Galactic Visions by Michael C. Turner. (Reprinted with permission.)
The “Galactic Visions” of Michael C. Turner transports viewers into a fabulously mysterious universe filled with light and color. His canvases are filled with extrasolar worlds, galaxies of stars, brilliantly glowing nebulae, pulsars, quasars, black holes, and other bizarre cosmic phenomena. At first, one might consider these images as fantasy. Turner contends that his creations are, in fact, based upon scientific data and plausibility. He says he paints from his soul with the intent of inspiring the viewer to feel “the spirit of space.” He regards his space art as equally inspirational or sacred art. “The Cosmos reveals the mind and spirit of The Creator,” explains Turner. Ever careful to maintain the balance of inspiring and informing the viewer, he composes detailed descriptors for each of his unique works of space art.
Turner primarily uses acrylic with traditional paint and brush techniques on stretched canvas to express his artistic visions of a living universe unfolding within its cosmic womb. Although he does some digital art, his artistic passion remains faithful in traditionally created canvas paintings. He created many space paintings long before the Hubble Space Telescope commenced imaging areas of space where Earth-based intellects have yet to travel. Prior to the most recent discoveries, Turner’s paintings would have been considered science fiction or fantasy, as there was no physical proof for his insightful images. With each new astronomical discovery, Turner’s conceptual space art is validated by the scientific world. Nevertheless, he contends that his primary objective is to inspire, for all true science is the result of inspired minds. “Consider modern technology,” says Turner, “Mere decades ago, the wonders of audiovisual communication and the universe it has revealed, was an inspired vision. Most people considered it science fiction or fantasy.”
Turner calls his paintings “Space-Scapes.” He says they are vignettes of the Universe, waiting to be discovered. Of the many influential artists in Turner’s life, he says that the visionary space artist Chesley Bonestell is the one who most inspired him to pursue space art. He continues to receive inspiration from many of his fellow IAAA members that he proclaims as contemporary space art visionaries. The prestigious IAAA (International Association of Astronomical Artists) is the only astronomical space artist organization on the planet. This international group of space artists produces the majority of all the astronomical space art on the planet. http://www.iaaa.org
Michael C. Turner’s space art spans more than three decades. His life-long love of space, science, and art are supremely evident in his paintings which have won him honors and awards ever since he received the senior art award in high school. In university Turner pursued multiple fields of science with a focus on space sciences. His myriad interests and skills also lead him to study archaeology (focusing on ancient Egyptian archaeology), anthropology, paleontology, ancient world history, geology, visual arts, and theatrical arts. Fine art was his anchor across this vast academic sea. Turner’s rich background experiences in archaeology and the sciences are frequently incorporated within his paintings. Turner feels that archaeology and space science are natural companions for space-faring civilizations. When viewing the rich, visual detail of Turner’s paintings, one can’t help but ponder whether these are his “visions of space” or “visions he has seen in space.” His paintings invite viewers to take a solitary journey into the depths of a universe that exists equally in their inner-space and outer-space.
Turner’s paintings have been exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally. Many of his works are in private collections. He has exhibited in galleries throughout his career although, he has exhibited more frequently in solitary shows, especially in science facilities and space related art exhibitions He has had resident art exhibits at various planetariums and science facilities. His “Galactic Visions” space art has consistently been exhibited at Elachee Nature Science Center in Gainesville, Georgia for over twenty years and has been part of Elachee’s space science exhibit for nine consecutive years. His work was chosen by the Planetary Society as part of a featured IAAA space art exhibit in Pasadena, California in conjunction with NASA’s July 4, 1997 landing of the Mars Pathfinder expedition. Turner’s“Galactic Visions” were exhibited at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia and in projected digital imagery in Sydney, Australia during the 2000 Olympics celebrations. His art has been published in space art books. Most recently, Turner’s space art was published (along with a host of fellow IAAA space artists) in the 2011 International Association of Astronomical Artists’ space art book entitled “The Beauty of Space.” Turner’s paintings are based upon scientific data, however, his paintings have also been published in science fiction related books, appearing most recently in Craig Musselman’s 2011 “Machines and Magic.”
Although space art is a vital part of his life, Turner has pursued many other interests over the years along with his multi-talented soul mate and wife, Linda Turner. He was a professional educator for twenty five years. He has actively engaged in a wide array of archaeological excavations and continues in archaeological pursuits when not creating his “Galactic Visions.” His many fields of study and interests are augmented by his professional photography and writing skills. In addition to contributing to professional journals and conducting seminars, Turner is also an accomplished published writer. He especially enjoys composing meditative prose and verse. One of his meditative poems entitled “Star Hymns” was published in “Silence of Yesterday,” an anthology of poems of the twentieth century’s best poets. “Star Hymns” was dedicated in memory of the late Carl Sagan, the acclaimed astronomer of the PBS Cosmos series. Turner’s painting, “Star Hymns” and his poem of the same title are excellent examples of how he integrates the two art forms.
Copyright 1994 by Michael C. Turner
Silently, deep in space your sacred hymns call to me;
Ancient hymns sung before the dawn of sentient souls.
Spiritual, mystical, enlightening messages of divine creation.
Soothing notes of sublime beauty and power,
Echoing through time and space until, at last,
They resound from my inner being.
Holy of Holies, Star Hymns, I know we are kindred spirits,
Separated by time and space; light years away, yet ever close.
Aliens and yet, strangely, we mirror each other’s souls.
Sing your eternal hymns silent singers!
Let the myriad galaxies of stars join in the chorus,
Sing ye heavens, lift up your souls children of dust…
Turner began an annual limited edition space art Christmas card series in 1991, entitled “Christmas in the Stars.” He integrates his space art, detailed descriptors, and meditative sacred verses to create unique space-themed Christmas cards. He shares the physical cards with his closest friends and relatives and posts them on various internet sites for everyone to freely enjoy.
In recent years, Turner has focused more on creating his “Galactic Visions” rather than expending excessive time with exhibitions. He most frequently creates private commissions which he says are far more enjoyable than seeking public venues. Although there are other talented space artists, the Galactic Visions of Michael C. Turner are truly unique in any world. If viewing art is the first level of art appreciation, and if feeling the spirit of the art and the artist is the ultimate level, then Michael C. Turner’s space art is the portal for that continuum. Turner says, “When I express myself through my art, my spirit soars, filling my canvasses with “Galactic Visions” from cosmic realms where no one has gone before . . .”
Michael C. Turner’s Galactic Visions’ space art can be viewed at: