Annie Leibovitz and relatives purchase Healdsburg building for community art center


444 Healdsburg Avenue is slated to become a nexus of arts, culture and creative exchange in Sonoma County. The 1700-square-foot warehouse formerly owned by the Rafanelli Family’s Healdsburg Machine Company will be transformed into a yet-to-be named gallery featuring exhibitions, new media installations, performances, lectures, and more. All events will be free and open to the public. The space will also contain a small retail shop specializing in contemporary design objects and books.

444 Healdsburg Avenue remains a family-run business, guided by Megan Steinman, an independent curator and Director of The Underground Museum, a non-profit arts organization operating in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA). Megan has produced exhibitions, installations and events at institutions around the world, including Museo Pecci Milano, Sonos Studio Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, District Berlin, ICA Boston, the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Her Healdsburg gallery will present a rotating program of international and local artists, each offering vibrant new ways to see, hear and engage with the world around us.

The Steinmans have been Healdsburg residents for nearly 15 years. Megan’s mother, Susan Leibovitz Steinman, is a painter and social sculptor who creates public installations and temporary performance works that address ecological, social and economic concerns voiced by the communities she collaborates with. Locally, Susan has exhibited at the Sonoma County Museum of Art and Barndiva. Her father, Arnie Steinman, is an electrostatics consultant and the former Chief Technology Officer for Ion Systems, an Alameda-based company that develops clean room technology for computer microchip production. Susan’s sister and Megan's aunt, photographer Annie Leibovitz, is a partner in the property. Annie and Megan previously worked together for four years on Leibovitz’s book, American Music.

"A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people." ~ Annie Leibovitz

The purchase of 444 Healdsburg Avenue marks the family’s commitment to Healdsburg and desire to take a more active role in their local community. While the building does require some structural rehabilitation, it is the family’s intention to keep the original architecture and facade in tact. Construction will begin later this year.

Charlene Schnall, Broker Associate Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty represented the family in the purchase and Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty represented the Seller.

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