Samford junior Joe Turner is an artist bringing authenticity to both his studies in interior design as well as his artwork. He began drawing at an early age and saw commercial success of his art after graduating high school. This success encouraged him to make his work available through social media and ultimately through galleries. Joe’s work, Balance of Power, was recently featured in the Architectural Digest Iconic Home, which is a virtual showhome sponsored by the publication. The piece was displayed in the home's entry and selected by Philadelphia-based Gray Space Interiors. This year, the home highlighted work by members of the Black Interior Designers Network from 13 different Black designer-led firms. Joe was also a highlighted artist in the online coverage of the showcase home.
A Birmingham native, Turner transferred to Samford’s interior design program after visiting the campus. “I fell in love with Samford and followed my heart and trust in God,” said Turner. He was initially hesitant to pursue a career in interior design because he felt like there were very few designers of color in the field. “It was hard to envision myself in the interior design world without seeing others like me there,” said Turner. The experience with the Iconic Home and the Black Interior Designers Network has helped him recognize that there is a strong black design community, and he hopes to contribute to gaining more exposure for black interior designers.
He credits Samford for strengthening his professional skills. “Samford has helped me have more confidence in articulating my design ideas,” said Turner. “One of the hallmarks of the Samford program is to ensure our students are good communicators,” said Jeannie Krumdieck, chair of the Department of Architecture and Interior Design.
Turner enjoys being an artist. “I like the spontaneity of art. The blank canvas that allows you to create and inspire others,” Turner said. His art combines abstract gestures with a neutral palette, blending a contemporary and historical feel.