Before her retirement, Suzanne (Susan) Turner taught at the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture for almost 25 years. Turner holds a BA in art history from Emory University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia. During her years at LSU, Turner taught landscape architecture, worked as a consultant for firms across the country, was the graduate coordinator for the College of Art & Design, twice served the college as associate dean, and was the interim director of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture. Now, she is principal of a research and design firm, Suzanne Turner Associates, which specializes in historical and cultural landscapes and design and planning where meaning and place matter.
Over the course of her career, Turner has worked as a consultant for historic landscapes, including the Shadows-on-the-Teche and Drayton Hall near Charleston, South Carolina, both properties of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; Oakland and Magnolia plantations in Natchitoches, Louisiana, properties of the National Park Service; Bayou Bend and Rienzi, properties of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; and numerous other house museum properties. In 1995, her interest in open-air markets and fresh, local foods sparked Turner to cofound the Baton Rouge Red Stick Farmers’ Market.
Turner is the author of The Garden Diary of Martha Turnbull, Mistress of Rosedown Plantation (LSU Press, 2012); coauthor of Houston’s Silent Garden: Glenwood Cemetery, 1871–2009 (Texas A&M Press, 2010); and coauthor of The Gardens of Louisiana: Places of Work and Wonder (LSU Press, 1997).
In spring 2014, the College of Art & Design thanked Turner for her commitment to LSU and the Baton Rouge community by honoring her with the 2014 College of Art & Design Honor Award and inviting her to deliver the spring 2014 commencement address.