Published on April 28, 2023 at 7 p.m. by Ashley Smith  
Joe Turner Crate Barrel

Interior design major Joe Turner is a May 2023 Samford graduate. While at Samford, Turner has not only received an interior design degree but has also had the opportunity to explore several entrepreneurial ventures. 

Most recently, Turner collaborated with Crate & Barrel to be one of their featured artists.  The home goods retailer saw Turner’s paintings on his Instagram page and reached out to him.  His work is now available on the website, and he plans to continue to work with Crate & Barrel after graduating.

“Seeing something that I have created that people gravitate towards is such a wonderful feeling!” said Turner about the reception of his work. “That is just indication that I am walking into my purpose in life.”

Turner has also had his work featured in the Architectural Digest Iconic Home, which was a virtual show home in 2021 sponsored by the publication. The home highlighted work by members of the Black Interior Designers Network from 13 different Black designer-led firms.  Turner was also a highlighted artist in the online coverage of the showcase home. 

Turner credits Samford for providing him with a strong foundation in interior design along with assisting him through his business endeavors. “Samford has helped me mature as an entrepreneur. My professors, Jeannie Krumdieck and Ryan Misner, have been very helpful in connecting me with individuals that have provided insights and guidance for my business ventures,” said Turner.

He also appreciates the relationship between faculty and students at Samford.  “When you develop a good relationship with your professor, you know what they expect from you as a student. At the end of the day, the professors want you to succeed,” said Turner. “The main thing that stands out in Samford’s program is the amount of detail that is covered with each project. It really prepares you for the real world and a successful future.”

As an artist, Turner is drawn to “the spontaneous qualities of abstract artwork, as it allows you to embark on a journey beyond your own understanding,” said Turner. “ It is also free of stylistic limitations, without boxing my artistic voice into a certain look. My artwork is a direct reflection of my identity, my spirit, and my innermost self.”

He especially loves exploring the endless potential of neutral colors, unusual shapes and figural details, and loose brushstrokes that create a dynamic symphony of texture, scale, and perspective. “Regardless of the finished product, and the diverse array of aesthetics that emerge from my artistic process, every piece I create is distinctly and unmistakably Joe Turner,” Turner said.

A Birmingham native, Turner plans to take time as a full-time artist in Dallas, Texas, after graduation. 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.