Tracy Kennan, New Orleans Museum of Art Curator of Public Programs has said, “Many artists enjoy the spontaneity and improvisation of jazz music. Jazz also became important to many African-American visual artists and writers because they considered it to be their own musical language.” Romare Bearden, who created over 100 pictures dedicated to jazz music in the 1960s and 70s, once said, “Jazz has always been important for me the way it has been important for many Blacks. Blacks have made their own sound, their own musical language like jazz. It is theirs and they identify with it. In a world of constantly changing identities, certain forms of music represent a solid identity for Blacks.”
Turner is also recognized for painting African-American lifestyle subjects that he observed in Chester. These painted subjects include church scenes, children at play, restaurant and bar scenes, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, barbers and beauty-shop scenes, and family reunions. His paintings are a blend of art and history that reveal the inner-city African-American experience of family, community and culture. Since his death in 2001 his value as a painter and his influence on other artists has grown tremendously.
Turner’s work has been widely acclaimed and featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including the Atlanta Arts Festival; the National Black Fine Arts Festival; the Los Angeles International Art Expo; the African American Museum in Philadelphia; the New York International Art Expo; the Philadelphia International Art Expo; the Martha’s Vineyard Art Show; the October Gallery Chicago Art Exhibition; Artist-in-Residence and Curator, Deshong Museum, Chester, PA; Lecturer, Widener University, Chester, PA; Lecturer, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania; and Featured Artist, Sande Webster Gallery and October Gallery’s Philadelphia International Art Expo Artist’s Pavilion. In addition, Turner toured and lectured in The People’s Republic of China.
His artistic creations are owned by major art collectors, corporations, businesses, organizations and everyday people. His paintings are found in collections owned by celebrities such as: Woody Allen, Dr. Maya Angelou, ARCO Chemical Company, Black Enterprise Magazine, Dr. Clinton Brown, George Burrell, Cheyney University, Dr. Constance Clayton, James Caplan, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Cosby, Deshong Museum, Dr. William Dodd, Congressman Chaka Fattah, Danny Glover, Mayor W. Wilson Goode, Thelma Harris, Steve Harvey, Edie Huggins, Senator Vincent Hughes, iHeartMedia Inc., Independence Blue Cross, Tom Joyner, Peter James Liacouras, Eric Lindros, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Madonni, Moses Malone, Adrian Moody, October Gallery, Penn State University, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Tribune, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Prince, Kevin Pugh, Jill Scott, Will Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Sorgenti, Mayor John Street, Swarthmore College, Verizon, Barbara Wallace, Sande Webster, Widener University and Mrs. Marilyn Wheaton.