The Art Gallery at Rivier University presents William Turner: Myths and Mechanics exhibition
From mechanic to fine artist, William Turner's life experiences inspire his art.
Rivier University is hosting an art exhibition titled Myths and Mechanics, works by New Hampshire native William Turner. The collection will be on display from March 21 to April 28. Fine art came into Turner’s life after a successful thirty-year career in automotive restoration. His realistic oil paintings combine the beauty of weathered, often rusting relics—cars, trucks, farm equipment, and other machinery—with classical mythology and folklore, an integration intended to surprise the viewer with unexpected approaches to visual stories.
Turner served as a structural aircraft mechanic in the Navy during the Vietnam War before becoming an auto mechanic. At age 50, he pursued his lifelong dream of becoming an artist. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) and opened a studio in Milford, New Hampshire. Today, he is a full-time fine-art painter.
Turner’s life experiences inspire his art. His knowledge of mechanical designs and his personal interest in motor vehicles have led him to appropriate their components and conditions as subject matter for much of his artwork. Additionally influenced by an attraction to classical art and Greek and Roman mythology, his depictions of vehicles found on New England farmland become surrogates for the human characters in myths. The realistic detail and skillful rendering of the surfaces and textures of metal, rust, and chipped paint in his anthropomorphic portraits have been acclaimed for conveying an appreciation of materials as Nature reclaims them slowly; they invoke a sense of nostalgia and awe when viewed.
Turner’s process involves attentiveness to research followed by working out the composition of each piece in preliminary sketches. His work typically includes visual and/or text references to mythological characters, birds, or animal symbols to create stories on canvas—“an accomplishment,” comments Sr. Theresa Couture, Gallery Director, “that emerges from his mastery of color in addition to a strong affinity for powerful form and composition imbued with a certain sense of mystery.”
The Myths and Mechanics exhibition is free and open to the public from March 21 – April 28.
GALLERY HOURS and LOCATION
Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Memorial Hall on the Rivier University campus
(Access by elevator and six low steps.)
435 South Main St., Nashua, NH