Local actor exhibits artwork at Civic Center in Encinitas

"Phases 9" (detail) by Bruce Turk
“Phases 9” (detail) by Bruce Turk
(Bruce Turk

Carlsbad actor repurposes old books and stage sets to create fine art.


Actor Bruce Turk is currently exhibiting artwork at the Civic Center Gallery, Encinitas City Hall, 505 Vulcan Ave., Encinitas. The solo exhibit, “Archive”, will be on view until Aug. 28. An artist reception with live music and artist programming will be held Saturday, July 23, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Admission is free. All work is for sale.

Turk creates artwork using re-purposed materials such as old books, play scripts, and even the sets of plays. His recent work was created on hand-made panels using wood reclaimed from the North Coast Repertory Theatre production of The Homecoming, in which he appeared. Pages from old books form the heart of his abstract work. “The first time I tore the pages from a book, it felt like a sacrilege,” says Turk. “But I’ve come to realize that destruction can engender creation and rebirth.” He regularly scours book fairs, book shops and library sales for vintage material. “I love the texture and patina of old pages. For me they are a tactile reminder of where we come from. They connect us to history.”

“Archive” chronicles the struggle to connect with others during the past two years. Thirty mixed media pieces chart a shift from the deep isolation and tension of the pandemic toward an open, more balanced state of mind. The most recent work evokes softening, acceptance, and calmness. “I hope it reflects what all of us aspire to achieve,” says Turk.

Turk is frequently seen in productions at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach, most recently Same Time Next Year, Ben Butler, and The Homecoming. With credits including Broadway, Lincoln Center, Off-Broadway, and major regional theaters including the Old Globe in San Diego, Turk has also maintained a practice of visual art for over 30 years. His artwork has appeared in juried exhibits at Art on 30th in San Diego and numerous literary journals. It is held in private collections in San Diego, Seattle, and San Francisco.