Bill Turner has been involved in the Muscatine art community for years. He has served on the board of the Pearl City Players, directs musicals for the New Era Lutheran Church, has been a member of the Elks Chanters, and currently sings with the Muscatine Civic Chorale.
Turner came to Muscatine to work for Bandag after graduating from Augustana College in Rock Island, and he still works for Bridgestone, marking 36 years with the company. Turner and his wife, Mary, have three adult children, and his daughter Kari was the inspiration for his venture into mosaic art. Recently, Turner and his wife rode their bicycles in Colorado to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.
Turner creates artistic reproductions and sports team logos using beer bottle caps. “My daughter wanted a bottle cap coffee table for her apartment when she was in college at the University of Iowa. So I made one for her and had an ‘aha’ moment that I could make mosaics with bottle caps.” Turner went to work and created Sudsy Mosaics. He has made numerous sports team logos and has even recreated Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”
Turner has completed 40 mosaics to date. He says, “Some have been given as gifts and several have been donated to the annual JDRF gala in Cedar Rapids. My first sports-themed mosaic was a St. Louis Cardinals logo, which was a gift to Mike ‘Boonie’ Kleist. I did it as a thank you to him for saving bottle caps for me.” The piece is on display in the mezzanine of Boonie’s on the Avenue.
His most popular designs are the Cubs, Cardinals, and Hawkeye logos. “I accept challenges,” Turner says. “I’m currently working on a San Francisco 49ers mosaic that is turning out really well.”
Kari Turner was diagnosed with diabetes as a child, and after being approached by people who were interested in his works, Turner decided that this would be a good business to generate money for juvenile diabetes. Turner sells his work at Slightly Vintage in West Liberty and We Can Frame That in Muscatine. All profits go to JDRF (formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Bill Turner can be emailed at [email protected] if you would like to commission a work.