Women of Wisdom show featuring 70 local women artists is extended to August 13

Women gather at the “Looking Back/Moving Forward: The Wisdom of Older Women” Exhibition at Fullerton Museum. Featuring local women including Barbara Johnson (one of the founders of Fullerton Observer), JoAnn Brannock (current columnist at Fullerton Observer). (Photo courtesy of Fullerton Museum)

Fullerton resident, Donna Edman, has photographed and compiled a book to honor the wisdom of 49 mature women between 50 and 95 years of age. The portraits are in a current show at the Fullerton Museum along with paintings by several local women artists. The Fullerton Museum Center has extended the current exhibit Looking Back / Moving Forward for another week. The new date of closure is 13th of August.
“We wanted to focus the show on Donna’s work, but we also did a call-out to artists. I think we had over 200 people submit, and we have over 70 women artists that are on display here,” said the executive director of the Fullerton Museum Center, Elvia Rubalcava.
The book’s purpose was to share the advice and stories of ordinary, non-celebrity, but wise women. Each life story was about gaining independence, creating a path to follow, and following that path, and the hard-won lessons about courage, grace, and strength. Also included was the advice each would give to their 20-year-old selves. Interestingly, the majority of results of this advice were the sharing of wisdom of knowing oneself and becoming authentic.
Each photographic portrait was not retouched to show the well-earned wrinkles, age spots, gnarled knuckles, and pounds of these authentic women of wisdom. These women paved the way for younger women and could serve as mentors for the next generation to become their true selves and find their passion.
Donna’s interest in compiling such a book relates to her own experiences of being asked what her favorite color was. She responded that it was “blue” because that was the favorite color of the colleague at work who asked her that question. At that moment, Donna realized that she had been living for the approval of others and not for who she was. The revelation of this led to other careers as a social worker, a geriatric care manager with her own company, and later to her present career as an award-winning portrait photographer. She sees her role in her current job as helping people become who they genuinely are while being photographed.
Something unique about Donna Edmans is that she is always learning. She takes on projects with enthusiasm and a drive to discover the small details of what it takes to accomplish something. She is a real inspiration; now, at 67, she is also a woman of wisdom! And what would she say to her 20-year-old self? It’s OK not to be perfect, to try things and fail, to ask for help when she doesn’t know or understand something, and to not do it all and still be the best.


The Fullerton Museum Center also hosted a Women’s Festival on July 22. The event included live performances, guest speakers and a “Restorative Circle: Women Healing Ourselves through Conversation,” led by educator and leadership coach Danielle Nava-Mijares and Wendy Guzman.

The event also celebrated the Fullerton Museum Center’s recent accolades including Nonprofit of the Year for state Senator Josh Newman’s 29th district, an award of $4.5 million in state funding to support Fullerton Museum Center and Elvia Rubalcava’s Women of the Year award from Fullerton Councilmember Ahmad Zahra. (Note: Councilmember Zahra wrote a letter petitioning for the Museum to be considered for the award).

“A few weeks ago when I got the phone call from the senator telling us they were able to get us $4.5 million in state funding, I couldn’t believe it,” said Rubalcava. “This funding means stability for the museum, it means longevity for the museum.” 

Fullerton Museum is located at 301 N Pomona Ave, Fullerton | (714) 519-4461

Monday Closed
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 12–4 PM
Thursday 12–8:30 PM
Friday 12–4 PM
Saturday 12–4 PM
Sunday 12–4 PM
To learn more about Donna, search her website at

The “Looking Back/Moving Forward: The Wisdom of Older Women” exhibition at Fullerton Museum feature portraits of women over 50 by photographer and author, Donna Edman. (Photo courtesy of Fullerton Museum)


Local artist Marjorie Kerr is a part of the groundbreaking, Fullerton-based female artist crew known as “The Bloody Marys.”