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Interview: Juan Negrin: A Life of Service to the Huichol Juan Negrín was a top student at Yale in the late 1960s, but just before graduation he abandoned his studies to come to the Bay Area where a cultural revolution was in full swing. Negrín’s background is unusual. His grandfather was the Spanish President driven from power by Franco’s forces in 1939. His father married an American woman and Negrín was born in Mexico City. With an inherited bent for political action, Negrín was soon a participant in the Viet Nam protests in Berkeley and the volatile atmosphere of the 1960s. By 1970 Negrín had ... Aug 2, 1993, 15884 reads


 

Interview: Brian Rood, Avenue Books: Losing Ground, Berkeley 01/16/04 I’d heard the end was near for Avenue Books, the kind of intimate bookstore that now seems to belong the past—Brian had told me himself. It had to be a depressing event, but Rood had not lost his dry wit. I took it as a matter of character. Nothing to be gained by dragging customers into the sad story.  One evening some years ago I’d been strolling north along College Avenue toward the U.C. campus when I discovered the place. Tucked neatly in between neighborhood businesses it could easily have been missed—another feature of its charm. It didn’t shout. ... Jan 16, 2004, 5736 reads


 

Interview with James Seeba: Medicine Journey James Seeba was an early visitor to China after its reopening to the West where he studied the traditional Chinese healing arts of herbal medicine and acupuncture. In addition, Seeba is a careful follower both of new developments in alternative medicine and current medical research. He practices in Santa Rosa California. Seeba is talking about his experiences in China. His wife Arly sits nearby. James Seeba:  When we were practicing in the hospital, or were in the class room, there would be this "shadow ... Apr 2, 1995, 3610 reads


 

This Larger Thing in the World: Conversation with Mildred Howard I met Mildred Howard at her Berkeley home and studio on a Friday morning, the day she takes off from a very busy schedule divided between her on-going work as an artist and her duties as the director of the Alice Waters "Edible Schoolyard" at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley. I interviewed her for issue #3 of works & conversations. We began talking about gardens in general…Richard Whittaker ​Mildred Howard: I especially love vernacular gardens. There’s something about them. works:  Yes. The gardens of regular folks. ... Nov 30, -1, 97674 reads


 

Paolo Soleri: Architecture as Salvation: Before leaving for Arcosanti, it was explained that Paolo Soleri no longer gave interviews. I decided to take my chances, confident the trip would be worth it, no matter how it turned out. Before leaving, I read Soleri's Arcology, The Omega Seed, The Urban Ideal and a few other things.      I spent a couple of days at Arcosanti taking the place in and chatting with residents and guests. While there I attended a talk Soleri gave to a group of young architects from Japan and enjoyed one of Soleri's weekly "frugal soup" ... Nov 30, -1, 8541 reads


 

A Conversation with Ann Hatch: Making a Place for Art I met Ann Hatch at her home in North Beach in San Francisco where I was immediately taken by the vivid presence of the art throughout her house. And so first, we spent some time with an art tour, one instance of which I'll share. A large oil painting of a woman and her daughter caught my attention above a stairwell. "That's a Dali," Ann explained. "It's my mother and me. For a couple of years, we spent a lot of time with Dali." We finally retired to her living room with its magnificent view north and west over the ... Jan 13, 2003, 10902 reads


 

Ehren Tool: A Marine's Journey ceramic art by Ehren Tool One afternoon I was visiting artist Mark Bulwinkle at his studio. I'd heard he was building a new kiln which would allow him to work with larger pieces and I was excited. I hoped new work would be appearing soon. He'd told me a little about a young man helping him with the kiln, Ehren Tool, an ex-Marine. "He's big," Mark said, leaving a pause of silence to underline the words. Mark is a big guy himself. Jeezus, I thought. How big?         It was raining outside, and the sound of the rain on the metal ... Apr 2, 2004, 5674 reads


 

Interview with SaÏd Nuseibeh: The Bond of Mystical Beauty One afternoon I got a call from DeWitt Cheng: there was some interesting work at the Scott Nichols Gallery—photography by Saïd Nuseibeh. A few days later I went over to see the show for myself. DeWitt was right. Nichols was there and I asked him how to contact the photographer. He picked up a phone, dialed a number and handed me the receiver. Nuseibeh was on the other end. A week later I found myself standing outside Nuseibeh’s front door high in the inner Sunset District of San Francisco. It was foggy and there was a chill in the air. Saïd and I had met a ... Aug 1, 2005, 6900 reads


 

Karma Kitchen, A Taste of the New Counter-Culture: Richard Whittaker It was my first time at Karma Kitchen's new place, A Taste of the Himalayas, in Berkeley. I was ready for the upbeat atmosphere, the heady energy set free by a group of strangers experiencing a small holiday from business as usual. The holiday comes thanks to an unusual inversion. The key moment comes after all the courses have been served, after seconds even, after the smiles, the good cheer and all the attentiveness of the waiters. That's when the bill is presented-amount due $0.00. There's a note with this bill: your meal has been paid for by someone who came before ... Nov 30, -1, 22081 reads


 

Conversation with Jane Baker: Working Assets San Francisco 12/08/08 My first acquaintance with Jane Baker came at a dinner party at a friend's house and left a very positive impression, but a year was to pass before we met again. That happened thanks to Leigh Hyams who was in town for an exhibit of her own work at Meridian Gallery. A couple of days after Leigh's opening, the three of us got together for breakfast at Jane's house. It was one of those memorable occasions when conversation flows almost magically from one wonderful story into another. "You should visit her at her studio," Leigh suggested to me later that same ... Feb 19, 2009, 6615 reads


 

An Experiment In Generosity: Sally Anderson Note from Nipun Mehta of charity-focus.org: "I'm going to be in New York next week for a conference on 'Philanthropy and Intuition.' And incidentally, the day before we'll try to stir up some good trouble. Last month, I got a $7500 check from a woman I'd never met. No explanations, no strings attached. It turns out she's a philanthropist; every six months, a few of her friends sit together in a space of silence, bring in the consciousness of an everyday hero that serendipity has brought to them, and write down a number on a blank sheet of paper. They average out the numbers and write ... Mar 12, 2008, 1785 reads


 

Give Back What Was So Clearly Given To Me: Conversation with Matthew Kowalski On June 26, an artist will hang 16 abstract paintings in a bustling downtown restaurant in Oakland, Calif., preparing for a one-man show. To passers-by, the scene probably will look routine. But the artist is Matthew Kowalski, and his story is anything but ordinary. Kowalski was a homeless drug addict and alcoholic who lived on the streets of San Francisco for 27 years, battling addiction and mental illness. At age 42, he decided to get sober and began the long journey toward recovery. Today, Kowalski, 54, is a certified addiction counselor and professional artist. He is healthy, sane, ... Jul 13, 2010, 3299 reads


 

A Conversation with James O'Dea : Reconciliation, Forgiveness and Restorative Justice My introduction to James O'Dea came at a dinner party two and a half years ago. I'd heard he had been the executive director of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, was an amazing guy and had some incredible stories. I knew nothing of his ten years as head of the Washington D.C. branch of Amnesty International nor of his several years as director of the SEVA Foundation.       As we sat down to a vegetarian Indian meal I was looking forward to what might unfold. Some good-natured jousting between our host and O'Dea led things off, but O'Dea was keeping his ... Oct 3, 2010, 3745 reads


 

Richard Kamler: An Art of Engagement Part 1 of 2 I met Richard Kamler at a party. Most of the party-goers had been on the program at the 2010 Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California. Many were also listed in the Women's Environmental Art Directory. Looking around, I saw only two or three familiar faces. Intent on making some new acquaintances, I found myself chatting with one person after another. Among them was an older man, slight of build, who was particularly easy to talk with. After awhile, I realized I'd heard about him before: Richard Kamler. Didn't he have a radio program in San Francisco where he talked with ... Aug 10, 2011, 3484 reads


 

Richard Kamler: An Art of Engagement Part2  I met Richard Kamler at a party. Most of the party-goers had been on the program at the 2010 Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, CA. Many were also listed in the Women's Environmental Art Directory. Looking around, I saw only two or three familiar faces and, intent on making new acquaintances, I found myself chatting with one person after another. Among them was an older man, slight of build, who was particularly easy to talk with. After awhile, I realized I'd heard about him before: Richard Kamler. Didn't he have a radio program in San Francisco where he talked with artists? A friend ... Aug 10, 2011, 1512 reads


 

Interview: Craig Downer & Elyse Gardner: Plight of the Wild Horses  On an overcast Sunday morning I drove across the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge to meet wildlife biologist Craig Downer at the Tiburon Baptist Church. The service had just ended and Craig met me with his friend Elyse Gardner who joined us in a conversation about the plight of wild horses in the western U.S. As we talked, I found Downer to be a quiet, thoughtful man, but it wasn't long before I could sense the depth of his feeling about his subject. I soon learned that Elyse shared his passion for these beautiful animals. Both have an ongoing and deep commitment to preserving the wild ... Aug 30, 2011, 3908 reads


 

Interview: Tree & San Francisco's Free Farm:  It was on a bright Sunday afternoon when I paid my first visit to the Free Farm stand in San Francisco's Mission District where my friend Pancho introduced me to Tree, the Free Farm's founder. As I walked toward Parque Ninos Unidos looking for the stand, I spotted a queue of people along the sidewalk and leading into the park. I knew I'd found the place.      I'd been hearing about Tree from Pancho for over a year. "One of my favorite love warriors," Pancho called him. And Pancho [Francisco Ramos Stierle] knows something about love warriors, ... Apr 16, 2012, 61771 reads


 

Art As Service: When Is a Museum Not a Museum? About the photo: Ahmad Nadalian, the Iranian sculptor, explains, “For the past decade, as a ritual, I have dropped my carved stones into rivers, canals, reservoirs and seas.” For the artist, walking along a riverbank, washing and carving stones “is not only a performance, but also a prayer, an invocation.” Learn more at http://wwwebart.com/nadalian/   Greenmuseum.org  “Green” comes from the Saxon and Proto-Indo-European word for “grow.” From the Greek and Latin, a “museum” was the house or shrine of the Muses. And, ... Nov 30, -1, 1471 reads


 
 

A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 553882 views


The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 94751 views


Interview: Nicholas Hlobeczy I met with Nick Hlobeczy at his home in Corvallis, Oregon.  Richard ... Read More 72322 views


A Conversation with Taya Doro Mitchell Taya Doro Mitchell July 3, 2007 Oakland CA I heard about Taya Doro Mitchell ... Read More 87722 views


The Power of Giving      Fariba Safai and Ashley Smith were still students at CCA ... Read More 83719 views


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A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 553882 views


Interview with Bill Douglass—Jimbo's Bop City and Other Tales At the time I'd first gotten to know the widely respected jazz musician Bill ... Read More 280757 views


Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 201679 views


Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 151093 views


Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen ... Read More 122753 views


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