the viewer to ask her/himself some questions...

Am I surprised to see these fantastical creatures have both brown skin and curves?
Or is this the way I've always imagined them?

Did Aunt Jemima have a beauty mark?

Who invented skinny as normal—and popular? And if that's normal...
Does that make all who adore and desire the roundness of my curves—"freaks"?

Do I feel uneasy about the "simple complexity" of watermelon?

Have I reached the point of being able to auto-correct all of the derogatory images that have been associated with watermelons and ebony skin?

Have I educated myself & others to be able to accept these images for what they are?

And finally,

Can't a pretty picture just be a pretty picture?

Thank you for experiencing my art.

More ...

Los Angeles Trade—Technical College—Associate of Arts degree
Applied Arts / Apparel Design
Yuba College, Marysville, Ca.—General Education
American River College, Sacramento, Ca.—General Education

City of Oakland, Department of Crafts & Cultural Arts
Visual Artist Honorarium Opening Festival for Alice Arts Center—National Endowment for the Arts Grant, April 2000

Yuba College Annual Arts Review Journal 1992
Three pieces selected for this annual publication

June 2000
Mark Veals & Family—Sunflower's Peace

August 1999
Patricia Javaheri—Patron
No Chicken, No H20melon Please—'Second Helping of Love'

June 1999
Michaelangelo JamesצPatron
No Chicken, No H20melon Please—'Sistah Dinner'

January 1999
Karin Westmoreland—Patron
Daily Renewal—Watercolor

December 1998
Jaqueline Reed—Patron
No Chicken, No H20melon Please—'Good Ole Friends Are Good As Gold'
Karin Westmoreland
'The Answer'—Acrylic

December 1996
Weldon Clemmons—Patron
Portrait Commission of a Family Member

October 1996
Tobin Productions—CD Interpretation Portrait for this record labels premiering artist

August 1991, March 1992
Fundraiser Invitation—State Assemblyman Robert J. Campbell

Community Outreach
March 1995
Marysville Unified School District, Ella Elementary School
Arts & Culture Week Featured Artist

March 1996
Ella School Elementary
Black Culture Exposition—Guest Artist/Lecturer

November 1998
Mentor to aspiring child artist

Group Memberships
International Black Writers & Artists Association
Pro Arts East Bay Gallery
African American Artists Salon—Monthly Artist Feedback Group

   have always held a Special place in my heart.

Every memory & experience of consuming or giving H2Omelons, recalls the feeling and Emotions I get from truly living Life to the Fullest. - Joyous or Sad.

Possessing 2 of the most necessary life sustaining elements,
   (water & food),
 I am proud to share its Symbolism in my Imagery as a tangible Heirloom of my African ancestry.

How delightful it is to know that this Heirloom can be
Shared & treasured by All who choose to Embrace it.

I offer these images of
            PINK FLESH

with MUCH

© KARIN 1999

all images, content © karin turner. design by gwen harlow.