Interview: Enrique Martinez Celaya: Self & Beyond Self It was several years ago when I first heard of the artist Enrique Martínez Celaya. John Evans, founder of Diesel Books and a poet as well, suggested I’d find him worth looking up. Two years were to pass before we met. I’d learned that Martínez Celaya was teaching at Pomona College and, one afternoon, on a visit to Claremont, I decided to look for him. I got lucky and arrived at his classroom just as his students were leaving; the timing was perfect.      To my surprise, Martínez Celaya was already familiar with works & conversations. We ... May 2, 2003, 20996 reads


A Conversation with Dr. Ann Petru: A Doctor for Life Ann Petru is my neighbor. I don’t recall when I learned she’s Ann Petru, MD. Even then, all I learned is that she worked at Children’s Hospital in Oakland. The other things I knew were that she put effort into our annual neighborhood party and was the keeper of the neighborhood email list. Oh, and from time to time an offer was sent out for neighbors to drop by and take some hens and chicks she’d thinned out from her front yard.      I vaguely recall an email a few years ago from Ann soliciting donations for an AIDs walk. But this year I read ... Sep 24, 2017, 1514 reads


Portfolio: William Fuller III: Richard Whittaker The work of William Fuller III came to my attention by chance, as seems to happen with so many good things. My wife and I were passing through Trona, California, when she spotted a hand-painted sign. "Hey," she said, "I think there's some art over there." I’ve learned not to expect much in my travels whenever I run across an art moment, whether it’s at a gallery or private studio. At the same time, I’m always ready to be surprised. And coming across Fuller’s work in Trona did surprise me—no disrepect meant to Trona. The place is a ... Dec 1, 2007, 3255 reads


Livia Stein: A Visit To India: For over thirty years India has held a strong attraction for Stein. [As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, she completed a degree in Indian History.] “I always feel more alive there,” she told me.      We talked at Stein’s Oakland studio surrounded by her recent work, large canvases and prints inspired by her most recent visit—her fourth—to India earlier this year, where she spent three weeks as a visiting artist at M.S. University in Baroda, Gujarat.   Richard Whittaker: I’m interested in your Gandhi series. What attracted you ... Dec 1, 2007, 3739 reads


Conversation with Jim Barton: A Certain Mathematics I turned off the street onto a dirt road and down a sharp embankment to wooded bottomland. Alongside the road I began to see carved statuary: buddhas, cranes and tree trunks encircled with carved salmon heading skyward. I knew I'd arrived at Jim Barton's property. Up ahead I caught sight of a large structure, actually a tent with open sides, Barton's work area. It was filled with carvings in various states of finish: statuary, wood screens, table tops, carved doors, special projects, commissions and miscellaneous other pieces along with massive slabs of redwood that Barton ... Nov 25, 2008, 18374 reads


Grandmother Gypsy: The webby neon sign in the store-front window read, "Psychic Readings $5" and below that, "Advice on All Matters by Madam Laura." Checking my finances I find seven fifty and a half-pack of cigarettes. Taking my cue from the "Open" sign, I go inside and am announced by the jingling of a little bouncing bell, which the door strikes as I enter.      No one is present, but the room is inviting, if a bit shabby. There's a Louis XV style fauteil chair that had seen better days, a round table complete with crystal ball and cards, a small leather ... Oct 5, 2009, 12522 reads


Nipun Mehta: A Journey to Service: [An edited version of this interview first appeared in Parabola Magazine -- in volume 34 number 4, Winter 2009, "The Way Ahead"]   Nipun Mehta was born in Ahmedabad, India in 1975. When he was twelve, his family moved to Santa Clara, California in the heart of Silicon Valley.      I met Mehta in 2007.  Having heard several amazing stories about him from Paul Van Slambrouck, retired editor of the Christian Science Monitor, I asked for an introduction. The three of us met one afternoon at a taqueria in Berkeley. In no time I felt a close connection with ... Jun 9, 2009, 67951 reads


You Bloom, We Bloom: Interview with John Chambers John Chambers, founder of BloomBars grew up in a small town in New England. The son of an interracial marriage and parents deeply passionate about social activism, he later attended Howard University in Washington, DC, where his interest in media led him into a career in public relations and social marketing. Successful at an early age, and as a Senior Vice President at the global communications and advocacy firm, GMMB, he never imagined slowly giving it all up and investing his life in a nonprofit community arts organization. As we sat down to interview John, we were initially struck by ... Nov 28, 2011, 87502 reads


The Journey of Awakening: Conversation with Mark Nepo Dec 10 2011    Mark Nepo is a New York Times bestselling author, poet and his latest book The Book of Awakenings is currently #12 on the New York Times Bestsellers list. In 2010 Oprah Winfrey featured The Book of Awakenings on her Ultimate Favorite Things show. His latest book is called As Far As The Heart Can See, and his upcoming book, which will be released in 2012 by Simon and Schuster is called Seven Thousand Ways to Listen.  On this show, we're going to explore the tag line for The Book of ... Dec 19, 2011, 22389 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, 105796 reads


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 711177 views

The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 130216 views

Remember to Remember - Nicholas Hlobeczy I had the pleasure of getting to know the late Nicholas Hlobeczy over a ... Read More 87876 views

A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a ... Read More 56340 views

A Conversation with Taya Doro Mitchell Taya Doro Mitchell July 3, 2007 Oakland CA I heard about Taya Doro Mitchell ... Read More 111032 views


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 711177 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 359094 views

Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 289627 views

Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 178968 views

Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen ... Read More 148818 views