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William Turtle: An Undiscovered Legacy

  • ViCA/Pedro 401 South Mesa Street San Pedro, CA, 90731 United States (map)


The Venice Institute of Contemporary Art (ViCA) presents "William Turtle: Undiscovered Legacy" at our new annex space, ViCA/Pedro, opening Thursday, October 4, from 6-9pm in San Pedro, California, and continuing until November 30, 2018.

This is a comprehensive exhibition of an important - yet completely undiscovered - artist who practiced various forms of art, from geometric assemblage to metal and wood sculpture, to collage and found object derived works. "Billy" - as he's known to his friends - is fondly remembered for practicing his art daily while supporting himself as a woodworker in a well known collective studio on Main Street in Santa Monica for many decades. He rarely participated in shows - the occasional Venice Art Walk, and a couple of exhibitions in the 1990's organized by artist friend Sandy Bleifer at the Bradbury Building and a local El Salvadoran cultural center. Decades later, he's been rediscovered.

Upon an urgent call from Bleifer on a rainy day in March 2018, ViCA discovered his work left behind in his studio, and many other artist's works being thrown in a dumpster, and endeavored to protect and preserve, clean and document them.

Partly as a result of the sudden devastating death of his wife and lifelong companion Bonnie - longtime part of Venice's venerable Small World Books - early in 2018, and less than a month later being evicted from his studio with just a few weeks notice - another casualty of gentrification - Billy was brought back to the east coast to live with his immediate family and unfortunately is no longer able to make his beloved art.

As part of our ongoing mission we present the remaining lifelong work of William "Billy" Turtle, along with insightful exhibits from a future-forward thinking, yet historical perspective.

There will be a comprehensive catalog of Turtle's body of works published following the exhibition, with essays by Curator Anna Dusi and Director of ViCA Juri Koll, among others.

We encourage members of the community who know William Turtle, own his works, and/or have anecdotes about him to contact us.

ViCA/Pedro is part of the The Loft in San Pedro at 401 S Mesa St, San Pedro, CA 90731. ViCA/Pedro Hours: Saturday 1-4pm - PLEASE call first to confirm you arrival, first Thursdays of each month, 6-9pm, and by appointment.

For inquiries:
Juri Koll/ViCA

Earlier Event: September 21
Out In The Street