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An American Artist In Japan: Katina Huston I came to Japan by accident and opportunity and the generosity of Kikuko Sakota, a former student in an art class I taught in San Francisco four summers ago. Three years later she called. Kikuko was returning to Japan. Could I come? —If I were to have a show I could. 7/8 Tokyo I arrive in Tokyo at 8 pm Sunday night and Reiko Nakamura, another former student of mine meets me at the airport. The trip to my guest house is two hours by train and then three subways. I find myself uncomfortable with her generosity. I don’t know her very well and she is ... Nov 30, -1, 7897 reads


 

Interview: Leigh Hyams: This Incredible Fact of Being Alive I’d arrived early. It was easy to miss the door at 545 Sutter Street. It opened into a narrow foyer where one suddenly felt transported back to the San Francisco of the 1950s. Deciding against the rickety elevator, I chose to climb the narrow stairs hidden in the back. On my very first visit to Meridian Gallery I’d been charmed by the place, by the feeling I was revisiting an era when the Beats were just getting going.      No one could mistake Meridian as a place dedicated to art as a saleable commodity. There was a different ... Nov 21, 2005, 27038 reads


 

Three Bird Stories: Ronald Hobbs For the better part of twenty-three years I found myself running a bird store in San Francisco. It was a small storefront, the space inside narrow and deep —maybe sixteen feet wide by seventy deep, about 1200 square feet in all.        Imagine, simply, this place with cages and flight cages running along the walls, some pegboards, of course, and a few shelves for books. It is not exactly beautiful, not a “birdie boutique.” The walls are stark white. There are some paintings and second-rate bird prints tacked up here and there in frames ... Jul 15, 2007, 3989 reads


 

Toward Inaccessible Places: A Conversation with Andre Enard The three of us sat at Jane Rosen’s dining room table in her home perched atop a ridge near the beach at San Gregorio in Northern California. Through a wide expanse of glass, the sweep of the coastal hills with their native redwood, oak, bay and madrone lay before us.      We had just finished dinner. The fresh salad, with locally grown tomatoes and greens, included slices of mozzarella “not as good as in New York,” Jane said, a claim I’d have to take on faith. We all agreed the interview could wait until after our meal, but now the time had ... May 18, 2008, 20592 reads


 

Interview with Photographer Elaine Ling: Remote Wonders Elaine Ling was born in Hong Kong in 1946. At the age of nine, her family moved to Canada. She came to my attention when I got a note inviting me to a lecture she giving in San Francisco. Two of her  photos were attached and caught my attention immediately. A quick google search led me to her website where I was able to look at many more of her photos. No question, a portfolio would be perfect for the upcoming issue of the magazine I put together, works & conversations. Often, the pieces fall together more from serendipity, than design. Discovering Elaine Ling's photography ... Jun 27, 2011, 20449 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, 35895 reads


 

Lucidity: A Conversation with Irene Pijoan: [photo by Irene's husband, Craig Nagasawa] Did I know Irene Pijoan? Artist Squeak Carnwath was asking. I didn’t. “You should interview her,” she told me. “She doesn’t have long to live.”      Pijoan was a much loved member of the art faculty at The San Francisco Art Institute for some twenty years. She and her work had become well known in the Bay Area.      There are people one listens to. I listen to Squeak. So, overcoming my uneasiness, I called Irene. She sounded strong on the phone. We arranged it. ... Nov 30, -1, 17155 reads


 

A Weaver's Reflections: A Conversation with Pam Hiller I met with Pam Hiller during a break on a day when she was leading a team of women who had designed and were weaving a knotted rug in the traditional Turkish manner. Their work on this project also included a study of dyeing wool using natural vegetable dyes from sources such as redwood bark, madder root, weld, indigo and cochineal. Coincidentally, their weaving workshop is situated on property just down the hill from Marguerite Wildenhain's Pond Farm and in fact housed Wildenhain's students when she was teaching during the late 1950s through the 70s and into the 80s.-Rue ... Aug 5, 2010, 10118 reads


 

Peace-Chain Reaction: Conversation With Joe Peace There was a little bag on the table. "Okay, everyone reach in and take one," said Nipun, clearly relishing the moment. There were fifteen or sixteen of us at a CharityFocus retreat and Nipun Mehta had come up with a new surprise. Each of us pulled out a little ceramic medallion with the word "peace" in bas relief and a cord for wearing it around the neck. Each one was in a different language. Then Nipun began the story, "These are peace chains. There's this guy...."  It was the first time I'd heard about Joe Peace. Here's his story. He's ... Nov 21, 2010, 14729 reads


 

Interview with Fredric Fierstein: Giving Art In Spite of Everything The story leading up to this interview includes the influence of my having read Peter Kingsley's A Story Waiting to Pierce You. In his book, Kingsley hypothesizes that a mysterious figure, Abaris, traveled from Mongolia to Greece to meet Pythagoras. Abaris is mentioned in several ancient texts, usually carrying an arrow, a symbol of shamanic power.       A few years before having read Kingsley's book, I'd been bicycling around the Berkeley marina one day, when I was surprised to come upon a warrior archer astride a mythical beast that looked ... Feb 23, 2011, 51970 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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