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This Larger Thing in the World: A 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, 130934 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 tour of ... Oct 21, 2004, 126338 reads


 

A Miracle Cure: Interview with Richard Lueker, M.D. I met cardiologist Richard Lueker at Karma Kitchen one Sunday afternoon in Berkeley where he was doing service as a volunteer waiter. The moment I'd stepped into the restaurant, that day's volunteer maitre d', Viral Mehta, said, "It's great that you showed up today. We were going to call you because there's someone here we want you to meet. Be sure to ask him about his story."       I looked around the restaurant—always lively on the Sunday afternoons it's taken over by Karma Kitchen volunteers—and ... Dec 25, 2009, 124200 reads


 

A Conversation with Taya Doro Mitchell: Keeping Your Hands Moving Taya Doro Mitchell's home July 3, 2007 Oakland CA photo, R. Whittaker 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 ... May 18, 2008, 116510 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 ... Apr 30, 2013, 109698 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.          ... May 11, 2012, 107980 reads


 

Interview: John Toki: A Gift to the Oakland Museum  ​ 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 ... Dec 23, 2008, 105217 reads


 

Interview: Wavy Gravy : Saint Misbehavin’ One day I got a note from ServiceSpace founder, Nipun Mehta offering me tickets to a new documentary movie about Wavy Gravy. Would I like to go?      I would.      Although I was aware of Wavy Gravy as a cultural icon, I really knew very little about him. The film is a eye-opener. Michelle Esrick’s loving documentary, Saint Misbehavin’ - ten years in the making - is an intimate introduction to this remarkable man. Like so many others, I'd never heard about Hugh Romney, the man who later became famous as Wavy Gravy. ... Dec 21, 2010, 103571 reads


 

Remember to Remember - Nicholas Hlobeczy: I got to know the late Nicholas Hlobeczy over a period of several years. We often spoke about our mutual love of photography. 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 ... Oct 22, 2003, 103078 reads


 

A Conversation wih David Molesky: Infinite Water My introduction to David Molesky’s paintings happened at a little gallery being run by artist Rae Douglass. I was stopped in my tracks. Facing a painting of ocean surf invoked all the forgettable seaside paintings of beach town tourist galleries. But Molesky’s painting—utterly free from irony—was simply magnificent. I stood there scrutinizing the canvas and I soon had to admit that it was one of the most striking paintings I’d seen in a long time. And the fact that this subject matter had been worked over to death only made it more so. Wow! Leaving ... Feb 22, 2013, 94394 reads


 
 

A Man Impossible to Classify photo: r. whittaker One of my first experiences in San Francisco ... Read More 747140 views


The Dumpster       “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 158853 views


Say Grace I am deeply delighted to live on a planet that is so big and varied that I can ... Read More 12035 views


Cotton and Silk Vorbeck quilt, detail I’m working on the last panel of a pair of ... Read More 13486 views


A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a ... Read More 80812 views


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A Man Impossible to Classify photo: r. whittaker One of my first experiences in San Francisco ... Read More 747140 views


Interview with Bill Douglass - Jimbo's Bop City and Other Tales At the time I'd first gotten to know the widely respected ... Read More 369437 views


Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get ... Read More 316475 views


Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman taught music at Holy Names University in Oakland, ... Read More 195047 views


The Dumpster       “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 158853 views


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