Explore the art of John Strickland and Raymond Turner at The Artcraft Cottage (49 E. Madison St., Franklin - across from WildGeese Bookshop) from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. for this free event.
John Strickland and Raymond Turner were two distinct but prominent artists within the Franklin community whose impact can not go unnoticed. During Discover Downtown Franklin’s Ethos Festival of the Arts, on October 7, 2023, the Artcraft Theatre along with Creative Council Franklin will be celebrating their art that ranges from jazz-inspired abstract acrylics to vibrant floral canvases.
John Strickland's studio overflowing with creations.
John Strickland was an artist full of multitudes. You could tell he was in his art studio at 550 E Jefferson St. when you heard jazz music dancing down the corridor. His art is a combination of movement, instinct, and spirit. Not only was he a painter, but he was a writer, poet, and a professional jazz musician who played gigs into his 80s. John’s training was in the form of informal apprenticeships from Curt C. Burkhart, a black and white photographer, and David Backer, a jazz musician. These two artists taught him composition, emotional effect, and the joy of trusting one’s trained intuition.
“Painting for me is the right brain solving a problem of its own creation,” said John in a bio he wrote for his art show in Columbus in the spring of 2022. “It can be fun, but just as often, it is maddening. I work in acrylics because their fast drying time allows me to make the many changes that are typical in my work. This process continues until I surrender to the will and wisdom of intuition.”
In addition to his career as an artist, John taught football at Franklin Community High School for 27 years. He passed away in December 2022.
Raymond Turner's painting of Monet's Gardens
Raymond Turner was a visionary. Being an architect, designer, woodworker, painter, and potter were just a few of his many talents. His portfolio contains an abundance of meticulously crafted compositions. While his lively botanic paintings are showstoppers in their own right, you can’t look past his mastery in his woodwork and architecture.
His home is a statement, he designed it himself. When you turn every corner, his artistry – hand-carved wooden furniture, custom ornate frames, restored antique furniture, and of course, his paintings – fills the space. His career as a professional artist and architect spanned from the mid ‘60s through 2020.
Raymond Turner at work restoring the beansprout murals in the Artcraft lobby.
In 1969, Raymond developed the “To Market to Market” series to commemorate the restoration of the Indianapolis City Market. During the restoration of the Historic Artcraft Theatre, Raymond curated many of the materials on the theater’s interior and exterior, including the beloved beansprout murals in the theatre’s lobby. He passed away in June 2022.
We hope you will join us to celebrate and honor these two distinct but prominent artists who called Franklin their home.
Megan Elaine is a writer and storyteller who lives in Franklin, IN.