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Layla Fanucci Artist, Co-Founder of Charter Oak Winery

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From R to L: Robert Fanucci with daughter Nicole, wife Layla, son David and daughter Michelle.

Layla Fanucci

Artist, Co-Founder of Charter Oak Winery
Much like Robert’s approach to winemaking, Layla’s work stems from a passion for the process of painting and continually evolves. She is renowned for her paintings of cityscapes — visions of architecture executed in shifting fields of color, layered with webs of linear brush strokes, which coalesce into vivid images of cities. Her intuitive approach to painting directly on canvas, without preliminary sketches, lends Layla’s work an intense energy that captures at once the frenetic urban experience and the artist’s inner world.
Layla Fanucci, born in 1957 in San Francisco, graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Sociology in 1981. Raised by her father, a Turkish architect, and her mother, a teacher from France, her parents instilled her with a love for languages and cultures from an early age. Layla began her career as a musician and composer, and became a pillar of the St. Helena music community for 25 years, immersing herself in teaching choir, voice and guitar in the local schools and churches. The search for a bright and bold original work of art for her home led Layla to become a painter; unable to find what she was looking for, Layla set out to paint the vision herself. The transformative experience ultimately propelled Layla to leave her job as a teacher to pursue painting full-time in 1999.
Over time, Layla’s early figurative works evolved into the more abstract, powerful cityscapes for which she is known today. Just as Robert’s hand is present in every aspect of the Charter Oak wine making process, so Layla’s is undeniably present in her own works of art. Her paintings are executed in searching brush strokes that capture the unique character of each city that she paints, layering city upon city, looking to photographs and postcards culled from her own travels and her friends’ for inspiration. The resulting images attest to the diversity of urban life and the human moods that infuse each city with its unique character.
Layla’s dream-like work has been exhibited in more than 200 shows at galleries and museums worldwide, including the Christopher Hill Gallery in California, Andrews Art Museum in North Carolina, Chasen Gallery in Virginia, Le Musee de Marrakech in Morocco, and The Jayson Samuel Gallery and The Walter Wickiser Gallery, both in New York, among others. She has received numerous commissions and her work is held in private collections across the United States and abroad. A book of Layla’s work, “City of Dreams Unabridged 1999-2011,” is available for purchase on her website,

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