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Elizabeth Turk at Lux Art Institute


  • WHEN Ongoing from now until October 3, 2009[days & times]
  • WHERE Lux Art Institute, 1550 South El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA
    Map | Website
  • AGES All ages
  • COST Free - $10

Lux Art Institute, San Diego’s Grand Orchid-award winning interactive art destination, will welcome sculptor Elizabeth Turk, known for her delicate marble works, as the first artist-in-residence of the 2009/2010 season.

From September 10 to October 3, Turk, a Southern California native, will be living and working at Lux as she carves a marble sculpture for her “Collars” series. Visitors can “see art happen” while she is in studio and view her exhibit, featuring numerous examples of sculpture as well as works on paper, through October 31, 2009.

Embracing a classical medium, Turk painstakingly transforms solid 400-pound blocks of Sivec and Carrara marble into improbable shapes. Her fascination with patterns results in large, intricately latticed collars and ribbons of undulating waves, evoking both man-made and organic forms: starched lace, Elizabethan ruffs, pinwheels, flowers, even the double helix of DNA. A testament to Turk’s remarkable technical ability, the marble works are a study in contrasts – solid material appears weightless, liquid, buoyant, illustrating the tension between both the inherent strength of the stone and its fragility.

“The rigor of the work, the exhaustion of the sound, the challenge intellectually and physically, makes it real…. A dialogue with stone tests you,” Turk explained.

The artist was raised in Orange County and completed her master’s degree in sculpture at the Rhinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute. Though she currently works primarily with marble, she has mastered a variety of media since the late 1980s, molding forms in wax and clay; casting objects in bronze and iron; working with fragile materials such as glass and porcelain; and creating installations using video and photography.

“We are thrilled to be opening our third season with the extraordinary sculpture of Elizabeth Turk,” says Lux Director Reesey Shaw. “The timeless quality of each work references many centuries of design and adornment and makes them cultural markers as well as contemporary icons.”

Turk’s work has been exhibited at solo shows at Bandini Art, Culver City, Calif.; Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC; and Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, Calif. Group exhibitions have included the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Ben Maltz Gallery at the Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles; Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, Calif.; American Institute of Architecture, New York; and the Japan Bank Building, Hiroshima, Japan.

Turk’s pieces are featured in such collections as the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the National Museum for Women in the Arts, both in Washington, D.C., as well as the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards and residency programs, including the L’Oreal Art and Science Prize in 2001 for a collaboration with Kirara Kiwacha in Japan, along with the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, the New York City Art Commission Award for Excellence in Design and the J.M. Kohler residency program in 2000.

Lux Art Institute, located in Encinitas, Calif., is redefining the museum experience with the region’s only artist-in-residence program that invites artists to live and work on site, while producing a commissioned work of art – start to finish. This one-of-a-kind institution invites visitors to not only “see art,” but also to “see art happen.”

Throughout each year, Lux invites several significant regional, national and international artists to participate in its residency. Visitors from across the country are able to participate in exclusive liaison-led tours, providing intimate access to the artist-in-residence, the artist’s exhibition and the museum’s permanent collection of indoor and outdoor art. Lux also offers a wide range of innovative programming for all ages.

The recipient of the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s top design award, the Grand Orchid, and the first “green” (LEED-certified) art museum in California, Lux is located alongside one of Southern California’s few remaining coastal wetlands. The five-acre site also overlooks the San Elijo Lagoon and is surrounded by a wildlife preserve that stretches to the Pacific Ocean.

Through its Phase II Capital Campaign, Lux plans to add more than 25,000 square feet of galleries and classrooms. Once completed, the new building will also feature a hilltop plaza and a series of gardens climbing between the galleries and the Artist Pavilion.

Lux Art Institute is located at 1550 South El Camino Real in Encinitas, Calif. Hours are Thursday and Friday, 1 to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and cost is $10 for two visits. For more information about donations, memberships, volunteer opportunities and more, visit or call 760-436-6611.


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