The FunkZone Podcast with Ted Mills







December 2015
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Santa Barbara Museum of Art's Contemporary Art Curator

Since 2008, Julie Joyce has been bringing the best in contemporary art to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, while also including Santa Barbara artists in that list.

Under her curation, she's brought the newest and most challenging of examples of contemporary art to the Museum, including group shows like "Labor and Wait" and "Totally '80s" and also introduced Santa Barbara to artists like Yinka Shonibare, Tony de los Reyes, Michelle Stuart, and Charles Garabedian.

We talk about her life story, theories of art, and my personal bugaboo, the turgid miasma of academic art writing.

You can follow the museum at and they're on Twitter and Instagram as sbmuseart

Artists mentioned:
Peter Halley
Yinka Shonibare
Charles Garabedian
Pacific Standard Time Show
Labor and Wait
Mark Rothko
Caspar David Friedrich
Dorothy Goldeen
Nam June Paik
Christo and Jeanne Claude
Adam Ross (Julie's husband)
Randy Summer
Francois Pinault
Josh Smith
Damien Hirst
Wim Delvoye
James Franco
Dave Hickey
Susan Larson
Stephen Greenblatt: Resonance and Wonder
Jean Baudrillard
Michel Foucault
William Gibson
Nathan Hayden
Eric Beltz
Keith Puccinelli
Dane Goodman
Joan Tanner
Hank Pitcher
Dan Connally
Richard Ross
Sommer Roman Sheffield
Robert Wechsler
Cayetano Ferrer

Direct download: 55_Episode_55_Julie_Joyce.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 7:58pm PDT

Realist landscape painter of the Californian desert.

I met Mary-Austin Klein at the Sullivan Goss show "American Details" where I first saw her amazing paintings of places like Mojave, Death Valley, and Palm Springs, where I love to vacation. I recognized those mountains and that light right away before I even looked at the painting titles. We chatted and I invited her on the show.

In this interview we talk about her time at Otis, her work outside painting, her falling in love with the desert, her technique and her routines.

Clouds over Eastern Mojave


saline valley palm springs death valley
Saline Valley, Palm Springs, Death Valley

And finally, here's the prop paper as it appeared in that movie:

Caption reads: "Lovely Mary picking the best of the crop for her friends. Mary also bakes the best pumpkin pies in our community." (Note it's the "Premiere Issue").

Artists and books mentioned in this interview:

Frank Romero
Robert Irwin
Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees
Kathleen Klein-Wakefield
Bruce Richard
Jeffrey Vallance's Blinky the Hen
Robin Vaccarino
The Wonder Valley Fight Song by I See Hawks in L.A.
Sue Greenwood Gallery
Darlene Campbell
William Wendt
Edgar Payne

Mary-Austin Klein's website is here. The Sullivan Goss exhibit is here. Her Facebook is here. And her Instagram is here.


Direct download: 54_054_Mary-Austin_Klein.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 5:52pm PDT

Jonathan fox
Executive Director of Ensemble Theatre Company, Santa Barbara's resident professional company.

Since Jonathan Fox took over directorship of Ensemble Theater after the late Robert Grand Weiss' retirement in 2006, he's injected a lot of daring and controversy into Santa Barbara's theater scene. Two years ago he oversaw the company's grand move from the cozy but aging Alhecama Theatre to the lovely remodeled New Vic. That in turn has allowed him to think bigger and bolder, mixing in musicals and huge sets alongside the personal and intimate productions that people associate with the company.

In this hour-long chat we talk about his beginnings, his time working in software development, and whether he's figured out what Santa Barbara audiences really want. There's even an anecdote about meeting Bruce Springsteen.

If you have not seen a show at The New Vic, you can check out Ensemble's current and upcoming seasons here. Or follow them on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram

Direct download: 53_Episode_053_Jonathan_Fox.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:12pm PDT


Creator of Clarissa Explains it All, writer, director, and producer.

It was Mitchell who reached out to me a few months ago, reminding me that in 2013 he had reviewed an art show I had curated at the Arts Fund of Santa Barbara. He had a book he had published and it was then I realized this was the man who ruled many a '90s teens' life with the show he created, Clarissa Explains It All on Nickelodeon.

His new book, Things I Can't Explain: A Clarissa Novel reimagines Clarissa as a 20-something who can no longer explain it all, and must traverse a landscape of modern romance and modern publishing.


We set up this talk in his Santa Barbara home, very close to where I once used to live, among his daughter's paintings and memorabilia from his other shows, specifically Bear in the Big Blue House. But I had read his bio and his IMDB and I knew there was more to him that cool stuff for kids.

In this wide ranging interview we talk about writing teen characters, growing up in Virginia, his stint at Saturday Night Live, and who was scarier to work under, Mike O'donoghue or John Kricfalusi.

Above: One of Mitchell's early video works, Cleavage.

If you're listening to this episode on the day we posted it, i.e. OUR SEASON TWO PREMIERE!!! then you will be in time for this Friday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m. where I'll be introducing Mitchell at SBCC's FeBland Forum for ClarissaFest, featuring a screening of the show and a Q&A. There will also be an afterparty at ImpactHub, 1117 State St. following the event, from 8 to 11. RSVP at

Mitchell has a website here, and a Twitter and an Instagram.

Direct download: 52_Episode_052__Mitchell_Kriegman.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 5:14pm PDT