School of Art Faculty Opens 'Yesterday Once More' Exhibition at Walton Arts Center

Sam & Nia
Aaron R. Turner

Sam & Nia

The School of Art in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences congratulates Aaron R. Turner on his solo exhibition opening "Yesterday Once More" at the Walton Arts Center.

The Walton Arts Center will host the exhibition in the Joy Pratt Markham Gallery from Jan. 15 to April 3. The public is invited to a free opening reception 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3, at Walton Arts Center. The free exhibition will be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. through April 3.

Turner is a photographer and educator currently based in Arkansas. He uses photography as a transformative process to understand the ideas of home and resilience in two main areas of the U.S.: the Arkansas and Mississippi deltas. Turner also uses the 4x5 view camera to create still-life studies on identity, history, blackness as material, and abstraction. 

"Yesterday Once More" features portraits of the artist's family and the Arkansas and Mississippi river delta regions. The focus on the landscape in particular reflects Turner's relationship and understanding of the transformative process to understand place. The photographic medium allows for radical and subtle changes, implying that the land has a different sense of time than we do — creating a speculative space of simultaneously occupying and recording the past, present and future.

"'Yesterday Once More' emphasizes the physical return to people and spaces previously inhabited," Turner said. "Lands native to my memory still profoundly impact my view of the world. My central concerns are the passage of time, human life, migration and how from one image to the next, time passes, life goes on. We all re-encounter an altered sense of familiarity through people, place and memory."

Gerry Snyder, executive director of the School of Art, describes this as a show everyone should make a point of seeing.

"Two indelible references that everyone carries within are their families and the landscape they grow up in," he added. "Aaron Turner's evocative photographs powerfully captures his continued re-visitation of his family's long history in Arkansas' Delta region. Aaron is an amazing artist whose work is getting national recognition for his portrayal of place and a lived experience."

For the installation aspect of this project, Turner has also selected books related to his subject and his inspirations that will be available for patrons to review in the space, and he has curated a playlist that can be accessed via a smartphone and ear buds and enjoyed while visiting the exhibition. 

"A lot of times people move through an exhibition quickly," Turner said, "but by providing curated music and books, I hope to encourage people to stay in the space for an extended immersive experience. Even though the exhibition contains all photography, it's really not about photography, but more so about the way in which we all move through time and have shared experiences."

Turner is a teaching assistant professor at the School of Art at the U of A. He received his M.A. from Ohio University and an M.F.A from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Turner and his work have continued gaining recognition in the art world. Most recently he received a 2021 Houston Center for Photography Fellowship and a 2021 Creators Lab Photo Fund from Google's Creator Labs & the Aperture Foundation.

Additional honors include a 2020 Artist 360 Mid-America Arts Alliance Grant and 2020 Visual Studies Workshop Project Space Artists-in-Residence. He also was named a 2019 EnFoco Photography Fellow and was a 2018 Light Work Artists-in-Residence at Syracuse University.


Kayla Crenshaw, director of administration and communication
School of Art


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