A Conversation with Sam Bower: Green Museum I met Sam Bower one afternoon by accident. I'd gone to join a couple of friends at an ongoing experiment in the gift economy [Karma Kitchen] at a restaurant in Berkeley (on Sundays at lunchtime, the restaurant is given over to a volunteer group.) I'd heard about Sam, the founding director of, just a few days earlier. A couple of men were chatting, standing outside the restaurant and one of them turned out to be Sam. I'd just heard about him a couple of days earlier, so this felt like a moment of synchronicity. We ended up sitting at the same table ... Apr 27, 2009, 59515 reads


Bryant Austin Interview : Crossing Over “Would you like to join me in Monterey to interview Bryant Austin?” Anne Veh asked me . “Are you serious?” I answered. A couple of years earlier, I’d met Austin at an exhibit of his remarkable photographs at Electric Works Gallery in San Francisco and I’d wanted to interview him then. What would it be like swimming right next to whales? How did that come about? There had to be so many things worth hearing about. But circumstances prevented an interview at that time, so I jumped at Anne’s invitation. A few weeks later we met at the Museum of ... Jan 20, 2014, 58199 reads


A Conversation with Clayton Bailey: Dr. Gladstone and Psychoceramics I visited Clayton Bailey at his rural home and studio in Port Costa, California not far from the Carquinez Strait Bridge where the Sacramento River meets the San Francisco Bay. Approaching Bailey’s place, among other exotic sights, an aluminum rocket comes into view and several demon dogs standing guard on a high fence that surrounds an outdoor collection of his work spanning decades of inspired fancy. It had been almost twenty years since I’d first had the pleasure of a visit with the artist. Clayton let me in through a gate and as I looked around, it seemed like the years ... Apr 4, 2012, 57847 reads


Interview: James George: If Not Now, When? SF, CA 12/24/04 James George is a retired Canadian ambassador with a long-standing record of service concerning environmental issues. A founder of the Threshold Foundation and president of the Sadat Peace Foundation, he led the international mission to Kuwait and the Persian Gulf to assess post-war environmental damage. He is also the author of Asking for the Earth and The Little Green Book On Awakening. I talked with James George and Barbara Wright in San Francisco at Barbara's apartment a few weeks before their marriage. Richard Whittaker:  Let's start with the here and now. ... Dec 24, 2004, 57096 reads


A Conversation with Grace Dammann : Before and After I was intrigued when at a servicespace gathering one evening when Pavi Mehta took me aside and told me about a woman she’d met, Grace Dammann. Pavi is one of those people I listen to very carefully. I should meet Grace, she told me. Her spirit is remarkable. The arc of her life has had her play many roles. She been a physician to AIDS patients, a dedicated Zen practitioner, a parent, a partner, a recipient of the Dalai Lama's Compassionate Spirit award, and a patient who spent 48 days in a coma after a devastating accident—the results of which she continues to negotiate in ... Dec 15, 2013, 56896 reads


A Conversation with Silas Hagerty: Dakota 38 I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a retreat. He was a filmmaker, I’d heard. Over the next few days at the retreat many stories were shared. Silas’ filmmaking was done on a shoestring. He carried his gear in a bag and stayed at friends’ houses when he traveled. I remember Silas telling us about meeting a Native American elder at his home. I wondered how that had happened. The elder talked about a dream he’d had, an important dream, one that he’d tried to ignore. But finally he understood that the dream had to be ... Jul 28, 2012, 56869 reads


A Conversation with Melanie DeMore: Sound Awareness The music program at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Oakland, California opened my eyes. I have grandkids there and have been treated to several of their school concerts. Every student, from the kindergarteners to the sixth-graders, performs. The performances, under the tutelage St. Paul’s several music teachers, have always been impressive. Striking is the eclecticism of the music chosen, the quality of the children's performances and the musical versatility of the instruction that is always in plain evidence. Listening to my first concert there, it was immediately ... Nov 30, -1, 55657 reads


Rolling Art in LA: The Hood Gallery Browsing the Yahoo listserv LAculturenet, I ran across the following: "The owner of the Hood Gallery is Per Huttner, a Swedish artist currently living in Paris." The post came from Jane Polkinghorn, co-director and driver of The Hood Gallery. The Hood Gallery, it turns out, is a 1990 Camaro two-door hatchback.      Polkinghorn is an Australian artist from Sydney who met Huttner at an art residency in Santa Monica. When Huttner left to live in Paris, she took over the gallery on one condition: if she paid the insurance, she could drive the gallery around.  ... Aug 2, 2003, 53554 reads


A Conversation with Adam Campbell: A Taste For Life It was one of those bright mornings we’re blessed with so often in the Bay Area. No matter that it was mid-December. A week earlier, I’d been ambushed by Pancho Ramos Stierle and Sam Bower and told that I had to interview one of the visitors staying at Casa de Paz, Adam Campbell. Neither Sam nor Pancho twist my arm very often and when they do, I’m immediately intrigued. Both possess inspired vision—Sam is the founding director of and Pancho, a founding member of Oakland’s Casa de Paz at Canticle Farm. And both are close friends from among the ... Dec 13, 2012, 53514 reads


Jim Campbell: Frames of Reference In August of 1998 Jim Campbell was given a retrospective show at the San Jose Museum of Art. His work has been shown internationally and is included in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.  Campbell received undergraduate degrees from M.I.T. in mathematics and electrical engineering. He divides his time between art work and work as an electrical engineer specializing in cutting edge digital technology. We started talking about computer art. Jim Campbell:  I've always felt that even using the word "interactivity" ... Jan 22, 1999, 52463 reads


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 712801 views

The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 130529 views

Cotton and Silk Vorbeck quilt, detail I’m working on the last panel of a pair of ... Read More 6311 views

Remember to Remember - Nicholas Hlobeczy I had the pleasure of getting to know the late Nicholas Hlobeczy over a ... Read More 88203 views

A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a ... Read More 56869 views


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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 359605 views

Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 290661 views

Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 179272 views

Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen ... Read More 149062 views