The FunkZone Podcast with Ted Mills
Writer-director Ted Mills sits down for a chat with artists and other creative folks, including visual artists, musicians, writers, restauranteurs, filmmakers and more!
info_outline Episode #100 Patricia Clarke and Stuart Carey.mp3 11/30/2016
Episode #100 Patricia Clarke and Stuart Carey.mp3 "Flex" by Patricia Clarke Two artists explore gender in a multimedia work and gallery show On today's show I talk with photographer Patricia Clarke and multimedia artist Stuart Carey. Their collaborative show, "Erasing Lines: Chrysalis" opens at Decemeber 1 and continues for a month. And it's the opening night, December 1, that you really much catch. That is when Stuart will transform himself into the character Amber, a full drag creation, over several hours in the gallery window facing Garden Street. And then afterwards she will front Stuart's jazz band, the X-Tet. This is a culmination of work that Patricia and Stuart have been working on for years, with her documentation of Santa Barbara's drag scene. The gallery itself features Stuart's paintings and canvases, along with Patricia's photography, some featuring Stuart in the act of transforming, and some featuring other drag queens in Santa Barbara. "Check" by Patricia Clarke features Amber By the way, This is a shared interview, so we really don't get into it like other interviews, but rest assured, we will have both back on for separate episodes. In the meantime you can find Stuart at and Patricia at
info_outline Episode 099: Richie DeMaria 11/16/2016
Episode 099: Richie DeMaria Ambient musician and arts writer! Richie DeMaria is our guest today on the show. He's a local arts writer here for the and also, much more importantly, he along with his brother are the musicians behind the ambient group Voices of Where, who back in July released , and just a month ago the This is moody, tuneing out music, sometimes relaxing, sometimes dark, sometimes with drums, sometimes with vocals. They just played the , not to be confused with the FunkZone, a local music venue down by the ocean. Voices of Where - Vast (2016) We talk about music, both creating it and writing about it, recording in Finland, being an artist in Santa Barbara, and of course, the election. How could we not? You can find the music for sale at and his nature photography on Instagram as .
info_outline Episode #98: Samantha Eve 11/09/2016
Episode #98: Samantha Eve Executive Director of Out of the Box Theatre! Samantha Eve is on the show today. Seven years ago she started in Santa Barbara and brought to our town some of the newest and edgiest musicals out there, starting with Reefer Madness and the blood-spattered Evil Dead: The Musical, and more recently with her production of the Heathers and Lizzie, the rock opera based on the infamous Lizzie Borden. She's done it through sheer will power and by surrounding herself with equally driven and talented young artists. I've interviewed her several times for the paper, but this is the first real long-form conversation we've had. That's what this show is about, right? We talk about a lot of things, including her stay in New York City, what's on her wish list to produce, nudity and violence in the theater, whether or not she really should have a pet, and let's not forget her cupcake making skills at her other self-run business, . Lizzie is still up at Center Stage Theater downtown, and runs this Thursday, Nov. 10, thru Sunday, Nov. 13. Shows are at 8 p.m. except for Sunday, which is at 2 p.m. Go to for info and tickets.
info_outline Episode #097: Andrea Romano 11/02/2016
Episode #097: Andrea Romano The casting and voice director behind your favorite '90s cartoons and beyond! Andrea Romano is on the show today, and if you haven't heard of her by name, you will know of the numerous shows she's worked on over the years, casting and directing the voice actors for Batman: The Animated Series, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Freakazoid, Pinky and the Brain, Teen Titans, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, Spongebob Squarepants, and so many more it's hard to name them all. Last year, you might remember, I got to hang out at the International Family film Festival and grabbed an interview with Bill Farmer, and so this year I was down at Raleigh Studios again, and managed to grab an interview with Andrea just before she went on stage to be honored for her work in the animated film business. As you will hear, Andrea comes loaded with amazing stories of her three decades in the business, but we also got to talk about her life before Hollywood and what might come after she retires. It's a very fast chat, so strap on tight and get ready!
info_outline Episode #096: Sol Hill Part Two 10/26/2016
Episode #096: Sol Hill Part Two Sol Hill, photographer, painter, installation artist! Sol Hill is back on the show today. We talked so much last week about his photography that we barely got into his new installation work that I asked for a second interview and got one. We dive deep into our world's current obsession with surveillance and secrecy and then end on a state of the arts in Santa Barbara chat, so stay around for that. Just like last week you can find him on the web at and on Twitter at solhill.
info_outline Episode #094: Jodie Hollander 09/30/2016
Episode #094: Jodie Hollander Jodie Hollander, poet! Jodie Hollander is on the show today. She's an American poet whose career really started in the UK, and she's currently staying in Santa Barbara through the good graces of the . You might remember hearing about them from a few episodes back when I interviewed Kathy Kissik. She had several appearances and readings coming up and we're very lucky she reads some of her works on this show, including My Dark Horses, the title of her upcoming collection. In this interview we talk about her upbringing, fighting against the trends of poetry, living in the UK, and the preponderance of horses in her works. You can find her on the web at and her books wherever fine poetry is sold.
info_outline Episode #93: Devon Tsuno 09/21/2016
Episode #93: Devon Tsuno Painter of the L.A. Watershed, Devon Tsuno! Last Friday, Devon Tsuno's show "Los Angeles River: Urban Reclamation" opened at Santa Barbara City College's Atkinson Gallery, and it will be up until December 2. Devon is an up and coming Los Angeles- based artist and this one-man show explores the vitality of the Los Angeles River in vibrant, sometimes neon bright canvases that are somewhere between figurative and abstract. They're also heavily layered so much the paint looks like cut out paper. Just before the opening, I was able to sit down with Devon and talk to him about this recent work, his life in L.A., and his love of fishing. You can find him at at instagram and at Some famous people and Devon's painting He also works with the , which introduces native plants back into their former areas.
info_outline Episode #092: Frank Kirk 09/14/2016
Episode #092: Frank Kirk Magical realist painter Frank Kirk! Painter Frank Kirk is on the show today! For years, since his early retirement, he’s been painting these beautiful, mysterious canvases, a cross between David Lynch and Edward Hopper, and he was just doing them for himself. But Frank Goss of Sullivan Goss gave him a show a year or so ago, and it was a revelation. This was an artist I assumed was from the East Coast (which is kind of correct) and was well known (which was wrong.) Turns out he lives here and after talking with Frank Goss a bit, I was introduced to Frank Kirk and soon, I was heading high up into hills of Santa Barbara to record this interview. This was a cool chat with a guy who for many years worked in the kind of office and time period you see on Mad Men, so I asked a lot about that. There’s plenty in here for you to dig on, and it’s a shorter than usual talk. Frank Kirk is of an older generation, and completely unheard of, but I think he’s a gem. The only real place online to find him is . And this podcast.
info_outline Episode #091 Thaniel Ion Lee 09/09/2016
Episode #091 Thaniel Ion Lee Thaniel Ion Lee, artist! Today on the show we have artist Thaniel Ion Lee, who hails from Louisville, Kentucky, and who was recently in Santa Barbara for the opening of his show at SBCAST, called New Cosmic Horrors, that shows through the end of September. These are mind-blowing grotesqueries in black and white, filled with body horror and freaky stuff, and you need to check it out. He was brought here by Maiza Hixson, and she arranged this sit-down chat in a very echoey room. Maybe you can imagine we're talking in some awesome cave where, I dunno, black magic is performed. That sounds pretty metal. You can find all his work over at
info_outline Episode #090: Benjamin Anderson 08/31/2016
Episode #090: Benjamin Anderson Today on the show we have painter Benjamin Anderson, whose photo-realist paintings of swimming pools--and objects like cars and planes found underwater in said pools--are unlike any others you've seen. He comes from an artistic family, his father Ron and his brother Sean are both painters, his mother Susan is an artist. But Benjamin lives a reclusive life back in the foothills of Carpinteria, and it was only through our mutual friend Julie B. Montgomery that I got to talk to him. We had this chat in the three car garage that he has turned into his studio, which he needs because his paintings are often very large. In this talk we chat about influences, the mystery of swimming pools, and growing up surrounded by artists. You can find him on the web at
info_outline Episode #089: Kathy Kissik 08/24/2016
Episode #089: Kathy Kissik Kathy Kissik at CERN Photographer and artist! Today on the show we have Kathy Kissik, photographer and artist, who has a show opening at on September 1. Her current work comes out of her residency at the in Geneva, where she explored the mandala-like structures of the machines that are trying discover the origins of the universe. Faded Prussian Blue (left) Paris (right) She's here through the help of Nancy Gifford, who has been a guest on this show, as well as the . Better Living Through Chemicals You can find her on Facebook at Kathy at the Hadron Collider
info_outline Episode #088: Assume Vivid Astro Focus 08/17/2016
Episode #088: Assume Vivid Astro Focus Today on the show we have Assume Vivid Astro Focus, a two man art team consisting of Eli Sudbrack and Christophe Hamaide-Pierson, who currently have a show at MCA called Avalances Volcanos Asteroids Floods, a wall-to-wall retrospective of their work, that runs until the end of 2016. I was very fortunate to get a sit down interview with the two guys on the day of their show, which turned out to be a special day for them too: one of the few moments these two have hung out since moving to separate cities years ago. (How do they work together, you ask? You'll find out.) You can find them on the web at and on under the same name.
info_outline Episode #087: Gino Perez 08/09/2016
Episode #087: Gino Perez Painter, former skater, fashion designer! Today on the show we have artist Gino Perez. Some of you might know Gino from back in the day when he was a pro skater, but at some point he retired to fully focus on painting and his art. He's been showing all over Los Angeles, but this last Thursday was the opening of his show at SBCAST, brought to town because of Susan Tibbles, who also programs the Tennis Club's art shows. Just before the opening of the show, we sat down in the gallery space and had a chat. And you'll soon hear how he went from an impoverished upbringing to having two successful careers. He also designs his own clothes, and during our chat was wearing this jaggedy lined black and white suit. Indeed, it was a thing to behold. You can find him on Facebook at
info_outline Episode #086: Jeremy Harper 08/03/2016
Episode #086: Jeremy Harper 2016's Official Old Spanish Days Poster Artist! Today on the show we have plein air painter Jeremy Harper. Jeremy is a part of the , Santa Barbara's well known plein air arts group that was founded in 1985 by Ray Strong and Arturo Tello. And he's going to be all over Santa Barbara this week because his painting is being used as the . When his poster was unveiled back in May at a fundraiser I was covering, I got to meet Jeremy for the first time, and he's a very cool, very unassuming guy and soon I was thinking I gotta get this guy on the show! So after some back and forths, he invited me to his Montecito studio and we had this great chat which you're about to hear.
info_outline Episode #085: Kerrie Smith 07/27/2016
Episode #085: Kerrie Smith Pointillist abstract painter Kerrie Smith. Today on the show we have artist Kerrie Smith. As well as being an abstract pointillist painter and working in bold colors and angular designs, she has long been a champion for supporting artists with disabilities, and is the founder and creative director of Art Walk for Kids and Adults in Santa Barbara. Light Patterns 8 She is also British and as you'll hear we have a good laugh dueling accents, which seems to happen a lot when I run into people from the old country. So we had a good time sitting outside on a lovely summer's day and recording this conversation. Light Patterns 4 You can find out all about Kerrie at and her non-profit at . Light Patterns 5 She's also a member of Santa Barbara's Abstract Art Collective, which you can find at, you guessed it,
info_outline Episode #084: Sara Lytle 07/20/2016
Episode #084: Sara Lytle Sara Lytle, large scale painter Today on the show we have artist Sara Lytle. After a long career in the fiber arts she started a late career change into large, bold paintings, some abstract and some cartoonish in their large crow characters. Many of these you can now see in the gallery space called Abolish Blandness she shares at SBCAST on Garden Street with her friend and fellow artist Lynn Cunningham Brown. I met Sarah some time ago at an artist talk I hosted at MichaelKate gallery. I've seen her on and off at SBCAST, reached out and suddenly here I was driving up and up into the Riviera until I got to her fabulous house at the tippy top. We recorded this in her massive living room that's filled with art and old hunting trophies and skulls of all kinds. And we were visited by Bob, her little dog who you occasionally hear in the background of this chat. You can find a selection of Sara's work at
info_outline Episode #083: Laura Karlin 07/13/2016
Episode #083: Laura Karlin Photo by George Simian Choreographer and artistic director of Invertigo Dance Theatre, Laura Karlin! Today on the show we have choreographer Laura Karlin. Since 2007, she's been the artistic director of Invertigo Dance Theatre in Los Angeles, which is currently touring with After It Happened an intense night of dance set in the aftermath of a cataclysmic event...but with much humor and positivity. She'll be bringing her work to Santa Barbara's The New Vic October 22 and 23. However, I got a chance to talk to Laura when she was up here on a site visit promoting the company, which Santa Barbara saw the year before with a show called Reeling. Thanks to everybody at the New Vic and for Allison at Ravenscroft PR for making this whole thing happen. We talk about the current work, her company, her history, and how she started her own company. It's a fun talk. from on . You can find Invertigo Dance online at
info_outline Episode #082: Joan Rosenberg Dent 07/06/2016
Episode #082: Joan Rosenberg Dent Santa Barbara's premiere porcelain artist! Today on the show we have ceramicist Joan Rosenberg Dent, who came to Santa Barbara just over 15 years ago and found the change of scenery and people in our lovely town just what she needed. Tenuous Tendrils #2 Her art over the last decade has gone up to a new level, where she's rethought everything about ceramics beyond arts and crafts. We Are One She talks about that process and more in our chat, along with her love for porcelain, how she keeps creative, and how Santa Barbara differs from other cities for art. Suffice it to say, she loves it here. Unfoldings You can find Joan at and on Instagram as Jazz #7 Book of Porcelain Poems
info_outline Episode 081: Maiza Hixson 06/29/2016
Episode 081: 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 , where her title is "Chance Encounter Specialist," and she's also Curator of Collections/Visual arts coordinator at the . 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.
info_outline Episode #080: Michael Long 06/22/2016
Episode #080: 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. You can find Michael Long's work on Instagram at and on Soundcloud at .
info_outline Episode #079: Marlyn Daggett 06/15/2016
Episode #079: Marlyn 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 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 and
info_outline Episode #078: Lewis deSoto 06/08/2016
Episode #078: Lewis deSoto 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!) 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! You can find Lewis at and on . All I have to say about our talk is, I wish it was longer.
info_outline Episode #077: Rafael Perea de Cabada 06/01/2016
Episode #077: Rafael Perea de Cabada 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.
info_outline Episode #076: Danny Meza 05/25/2016
Episode #076: Danny Meza Fine artist, illustrator and tattoo artist Today on the show we have artist Danny Meza, who is both an amazing up and coming illustrator, mashing together Japanese and Mexican popular arts in his recent work, but he is the resident tattoo artist in downtown Santa Barbara at …and possibly coming to a tattoo convention near you, so check it out. I first saw Danny's work when I attended open studio at Derek Harrison's place and it turns out they share the same studio, and I really liked his Sinaloa cowboy illustration and we started talking about Japanese woodcut artists we like. In process...I've seen the finished work at Danny's! One of the many "Dudes" that Meza draws For this episode we sat down at that exact same studio and talked about his life, his time in L.A. for design school, where his art comes from, the ins and outs of tattooing, his weekly life painting salons, and more! I hope you enjoy our chat. You can find him at or his . Danny Meza's tattoo work
info_outline Episode #075 Joseph Bottoms 05/18/2016
Episode #075 Joseph Bottoms Joseph Bottoms, right, as he appears in Yankee Tavern at Center Stage Theater. Star of stage and screen, from The Dove and The Black Hole to Yankee Tavern Today on the show we have actor Joseph Bottoms, best known for starring in television mini-series back in the day like Holocaust, soaps like Days of Our Lives and Santa Barbara, and Disney’s sci-fi film The Black Hole. And he’s still acting, by the way, starring as conspiracy theorist Ray in Steven Dietz’ play Yankee Tavern currently playing here at Center Stage Theater, and the reason I was able to get him to sit down with me for this interview. I went and saw the play last Friday and it a fabulous comedy-thriller based around 9-11 conspiracy theories. And do we get into some of that? Yes we do. If you are from Santa Barbara, you’ll also know that Joseph is one of the four Bottoms brothers, all of whom got into acting. Timothy was in The Last Picture Show and Sam--who passed away in 2008—-was in Apocalypse Now. His father Bud Bottoms is a sculptor and is best known for the dolphin sculpture at Stearns Wharf, one of the symbols of the city. So man, this is a prominent Santa Barbara family. This was a fun interview, and I'm sorry if I didn’t get to talking about a certain show or movie, but there’s some good stories in here.
info_outline Episode #074: Phoebe Brunner 05/11/2016
Episode #074: Phoebe Brunner Magical realist landscape painter! Today on the show we have painter Phoebe Brunner, whose most recent series of landscapes are showing at , and if you haven't checked out her magical realist work before, you really must get over there. Now I'm not the biggest fan of landscapes, but in the hands on an artist with an interesting, one could say skewed vision, that's something else entirely. Her works have this very weird attention to detail, whether that's in the seeds and flowers flying through the air, or the menace of the dark colors, or her choice of odd locations and hues. I can spot a Brunner work almost immediately when she's in a group show, and it's great in this current exhibition to see all her work together. She definitely has a style that I love, so I sought her out and finally we got to sit down and talk about her work. You'll hear in a minute how's she's a Santa Barbaran at heart, and the various artists that have influenced her along the way, along with her need for adrenaline and her various working methods. I enjoyed my chat with her and I think you will too. You can find her on the web at . So check her out.
info_outline Episode #072: Live at MichaelKate R. Eddie Hall and Stuart Carey 04/27/2016
Episode #072: Live at MichaelKate R. Eddie Hall and Stuart Carey