After a recent visit to Magnolia Editions, Oakland Art Enthusiast editors Monique Delaunay and Al Cosio interviewed Magnolia co-founder and director Donald Farnsworth for an "Arts in Depth" feature in the online magazine that includes a series of beautiful photos by Cosio of the studio and works in progress.
This comprehensive interview covers everything from Farnsworth's philosophy when developing projects with artists like Chuck Close and Kiki Smith to a consideration of Oakland's art scene and the ways that Magnolia serves as a hub for a whole community of Bay Area artists and art lovers:
OAE: Are there particular projects you are especially proud of being a part? Any particular artist with whom you have worked that is particularly meaningful?
Farnsworth: What is more important to me than any one particular artist, and what is ultimately the foremost reason for Magnolia’s existence and continued survival, is the community we have built here. Without the brilliance of local artists like Squeak Carnwath, Rupert Garcia, Hung Liu, Lewis deSoto, Guy Diehl, Mel Ramos, Mildred Howard, Mark Stock, Enrique Chagoya and George Miyasaki, we would not have the studio we have today. Without the support of museums like the de Young, where curator Karin Breuer honored the studio and Rupert Garcia in 2011 with the show Rupert Garcia: The Magnolia Editions Projects 1991-2011, surveying our twenty years of collaboration with Rupert, and without the continued support of friends like the Bay Wolf restaurant and Brown Sugar Kitchen we would not have the opportunities to do what we do. Magnolia sometimes serves as a de facto think tank, where a master bookbinder like John DeMerritt may drop in at the same time as an expert glass artist like Dorothy Lenehan or a brilliant curator and scholar like Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz. Ideas and enthusiasm are constantly being exchanged between people from various creative disciplines: that’s the heart and soul of the studio.
Please visit Oakland Art Enthusiast to read the full interview and to check out more profiles of local galleries, exhibitions and artists.