Julian Stern

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Bedazzled and Voodooed

“Everything in the whole wide world is just one big ball of ‘Oh, my god.’” This is Nancy Josephson, artist, embellisher, musician, Voodoo priestess. Her sensibilities, she explains, have never come from traditional sources. “I was more drawn to these things that I would see all over the place. It wasn’t similar to going to […]


California Handmade: The Masters of Craft

“There are no innovative artists who can afford to live in New York anymore. It’s ridiculous. If you want something that’s fresh and new and avant-garde, they won’t be in New York. In LA, you can have a massive studio space for a fraction of the cost.” This is Emily Zaiden, director of Craft in […]

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Crew / Love

Shawn Bullen is a man with a crew. When I met him at The Social Study, a coffee-by-day-liquor-by-night lounge in San Francisco’s Fillmore District, he was with Mike Covington, another San Francisco street artist, and Maddie, a student in organizational development who is putting her degree to work to help connect artists like Shawn and […]


The Strategy of Art and Other Tactics

“I remember being out in the field in Iraq. We’re getting constantly mortared and I looked across at a buddy of mine, and we just started laughing. Because there’s absolutely nothing you can do.” This is Thomas Dang. From 2004 to 2008, he served as a Marine Corps Staff Sergeant over two tours in the […]

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Beauty in the Mundane

At first glance, what’s important to Holly Farrell are things. Objects. Specifically, inanimate ones. The Toronto-based artist likes chairs, books, couches, and doctor’s bags. Toys are important to her as well. She rarely fills the frame, instead focusing on one subject that stands alone in front of a seamless colored background or a patterned wallpaper. […]

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The Vernacular of Tom Patterson

Art is ubiquitous in everyday life. We encounter it practically from birth, even if it doesn’t always speak to us. Critic and curator Tom Patterson knows this. And so he considers carefully my question about the first piece of art that spoke to him. “Aside from animated cartoons, comics and other graphic imagery for kids […]

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Folk Art and Service

For 65-year-old folk artist Elias Telles, art is about joy. He tells you this with his words, but he convinces you with his laugh. His words tell you about the time a 21-year-old Elias found himself captivated by a public access TV show about Leonardo da Vinci. “It really opened up a new world to […]


A Resource in the National Arts and Disability Center

Ask Dr. Olivia Raynor, director of UCLA’s National Arts and Disability Center, NADC, about the biggest decision they made when founding the center and she’ll tell you about something they didn’t do. “One of the most important decisions we made was to exclude art therapy and the use of the arts for rehabilitation purposes as […]

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Accidental Magic

Forty years ago, on a hill between the LA beach suburbs of Santa Monica and Venice, a 7-year-old boy had a bicycle accident that would render him comatose for three hours. Just six months ago Charles Benefiel–the boy on the bike, now an accomplished artist–fell into a coma again. “It was a complete accident. It […]


Sitting Down With Suzanne Isken of Craft And Folk Art Musuem

Three and a half years ago, when Suzanne Isken took over as the Executive Director of Los Angeles’ Craft and Folk Art Museum, she wasn’t trying to make history. In fact, she was trying not to. “I really don’t believe that [creating art history] is our mission. The Craft and Folk Art Museum is not […]