Show us your space: Chad Turner
Art and creativity are a family affair for Chad Turner (Media Studies Time-Based, 2008) who opened the Creative House of Art and Design (which goes by the moniker CHAD) in December 2020. Turner and his husband, Chuck Beatty, run the business, which provides art classes, workshops, events, and family activities for children and adults in the Northern Kentucky area, near Cincinnati.
Turner moved to the area after graduating from CCAD and taught in the community for nearly 15 years, earning the nickname “Mr. Chad.” However, he lost his teaching jobs in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting him to refocus on making and selling art at local markets. Within a few months, the popularity of Turner’s work prompted him and Beatty to open CHAD, which includes retail space for Turner’s handmade goods, art supplies and more.
The couple have a partnership with CHAD: Turner designs and stocks the store, while Beatty manages its bar and events (which Turner then leads). Turner also is responsible for taking CHAD on the road to teach after-school art programs in local schools.
Classes and workshops at CHAD include such subjects as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, character art, introduction to art, and much more. “Our typical customers are people that love art and are looking for family things to do on the creative side,” Turner says.
Turner’s favorite quote, “If you can dream it, you can do it,” is reflected in his creative ambition, which includes the classes CHAD hosts on-site and off-, free instructional videos he shares on YouTube, maintaining his own creative practice, and supporting other small businesses in the community through a monthly flea market. Turner also designed and decorated CHAD’s interior, with bright colors inspired by cartoons and the bold hues used in the printing process.
We recently spoke with Turner about what he’s crafting with CHAD and how his CCAD education continues to play a pivotal role in the work he does today.
What do you love about CHAD?
I love that we are all inclusive and welcoming to all. There is something for everyone in the family to do.
I had a family drive 55 miles just to hang out in the shop because they felt like they were at home. We were very proud of this because we were able to create this environment where people feel safe and creative and are welcome.
Can you describe your personal creative practice? Where do you create your own work?
I have a studio in my house--well, I got rid of my dining room and made that my studio! We also created a professional studio in the basement where we shoot our free art instruction videos.
Do you have any shows or events coming up?
We sell our designs every weekend at Findlay Market and then we are hosting our own market every fourth Sunday in Covington, Kentucky.
What did you learn at CCAD that influences the work you do today?
What didn’t I learn? Time management was a great thing I took away. I also learned to never give up and keep moving forward. Art is always evolving, and my skills need to as well. Learning all the Adobe programs was HUGE. I use them every day.
Color theory was a great thing to take away. Thank you, Julie Abijanic.
And working in the Saturday Morning Art Classes at CCAD helped me get ready for all the teaching I would be doing, without even knowing it.
There is so much that I took away that if I listed it all, this article would never end.
Learn more about CCAD’s Film & Video program program.
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