Vadis Turner artworks at Huntsville Museum of Art

Nashville artist Vadis Turner has her work as the focus of an exhibition, “Encounters,” at the Huntsville Museum of Art in Huntsville, Alabama. The show opens on July 31 and runs through November 27, 2022.

Vadis Turner transforms domestic materials into new forms, both reviving and reinventing a function for handmade objects in a society with progressively fewer hands-on activities. The artist manipulates textiles and other elements, allowing them to transcend their intended functions, contradict their structural natures, and transcend their traditional gender association. Resisting categorization, Turner’s engaging works occupy a zone between textile art, painting, craft, and sculpture.

After receiving her BFA and MFA from Boston University, Vadis Turner became fascinated by the possibilities presented by traditional handicraft materials to define and contradict conventional gender roles. Her mixed-media work began with a debutante gown made out of wax paper from her mother’s kitchen. She continues to create works that transcend the commonplace from its intended function into a vehicle for social commentary.

“Transforming domestic materials into contemporary art objects bonds me with ancestral forms of craft that determine a woman’s value, sexual worth and cultural identity,” Vadis Turner said. “My time — like generations of women before me — is judged by what I make with my hands.”

Vadis Turner was awarded the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2016. Her works are included in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Arts and Crafts Museum and the Hunter Museum of American Art, among others. She has had exhibitions at numerous museums across the country, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Knoxville Museum of Art, and Cheekwood Museum and Gardens.

Turner is currently the Hamblet Artist in Residence at Vanderbilt University and is represented by Zeitgeist Gallery in Nashville and Geary Contemporary in New York City.

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