The FunkZone Podcast with Ted Mills







June 2016
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Maiza Hixson
Chance Encounter Specialist!

Today on the show we have Maiza Hixson, a curator and artist who comes to Santa Barbara from working in Delaware, where she helped transform Wilmington's art scene. She creates experiences, she looks at venues that people would not consider a space for art, and transforms them into something new, and that's exactly the kind of energy we need here in Santa Barbara. Currently, she is at SBCAST, where her title is "Chance Encounter Specialist," and she's also Curator of Collections/Visual arts coordinator at the Santa Barbara Arts Commission.

In our chat we talk about what she hopes to bring to Santa Barbara, what she learned about art in Delaware, and how her upbringing affected her views on art. It was a great talk on a sweltering day, but we didn't melt down.


Direct download: 81_Episode_081__Maiza_Hixson.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 12:07am PDT

Michael Long

Assemblage artist, musician, and Knight of the Rondo!

I am very happy to have on the show this week Mr. Michael Long, assemblage artist, musician, and one of the Knights of the Rondo, as he has come to be known in my part of town.


I've known him since 2006, when I saw his work in the now-closed Red's, and I used his work in a music video I directed. Both he and The Rondo, which is a sort of studio slash speakeasy, have been a part of my life for four years.


For those of an artistic mind, I hope where you live you have a Rondo of your own, a very special third place where like-minded friends gather and socialize and talk the night away. On many a Friday night I am there, and if you're one of the lucky ones, you may have stopped by too.


But Michael Long, who works out of the Rondo along with two other artists, has rarely shown his work…until now. Followers of my Instagram might have noticed I've been putting some of his work up, these Dream Boxes, mini-dioramas of nightmarish rooms from abandoned houses. It's like he'd been sitting on this idea and suddenly BAM all this art just flowed out of the man.


So finally i had a reason, apart from Mr. Long just being a fascinating man, to sit down and talk with him for the podcast. We talk about his work, The Rondo, growing up in a Jehovah Witness family, and more. We briefly talk about his music too near the end. It's a great conversation, and we had it over great drinks.

Recording at the Rondo

You can find Michael Long's work on Instagram at therondosb and on Soundcloud at rondostudios.

Direct download: 80_080_Michael_Long.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 10:46pm PDT

Maryln Daggett
Oil painter of large canvases and new Funk Zone resident!

Today on the show we have artist Marlyn Daggett, who just recently moved into a studio space down here in the FunkZone at the M.Cubed gallery at 111 Santa Barbara St. and I've been checking her stuff out in person and online on her Facebook page and on Instagram and we finally sat down for a chat the other day to initially talk about her work, but then to talk about her life. And a good time was had by all!


Her large oil canvases show a bit of DeKooning, a bit of Basquiat, and a bit of her own history. And even though she doesn't have a show coming up right now, you can stop by her place if the door is open or wait until a FunkZone Art Walk to go see it.


You can find her at her website and Instagram


Direct download: 79_Episode_079__Marlyn_Daggett.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 1:35am PDT


The artist behind Santa Barbara Museum of Art's giant inflatable Buddha installation!


Today on the show we have photographer, sculptor, and installation artist Lewis deSoto, who currently is filling up a large part of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art with his inflatable reclining Buddha, entitled "Paranirvana (Self-Portrait)". It has made for some great conversation around town, along with loads of social media presence.


Currently he lives in Napa and New York City, and teaches at San Francisco State, and so landing this very brief interview with him was luck and due to Katrina Carl over at the museum who set it up for me, just before he did a sit down interview with writer Pico Iyer. (Pico, if you're listening, please come on the show!)

06.KLS.Music of Doom 2

Part of his heritage is the Cahuilla tribe, and we talk about his moments identifying as a Native American, and what that meant. We also talk about religion, death, and much more, you know all the heavy stuff that happens in 20 minutes!

wave system

You can find Lewis at and on instagram. All I have to say about our talk is, I wish it was longer.


Direct download: 77_078_Lewis_deSoto.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 11:17pm PDT

File May 31, 9 53 01 PM

Multi-media artist and instructor!

Today on the show we have artist Rafael Perea de Cabada, who spends part of his time painting, part of his time sculpting, part of his time doing neither in a multi-media kind of way, and part of the time teaching at SBCC. I didn't know that last part until I asked him to be on the show and it turned out he teaches in the same building as me.


He's been a multidisciplinary artist for many, many years and has also been showing at the Arts Fund of Santa Barbara occassionally, which is where I first talked to him, and from there invited him on the show.


Now, this is a different interview than most because we really get into ideas of teaching, of art, of inspiration, and though we do touch on his history and his art, we kept getting back to the bigger issues. I have to say, I hope you like this interview, and let me know in the comments on this page if you'd like to hear more shows like this. It's slightly different than the others that's for sure.

The sculpture Rafael made during our conversation

You can find him at and apparently nowhere else. If you're in Santa Barbara, take his course.

Direct download: 77_077_Rafael_Perea_de_Cabada.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:59pm PDT