Furniture show exhibits sculpture of Jimmy Carter's right hand
ESCONDIDO, Calif. - Wood, A Furniture Show IX opened on Jan. 12 and runs through Feb. 3 at the Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery in Escondido, California. About 50 finely crafted pieces of wood furniture will be on display and for sale with some pieces priced over $10,000.
One item not for sale, however, is a small sculpture titled “Teamwork” which features bronze castings of President Jimmy Carter's right hand and San Diego artist Russ Filbeck’s left hand. It is one of three such sculptures created to help raise money for the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia to fight diseases around the world.
The second sculpture, featuring Filbeck’s right hand and Carter’s left, is owned by Carter while the third sculpture, featuring only the former president’s hands, was recently sold for $140,000 as part of a fundraiser for the Carter Center where it will eventually be displayed.
Filbeck has known Carter, who has been a life-long woodworker, for many years and has been making items to be auctioned off by the center for decades. Together, he and Carter made a dining set that sold at the center’s auction in 2016 for $600,000.
“I felt we ought to commemorate that somehow, and that’s when I thought of the bronze hands holding the drawknife that we used to make the chairs while sitting on a shaving horse,” Filbeck said. “This represents that process.”
Sponsored by Escondido’s Murphy’s Fine Woodworking owners, Brian and Nancy Murphy, this is the ninth year the show has been held and will feature the works of 33 craftsmen.
“At last year’s opening night we had 450 people here, but the thing that’s so important to me is that 3,200 people walked through these doors just to see the show over 25 days,” said Brian Murphy, a past chairman of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce. “That puts feet on the ground here in town that affects all the business.”
Murphy says that he is excited about the President Carter sculpture because he feels that it will get even more people to visit the free show. The gallery will be open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Angeleen Kipfer

Angel Kipfer is an editorial intern at the Woodworking Network.