Herbert B. Turner Gallery

G7 Artists, SAG, Racing Season, Swami’s, & Starbucks



Bob Coletti's "Sunset Surfer"

All Images from the Current Exhibit at the Herbert B. Turner Gallery at Southfair

Located in Del Mar very near the Del Mar Race Track, within the Southfair complex, you will find the Herbert B. Turner Gallery. The Gallery and the Southfair complex are the creation of Herbert B. Turner, a prominent architect, artist, and resident of Del Mar, CA. He designed the gallery to provide professional gallery space for local artists to display their work.

Herb Turner was one of the 20th century's most prolific and versatile artists. Turner left his distinctive mark on Del Mar, having designed more than 50 custom residential and commercial properties in and around the community. Turner began to seriously pursue art after his graduation from West Point in 1949, where a soccer injury during his final year ruled out the military career he'd been considering. He began studying in New York with renowned painters Robert Brackman and Naum Los. Three years later, Turner came to Del Mar to apprentice with architect John Lloyd Wright, son of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

When the time came for Turner to earn a living on his own, he went to a Del Mar realtor and asked for the cheapest lot in town. Turner quickly became known as an architect who would build on lots that were difficult to design upon.
"I was known as the guy who would build on any lot, but not a flat one," Turner said. He eventually designed more than 50 custom residential and commercial properties.

Long before environmentalism became trendy, Turner developed his own philosophy that included building in harmony with the land. Terramonics, as the philosophy is called, includes four principals: integrated development, which pertains to communication between the designer, builder, and resident; land planning, which means the design is guided by the lot's topography; environmental design, meaning the natural environment of the site should be preserved as much as possible; and residential design, meaning a balance between privacy and openness is maintained. His designs are distinctive because they fit into their environment and preserve their natural surroundings and ecosystems, as opposed to bulldozing the land to have it conform to the building. His architecture also features clean lines and natural woods, as well as many windows in order to blend the lines between interior and exterior space.

Along with architecture, Turner was also an accomplished painter. "I studied under what I call masters - the top professionals I could find who taught," Turner said. "And I've followed that ever since. Instead of going to a school to get a degree in art, which doesn't mean anything, I wanted to study with the masters as they did in the Renaissance." Turner's style is classified as Realism, and he also defined himself as an American Regionalist, an artistic movement that began in the 1930s in the Midwest. He painted using the uncommon technique of egg tempura. Popular in southern Europe during the middle ages, egg tempura utilizes a mixture of egg whites, water, and pigment.

Turner’s daughter, Rachel Turner Thomas, has continued the legacy and tradition of her father by perpetuating the gallery’s ongoing existence and dedication to the noble goal of providing a quality space for local artists to display their work. Bob Coletti, local artist, who coordinates exhibits at the HBT Gallery, said. “This was a wonderful unexpected gift from its owner Rachel Turner Thomas,”

“After a few meetings with Rachel, we came to an agreement that now has me coordinating all future exhibits, keeping in the tradition of Herbert B. Turner’s wishes to use the space for local artists' work. I will treat [it] with the greatest respect,” he added. “It allows me the opportunity to help the local art community and its artists.”

Group 7 Art at Herbert Turner Gallery

Season One of 2016 features artists from Group7Art, a group Coletti founded in 2011. All artists, he said, were handpicked with the criteria of being recognized as holding local as well as national credentials. The exhibit runs now through May 1.

Season Two will feature an invitational event hosted by the Sargent Art Group, a well-respected North County arts organization founded by McNeil Sargent. Exhibit dates are from May 7–July 7. The reception and Art Fair is May 14th, from 1-6pm. Sargent was a Dynamic force in the San Diego art scene since her move here over thirty years ago from Washington DC. Upon tracing her roots back to John Singer Sargent and James McNeil Whistler, Sargent was prompted to take on the “nom d’artiste, J. McNeil Sargent" (aka Jean Braley).

One of her first undertakings when she arrived in San Diego was to organize and serve as president of the local chapter of National Artists’ Equity. The San Diego NAE chapter grew to a membership of over three hundred artists. In 1982, she was asked by artist Francoise Gilot to become Executive Director of the Printmakers’ Atelier. Under her guidance, the Atelier gained international recognition in the graphics field. She is also the founder and chairperson of the Sargent Art Group, a partnership of professional and emerging artists. With exhibits throughout the world, it's no wonder that the Center of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University named McNeil Sargent as one of the four outstanding women artists in San Diego. Her work will be included in the Sargent Art Group May 7th event.

Season Three will begin on July 15th, and will carry an Equine Theme. This event and its reception will be coordinated with the opening of the Del Mar Racing Season.

Season Four will highlight a Surf related format and will feature Surfboard Art produced by local surfboard artists. It will also include the work of Surf Legend Mike Doyle. It will be coordinated with the Swami’s Surfing Association annual event in October.

The Starbucks on Camino Del Mar, with the generous help of their shop manager Franklin Coopersmith, has become a great ally and supporter of the local arts community. His offering of the coffee shops walls for monthly solo exhibits will be coordinated with all HBT Gallery events. Visitors to Starbucks Del Mar can preview the work of very talented local artists while enjoying their coffee.

The Herbert B. Turner Gallery at Southfair is located at 2010 Jimmy Durante Boulevard in Del Mar.