Global Village Museum to open exhibit portraying Istanbul’s culture

Maddie Wright

Exhibit: “Life in Istanbul ~ Village of Millions”

Artist: Gabrielle Reeves


Opening date: Sept. 1

Cost: Free

Many people use art as a means for viewing, perceiving and respecting culture. The

Gabrielle Reeves stands and paints a building on her easel
Gabrielle Reeves paints Istanbul.
(Photo courtesy of The Global Village Museum)

Global Village Museum is no stranger to this concept.

A new exhibit, titled “Life in Istanbul ~ Village of Millions,” by Gabrielle Reeves, opens on Sept. 1.  

“Creating this art has been hugely significant for me because this has been a big adventure and an immense time of growth and chance in my life,” Reeves said.

Reeves received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Wyoming. During her time at school, she participated in a study abroad program in Turkey and it inspired her. 

“After graduating I decided to move to Istanbul as I had always been interested in living abroad, and the country had such a dramatic affect on me,” Reeves said. “I saved money for two years and moved to a city of 18 million people with a single backpack.”

Dawn Behr, Global Village Museum administrative assistant, said the museum chose the exhibit for its international appeal. 

“We like to showcase international artwork in all of our galleries,” Behr said. “We love to showcase that art, and her artwork is beautiful.”


On Friday, for the opening of her exhibit, there will be an event from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. featuring her art, a Turkish pop-up market and live music by folk band Crispy Watkins and River. 

The beautiful thing about folk music is that although it is unique to its particular place, it also reaches beyond to connect with people from all walks of life,” Watkins said. “Thus, folk music is the ultimate form of intercultural dialogue.”

Crispy Watkins and River frontman, Crispy Watkins, said folk music is true to the human experience, which is a good addition to Reeve’s art display.

“I think my music celebrates a more true and authentic world that is sometimes covered up by modern civilization,” Watkins said.

Reeves said life in Istanbul offers different insights. 

“I feel a tremendous amount of artistic freedom there because of less restrictions, boundaries and rules, especially about places to explore,” Reeves said. “The U.S has

A painted picture of Gabrielle Reeves with the city scape of Istanbul behind her
A self portrait of Gabrielle Reeves in Istanbul. (Photo courtesy of The Global Village Museum)

much more order and predictability.” 

Reeves said she tried to display those differences in her exhibit. 

“My experience of Turkey has been a very special and intimate one, and my art has allowed for this intimacy in a lot of ways,” Reeves said. “I am excited to see if visitors can recognize that in my drawings and paintings.”

Reeves said creating art about a different country and culture allows her to reflect on her surroundings. 

“I am also interested in our effect on the environment we live in and how that environment or place can shift us in physical or mental ways,” Reeves said.

Reeves hopes that “Life in Istanbul ~ Village of Millions” offers an intimate display and an inspirational message.

“I hope people leave with inspiration and desire to experience new cultures with artistic response, whatever that means to them,” Reeves said.

Collegian reporter Maddie Wright can be reached at or on Twitter @MaddieRWright.