The FunkZone Podcast with Ted Mills







May 2015
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Jeanne Dentzel

Abstract painter of melting flowers


Jeanne Dentzel currently has her show "Flowers: Seen & Unseen" up at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club. In it she explores the classic still life subject through an abstract painter's eye, trying not to capture reality but to subvert the niceties of flowers and vases. To me, these paintings ride a fine line between ecstasy and nausea.

I sat down for a chat with the Santa Barbara artist to talk about her method, New York art school, and her previous life working at a set designer on many of John Hughes' seminal '80s films: Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and more.

Topics discussed include:
Her journey into and out of abstract art
Her family and her home life growing up
The Rapala Lure
Nancy Carlson, her high school friend
Moving to New York and Williamsburg
Moving from painting into set design
Meeting Howie Deutch and working on "Pretty in Pink"
How she met her husband, David Dentzel, of the carousel family
"You don't need to be the starving artist"
The end of the mural economy
The curation of this show by Susan Tibbles

You can find Jeanne Dentzel at her website.

Her show "Flowers: Seen & Unseen" is up at the Santa Barbara Tennis Club until June 5. Website here.

Here's the Pretty in Pink record store set:

Direct download: 34_034_Jeanne_Dentzel.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:55pm PDT

Creator of the Santa Barbara Arts Blog

Since coming to Santa Barbara by way of Iowa/Portland/Burning Man, Nathan Vonk has advocated for the arts, either in his work at Sullivan Goss gallery, on various arts boards, or by publishing his go-to page on the state of SB, the Santa Barbara Arts Blog.

I've known Nathan and his wife Erin for years, but this is the first time I really sat down and chatted with him. I hope you enjoy!

Topic discussed in this podcast include:
Why aren’t 1st Thursdays not that interesting at the moment?
On the other hand, then benefit of 1st Thursdays
Why he started the SB Arts Blog
The Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative and the new Community Arts Workshop on Ortega St.
The 3 best things about art in Santa Barbara
That disappointing article on the FunkZone in the Times
Plans for the FunkZone
The 3 worst things about art in Santa Barbara
Do we have visionaries in town?
The mural on the side of the Indigo by Yunhee Min
Growing up in Mt. Vernon, Iowa and his early experience of art
Portland, OR and Brighton, UK
A detour to Burning Man and the Clandestine camp
(Here’s that building block work I mention)
Building up creative capital in Santa Barbara
How Nathan is *not* an artist
His favorite artists in Santa Barbara

Artists and curators mentioned:

Tanner Goldbeck
Joe Shea
Julie Joyce
Larry Feinberg
Karen Sinsheimer
Colin Fraser Gray
David Flores
David Hickey
Monsters of Folk
Allan Linder
Danny Meza
Inge Guzyte
Ethan Turpin and John Smith
Zacarias Paul
Ray Strong

Direct download: 33_033_Nathan_Vonk.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:37pm PDT

Photo by Kaori Funahashi
Photo by Kaori Funahashi

Author of The Mad Crush, about the 1995 zinfandel harvest

In 1995 a college student named Sean Christopher Weir joined the harvest at Saucelito Canyon Vineyards and worked on that year's zinfandel. Bill Greenough, the owner and vintner was an interesting yet reticent man, one who had rediscovered the vineyard after it lay hidden and fallow for decades.

In a Proustian flashback after trying that 1995 vintage nearly 20 years later, Weir turned his memories in a new book, The Mad Crush, all about that magical year and Sean and Bill's relationship. For anyone interested in how wine is made and the resolve it takes to slave away at it day after day, year after year, this is the book.

Chris (as he usually goes by) sat down with the podcast at the Wayfarer Hotel in the Funk Zone for this chat.


The origins of the writing of the book
His writing career vs his writing degree
Getting his writing muscles retrained
Growing up in "wine country" when it was just "country"
The magic of agriculture
Is there a "type" of winemaker?
The Mountain Drive scene in the '60s
How vineyard living changed his "latitude"
His favorite wines (apart from Saucelito Canyon)
The pleasures and pitfalls of self-publishing

Buy The Mad Crush here.
The website is here too.

Direct download: 32_032_Sean_Christopher_Weir.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:15pm PDT

Live podcast with artists Clara Berta, Shelby Lynn Joyce, Amber Goldhammer, Kimberly Hahn

Hey folks! They let me back in to record another live podcast at MichaelKate Interiors for "Deep Disguise," a second show of abstract art curated by Jess Hynds. Below is a quick bio of each artist on the podcast and links to their work. The show is up at MichaelKate Interiors, 132 Santa Barbara St. through June 21, 2015.

Clara Berta

"Clara Berta is a passionate, award-winning mixed media artist, originally from Hungary. Inspired by her love of nature and the beauty she sees all around, her highly textural abstract works often evoke the deep blues of the ocean she loves, or the golden glow of a Tuscan sunset from her trips to Italy."--from  Clara's website.


Shelby Lynn Joyce

Shelby Lynn Joyce was born and raised in Norfolk Virginia, relocated to Santa Barbara in July of 2014 after performing and training in dance on the East coast from the age of three.

Amber Goldhammer

"I gravitate towards the multi-dimensional colors of the ocean in my works and paint solely with my hands. The connection between me and the canvas is much deeper this way rather than having an extension of my expression through a paintbrush."--from Amber's website


Kimberly Hahn

"Kimberly Hahn was raised in California and Texas, and now resides in Santa Barbara, California. She studied at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London, England and the University of Texas, Austin, Texas where she received a BFA."--from Kimberly's website

Index Card Still Life 01

Direct download: 31_031_Live_at_Michael_Kate.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 8:11pm PDT