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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. ... Jan 28, 2000, 116587 reads


 

Alive in the World: A Conversation with Audrey Lin April 2009, Oakland, California I first met Audrey Lin at the Mehta home in Santa Clara where each Wednesday evening the Mehtas host an hour of meditation followed by a circle of sharing. Afterwards everyone partakes in a vegetarian dinner in silence. It's always a powerful experience and no two Wednesdays are the same since the mix of guests is always changing along with the thoughts and stories that come to life there. At the time of this interview, the Mehtas had been hosting these evenings for eleven years.      Whenever I attended, I would offer to ... Apr 28, 2009, 115353 reads


 

A Conversation with Taya Doro Mitchell: Keeping Your Hands Moving Taya Doro Mitchell July 3, 2007 Oakland CA I heard about Taya Doro Mitchell from Phil Linhares and Michael McMillen. “You’ve got to go see her place!” they told me. The artist, I learned, had been working for many years in isolation. She’d just come to Linhares’ attention. It happened in an unusual way. On a piece of mail soliciting donations to the Oakland Museum, she’d checked the box to donate real estate. In short order, perhaps even in record time, two women from the museum were at her door. What they saw sent them back to the chief curator in a ... May 18, 2008, 111031 reads


 

The Power of Giving: Conversation with Ehren Tool, Fariba Safai, and Ashley Smith      Fariba Safai and Ashley Smith were still students at CCA when they decided to do something radical. They decided to prepare a large batch of home made soup (from a favorite recipe of Fariba’s mother), to construct a cart able to wheel a very large stainless steel pot along a sidewalk, and to make their way to Union Square in San Francisco on Black Friday[the day after Thanksgiving and largest shopping day of the year] where they would offer free bowls of soup to any and all.       Ehren Tool, a marine who served in Iraq, upon finishing his ... Oct 21, 2004, 110664 reads


 

Camille Seaman: We All Belong to the Earth The first thing that captured my attention upon stepping into Camille Seaman’s home was one of her stunning photos, a large framed print centered on one wall.  And then I noticed two large, wolf-like dogs in kennels. They regarded me silently. About forty-five minutes later, having looked at scores of Seaman’s sublime Arctic and Antarctic photos, she let one of the dogs out. It came over quietly to check me out. As I looked down at the animal’s long face and erect ears, it wasn’t apprehension I was feeling—let’s call it mobilized attention. The dog ... Apr 30, 2013, 105795 reads


 

Interview: John Toki:  ​One day I was visiting Leslie Ceramics and talking with owner John Toki when he told me he was making a gift to the Oakland Museum--The Toki Collection--170 of the best pieces of ceramic art from the 450 pieces his parents and, later on, John himself had acquired in over fifty years of close relationships with seemingly every clay artist in the Bay Area and well beyond.      The project had taken over three years just in planning and was finally heading toward completion.       When I first met Toki a few years ago, he was occupied ... Dec 23, 2008, 101695 reads


 

Interview: Wavy Gravy : Saint Misbehavin’ One day I got a note from Nipun Mehta, “I’ve got some tickets to a documentary movie about Wavy Gravy that’s going to be shown in San Francisco. Would you like to go?” I went. Although I was aware of Wavy Gravy as a cultural icon, I really knew very little about him. The film is an eye-opener. Michelle Esrick’s loving documentary, Saint Misbehavin’—ten years in the making—is a real introduction to this remarkable man. Not long afterwards, with Mehta’s urging, I had the chance to interview Wavy Gravy.   Richard ... Dec 21, 2010, 96795 reads


 

A Conversation with Joan Di Stefano: The Action of Light It was a Saturday open house at John Toki’s Leslie Ceramics, a mecca for Bay Area clay artists of all kinds—an all-day affair with demonstrations, exhibitors, raffle prizes, hot dogs, socializing and the good cheer that seems to accompany all those who work with clay. John had given me my own table to display copies of works & conversations. There must have been ten or fifteen such tables and people had been circulating, cross-pollinating and having a good time. And now the party was starting to wind down.          I’d left ... May 11, 2012, 90039 reads


 

What Is God?: A Conversation with Jacob Needleman I met with Jacob Needleman at his home in Oakland, California. The day before, one of the Bay Area's infrequent thunderstorms had passed through. In its wake, the day was sunny and warm. On the back deck of Needleman's home where we talked, among the many planters of flowers, herbs and vegetables, hummingbirds and squirrels were a constant presence, along with the frequent sound of the leaf blowers of neighborhood gardeners at work.  I wanted to ask him about his latest book What Is God?   Richard Whittaker:  I wonder how you see this book in the context of the ... Dec 19, 2009, 88872 reads


 

Remember to Remember - Nicholas Hlobeczy: I had the pleasure of getting to know the late Nicholas Hlobeczy over a period of several years. He had the gift of seeing things with fresh eyes, almost like a child. And yet he was a thoroughly trained photographer having studied with the legendary Minor White. They were close friends right to the end of Minor’s life. The interview that follows is a testament to a wisdom born of experience and a long quest. We met at Nick's home in Corvallis, Oregon.   Richard Whittaker:  In one of my notes I have a quote you gave from Robert Henri. "The object ... Oct 22, 2003, 87875 reads


 
 

A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 711161 views


The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 130215 views


Remember to Remember - Nicholas Hlobeczy I had the pleasure of getting to know the late Nicholas Hlobeczy over a ... Read More 87875 views


A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a servicespace.org ... Read More 56337 views


A Conversation with Taya Doro Mitchell Taya Doro Mitchell July 3, 2007 Oakland CA I heard about Taya Doro Mitchell ... Read More 111031 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 711161 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 359093 views


Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 289622 views


Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 178966 views


Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen ... Read More 148817 views


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