Forest Call with Slobodan Dan Paich, Aug. 4, 2012 : Art For Social Change Each week and its friends conduct a global conference call with a special guest. This week the featured guest was San Francisco's multi-faceted artist Slobodan Dan Paich. Chris Walker: Hello everyone. I’d like to start by describing Slobodan and then I’d like to talk a little about my experiences with him and what he means to me personally before saying what I think other people can receive from this conversation.      Slobodan grew up in Communist Yugoslavia and was actually a child actor and singer. He performed on television and ... Aug 4, 2012, 37114 reads


Interview: Richard Berger: A Conversation with an Elusive Genius Richard Berger is a senior faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute where he chaired the sculpture department for over twenty years. Although Berger was the recipient of the Adeline Kent Award in 2004, he's one of those remarkable artists who should be far more widely known. When I've asked other Bay Area artists if they know Richard Berger, the response is usually some variation on a theme: "Oh, yes. He's a genius!"        I began our interview by asking Berger how he was working now. —Richard Whittaker Richard Berger:  ... Aug 6, 1997, 36947 reads


A Conversation with Zoshi: Spirit Carver My introduction to Zoshi came via Ron Nakasone, a professor at Stanford and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. It happened one evening at Kallan Nishimoto’s Flytrap Studios in Oakland, California. As Nishimoto says, “Zoshi is one of the few artists who lives and breathes his spirituality into his work seamlessly and completely.” Ron had confided to me that besides being an artist, Zoshi is also a Buddhist priest. I felt I was entering into another world.      That evening at Flytrap Studios I felt something ... Mar 2, 2013, 36496 reads


Interview: Frederick Sontag: A Time of Searching April 10, 2002 Dr. Frederick Sontag was a much beloved figure at Pomona College where he taught philosophy for over fifty years. His 27 books include Elements of Philosophy, Uncertain Truth, The Future of Theology, A Kierkegaard Handbook and The Mysterious Presence.      I was fortunate enough to cross paths with Dr. Sontag when he was a visiting professor at UC Riverside for one semester. I'd signed up for his seminar in German Romantic Philosophy. After class one day, he took me aside and asked, "Why aren't you at Pomona College?"  ... Apr 10, 2002, 36345 reads


Following Taya: As many readers of this magazine will know, Taya Doro Mitchell is unusual. [see issue #16] What readers won't know is that, at the age of 74, Taya left East Oakland and moved to a small agricultural community on the Rio Grande in New Mexico. It wasn't that Taya was tired of her practice of decorating the new bullet holes in her windows from nighttime activities in her neighborhood. She had lived there a long time and wasn't afraid, she told me, even coming home late at night-which was typical. And she was content with solitude, she assured me.       Taya ... Sep 22, 2011, 36127 reads


A Conversation with Michael C. McMillen: The Alchemy of Things I met Michael C. McMillen at his home and studio in Santa Monica on a sunny afternoon. Richard Whittaker:  When you showed me the little lawnmower gears and said how you found them beautiful just in themselves-- I know that feeling so well-- and I wondered if you’ve reflected about that, how some objects one finds are perfect just the way they are. Michael C. McMillen:  Yes. You can’t think of doing anything further sometimes. When I see an object, especially a discarded object that looks interesting, I think about who made it and why was it made, because a ... May 27, 2002, 34116 reads


Leah Pearlman—Inspiring Happiness in Our World: If you ever have the opportunity to meet Leah Pearlman, one of the first things that you might notice is her glow, illuminating from within. In this interview, Leah, the creator of Dharma Comics and the co-founder of the Happiness Institute in San Francisco, California, shares her inner journey.  She reveals how she was able to move away from a highly coveted position with Facebook, and the deep introspection that led her to co-create a physical space that encourages the cultivation and deepening of our individual and collective happiness.  Her story and insights invite us to ... May 7, 2012, 33989 reads


Two Jewelers of New Mexico: Interview: Rod & Andree Moen, Jemez Springs, New Mexico Last August my wife and I were in Jemez Springs, about an hour west of Santa Fe, for a family get-together. After a few days of family catching up, I started exploring the local scene with the intention of striking up a few conversations with locals. I’ve seen over and over how, with just a few questions and an attitude of sincere listening, amazing worlds can open up.  The interview here is the result of going against the uneasiness of striking up conversation with strangers.   It wasn’t more than five minutes after walking into the little gallery, Shangri La ... Mar 6, 2008, 33648 reads


Interview with Wendy Sussman: Real Painting Painter Wendy Sussman's untimely death in April of 2001 left a void in the San Francisco Bay Area artworld. Sussman was an artist of impeccable integrity and great depth. Following is perhaps the only interview on record with this remarkable artist. The interview took place in Sussman's studio just before the Fall Semester began at U.C. Berkely where she taught painting. We began talking about how certain painters utilized the shapes of elements in their paintings to resonate with and deepen the content of the image. Wendy Sussman:  I always have to find an image. Once I ... Sep 2, 1998, 33423 reads


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, 32197 reads


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 720668 views

The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 140397 views

Cotton and Silk Vorbeck quilt, detail I’m working on the last panel of a pair of ... Read More 8030 views

Say Grace I am deeply delighted to live on a planet that is so big and varied that I can ... Read More 4912 views

A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a ... Read More 60405 views


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 720668 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 363117 views

Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 293600 views

Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 188893 views

Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen ... Read More 150246 views