YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For more than 50 years, Maple Turner III has been expressing his talent through art. Now, he is living out his dream of having his very own exhibit at the Butler Institute of American Art.
“I’m overwhelmed. I’m very, very humbled, It doesn’t happen overnight. I knew it wasn’t going to happen overnight, but I didn’t know if I was going live to have a one-man show,” Turner said.
Turner was 6 years old when he first walked into the Butler. He knew then he was an artist. He also knew he would one day have his own art displayed in that same building.
Well, that day came Sunday when his exhibit titled “The Journey” kicked off its display in the Mesaros Gallery of the Butler.
“I wanted the public to see this showing, this is my life. It took 53 years to come to the Butler,” Turner said.
Sixty-five pieces are displayed in the gallery. The oldest piece dates back to 1969, during Turner’s time at East High School in Youngstown. Over the years, Turner studied in New York and Europe, adding more and more pieces to his collection. In total, he has created 195,000 pieces of art.
The pieces chosen for this exhibit were done during his time as a student at East High School, Youngstown State University, Parsons School of Design in New York and the City College of New York.
He said he is grateful and humbled to be able to share that art with the world.
“I will leave that art to different colleges, for the fine performing arts, ballet, opera, classical music, computer graphics, if you want to be a newscaster. I’m gonna make sure the young people get that art,” Turner said.
On Sunday, Turner held a “meet the artist” event at the gallery. He was able to meet his fans and supporters and explain his work to them. Dozens of people came and went to see Turner and his work.
The exhibit will be on display until Feb. 26.