2013 Highlights

Hi everyone,

This is not our holiday card. It's been so long since I posted any blogs, I'm brushing up and reminding myself how to do it, as we are about to start a new series, a new travel adventure.

In February, as many of you know, we accompanied Chuck Close, then fiancée, now wife, Sienna Shield, and righthand man, Manolo Bustamante to the White House to assist in the signing of the large Obama watercolor prints and tapestries, which were sold as a fundraiser for the Obama reelection campaign, and also helped in financing various Democratic senate elections. Prints and tapestries by Chuck Close, published by Magnolia Editions, and for the large prints and the tapestries, signed by Chuck Close and President Obama. After almost half a year had passed, we received the below photo from the White House, and then recently received permission to use the photo as long as we did not say or imply that President Obama was endorsing anything. We can categorically state that the Prez is not endorsing us in any way, although he does have his hand on my shoulder. I had forgotten about that until I saw the photo. That's how blown away I was by it all.

L to R, Manolo Bustamante, Don Farnsworth (Don currently sports a beard), Chuck Close, Sienna Shield, the Prez, me (Era). I am short, but all those people in the back row are over 6 feet tall, especially with heels.

After Washington DC we travelled on to London for Chuck's opening at the White Cube Gallery. Beautiful retrospective show titled Chuck Close: Prints, Process and CollaborationPrints and tapestries published at Magnolia were prominently included. More of this in the March 2013 blog. 

In the Spring of 2013, after we got back, Magnolia Editions underwent a facelift, designed by our daughter, Marisha Farnsworth, newly graduated from the masters program in Architecture at UCB. Marisha even got up on scaffolding and swung a hammer and attended to many construction details.

It really is awesome.

Church of the Spilled Blood

Ekaterina Palace

In July of this year Don and I accompanied artist Inez Storer, artist and husband Andrew Romanoff and owner of Smith Anderson Editions, Paula Kirkeby, to St. Petersburg, Russia. Andrew is the senior member of the Romanoff family, and this year was the 400th Anniversary of the Romanoff dynasty. It was a very interesting and amazing time, an experience different from most tourists' visits to St. Petersburg. More of this trip on our blog in July, although I have not managed to finish it. Got too busy when we returned to Magnolia. And more of the White House visit can be seen on our blog in February. 

In October Don and I received The Flourish Oakland Community Award from the Oakland Art Murmur's Board of Directors. Taken from the Flourish web site: "Presented at Oakland Art Murmur's annual benefit, this award is a recognition of Era and Don's steadfast support of creative enterprise and their altruistic fostering of the fine arts and artists in Oakland."
Aw, shucks! That is artist Hung Liu introducing us, and both Don and me looking pretty sheepish. I remember Lucille Ball saying, after receiving one of her numerous awards, that if you just stick around and keep doing what you're doing, people are impressed by that kind of endurance, and I guess we've reached that stage of our lives.

After arriving home, we (Inez, Andrew, Don and I) got to work and put together a show which we (mostly Inez) had scheduled for the Yuma Art Association, which is a large, beautiful art space in cowboy country; right on the border of Arizona, California and Mexico. The exhibition, “Grand Narratives: Collaborative Memories of St. Petersburg and Beyond” opened in November and is still up in Yuma, if you happen to be galloping through that area.

A collaborative piece from our collaborative memories: Banquet at Gatchina

They even gave us a billboard. It was one of those big electronic jobs - we got our 15 seconds of fame.

A shame we were thrown in the clinker for all of our efforts.

I am happy to report that we busted out and turned the tables on them. 

I've got to take more pictures of Don. 

Magnolia has been super busy; everyone working hard, as Don and I managed to run out the back door. We've been working frantically every day of the week and every weekend day. It was one of those departures where you're buttoning up your shirt as you're running for your plane. Thank goodness we have a great staff holding down the fort. Magnolia will be closed for the holidays, reopening on January 2nd.


Era and Don