Peggy Ann Turner is an abstract Artist who started her career in the Architect industry. After studying Health Sciences at Dawson College in Montreal, she was set for a degree in Biology – yet when she enrolled at McGill she realized it was not the path that set her heart on fire. With a refined eye for the Arts, she pursued her passion and went into Architect and Design instead. After a successful career spanning well over a decade, she finds herself immersed more into the art space of design. A journey that brought her home, to herself and to her authentic talent. Here is her story.
Did you always know you would go into architecture and design?
No, I did not. My earliest ambition was to study Fine Arts, however my father, being ever so practical, discouraged me so I can say I came into it in a roundabout manner but probably one I was destined for. I am grateful for the training I received at McGill School of Architecture.
Tell me about your path that led you to start your own company?
After graduating in Architecture, I worked for a firm in Montreal doing mostly commercial projects and some private homes in Westmount for the same commercial clients. Actually, I worked on a building, 2000 Peel for Canderel in the early 1980’s and in the last few years the CEO of Canderel has purchased several of my paintings to hang in his offices in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. In 1983 my husband Glenn Peterson – an Architect as well- was offered a job in South Florida so we moved and settled in South Florida. I obtained work immediately for a progressive, design- oriented architect doing private homes and cultural buildings in Fort Lauderdale.
After four years we decided we wanted to establish our own office and start a family- at the same time- and we wanted to do it in Montreal. So, we moved back to Canada, rented an office in the Balfour building on Boulevard St. Laurent corner Prince Arthur- the complete antithesis of the Florida environment we had- and started work at our own firm. Actually, our first project in 1987 was to renovate four floors in this building for the owner- Globe Publishing. In 2008 I took more of a direction towards my art and rented a studio on the Lachine Canal- then moving to this location in 2014, the Globe Building situated beside the Museum of Fine Arts- where I now have a display of my art work in the boutique.
What is your goal as an Artist?
As an artist, the decisions I make are all about me- I am not thinking about anybody else. Of course I hope to connect with viewers and that people like the results.
Where do you think the residential real estate market (in Montreal and surrounding areas) is headed? Are you seeing a shift in the way people are investing today?
I am not really involved in real estate investing however it is apparent with the escalating cost of construction and land over the past years, condominiums have become smaller and smaller to make them affordable. During the pandemic people no doubt found it difficult to work at home in such small confines. We designed and developed condo projects in the past and 2 bedroom units were around 1300 square feet, now perhaps they are half that size!
What systems do you have in place for internal growth at the company?
As an artist I use social media daily as a way to inform and stay in contact with people. I try to inspire people with photography, poetry and my art. The interior design work I do is always by referral or clients I have worked with in the past.
What does success represent to you?
So called “success” is a double edge sword once you achieve one level you expect to go to another. As a designer, if my clients are happy with the end result, I have succeeded. As an artist, if each exhibition I do shows an evolution, growth and authenticity- that to me is success.
What inspires you to think bigger? Where do yourself in 5-10 years?
I hope to be doing art for as long as I can hold a paintbrush.
How do you define work life balance? How do you apply it in your day-to-day life?
For me life and work are completely intertwined. I have worked with my husband since 1986 and our office is on our home. Being an artist is a lifestyle. Art is on my mind everywhere I go- be it for example on a holiday to Greece- which resulted in my show “Into the Blue” – or out for a walk around the city. I take dance classes five days a week which inspires and informs my art. I sit on the board of the Quartier du Musée, we meet frequently with the goal of promoting the Arts in this neighborhood. I love to cook and bake, and spend time with friends and family. My two sons have always been supportive of my art either by helping with technology or referrals for design projects and or art purchases. I feel very fortunate to be able to practice my art and design professions together.
Photo Credit – Arne Peterson
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