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Our job is to ask the questions that the audience is thinking so that we can all connect with what the artist is thinking.

-Lauren Schell Dickens, Chief Curator San Jose Museum of Art

Also available on Spotify, Apple Podcast, and YouTube.

The current San José Museum of Art Exhibition, Seeing through Stone, is on view through Sunday, January 5, 2025.

The stories told by museums hold profound implications for how society understands history and power dynamics. San José Museum of Art Chief Curator Lauren Schell Dickens has partnered with The Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos to curate the museum’s current exhibition, “Seeing through Stone,” part of their ongoing Visualizing Abolition series. At the heart of this project lies a critical examination of the agency wielded by artists, activists, and institutions in imagining a world without prisons.

Seeing Through Stone challenges dominant narratives surrounding incarceration and stands as a testament to the power of art in confronting societal injustices. Featuring the works of 80 artists, It delves into themes of prison abolition, offering a platform for marginalized voices and a vision for creating a world beyond prison walls. Through poignant imagery and evocative installations, artists provoke viewers to confront the harsh realities of the prison-industrial complex while envisioning a world free from the constraints of incarceration. By centering the experiences of system-impacted individuals and their allies, the exhibition aims to spark dialogue and catalyze action toward dismantling oppressive systems.

Visualizing Abolition extends beyond the confines of the museum walls by fostering networks between abolition activists and artists. Through public programs and engagements, they seek to deepen community involvement and amplify the voices of those affected by incarceration.

Lauren Schell Dickens, most recently featured in Content Magazine Issue 15.4, “Profiles,” was born in the South Bay and raised in Sonoma County. She received a BA in American Studies from Yale University and an MA in Modern Art History, Critical Studies from Columbia University in New York. Her original interest in lighting design for theater arts set the stage for her interest in the work required when sharing an artist’s work. As a curator, Lauren weaves together the voices of artists, creating narratives that hopefully have a transformational effect on viewers.

In this conversation, we discuss Lauren’s Journey to becoming a curator, the transformative potential of art in fostering collective imagination and social change, the importance of artists in challenging normative representations of prisons, and specific installations that guests should look out for.

Join The San José Museum of Art on Friday, June 21, for live musical performances that will activate the artworks in SJMA’s exhibition “Seeing Through Stone” in collaboration with the City of San José’s Make Music Day Celebrations. Acclaimed composer and theorist James Gordon Williams, assistant professor of music at UC Santa Cruz, will perform an improvisational piece using a sculpture by interdisciplinary artist Maria Gaspar made of iron bars from the Cook County Department of Corrections, the largest single-site jail in the US. Experimental composer and visual artist Guillermo Galindo will perform a piece on his artwork, Llantambores, an instrument made of materials found at the US-Mexico border.

Follow The San José Museum of Art @sanjosemuseumofart on Instagram and visit their website at sjmusart.org

Also available on Spotify, Apple Podcast, and YouTube.

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, and raised in San Jose, California, internet sensation DaQuane Fox, better known as Flammy Marciano, tends to be ahead of the curve when it comes to gaming, streaming, and even music. He began his music career in the late 2000s under the name Young Marvel before releasing viral songs such as ‘Jerry Rice’ and ‘Mood Right Now’ in the early 2010s under his current moniker, Flammy Marciano. Along with blending humor into his raps, Marciano has pioneered gaming and streaming into his musical career, building a large fanbase on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. 

Marciano credits his love for music to his late uncle, Sultan Banks, widely known as Traxamillion. This love for music and relationship with his uncle led to Marciano’s passion for entertainment outlets that resemble television and cinema. Marciano gets deep when discussing how fatherhood has molded his life and impacted his career. Despite gaining recognition in a modern world that rewards being ahead of trends, Marciano never strays from his affinity for television shows of the 1970s and anime of the 1990s. His current success as a public figure has made his potential to become an internationally recognized influencer a real possibility.

In addition to being a father, rapper, and streamer, Marciano founded his record label, 88 Entertainment, and continues to release music that displays his evolution in sound. His upcoming project, currently referred to as ‘Yourself’ (final title pending), will be released in late Spring 2024. However, Marciano has released several exclusive early-cut tracks on Patreon before the final release.

In this conversation, we discuss Flammy Marciano’s journey as a rapper, streamer, and father, the inspiration behind his work, and the evolution of his career. You can find Flammy Marciano on all major music streaming platforms, Twitch and YouTube @flamgawdfaming, and Instagram @flammymarciano.

Host Troy Ewers is a journalist and personality from Southside San Jose, CA, with a background in music, film, and sports. Hey aims to highlight art and culture through music, fashion, film, and sports. Check out Troy Ewers on the Content Magazine Podcast, Instagram @trizzyebaby, and YouTube @topkatfilms.

This podcast is also available on Spotify and Apple Podcast.

Bree Karpavage and Ann Hazels are breathing new life into the Santa Cruz art scene. 

First Friday Santa Cruz is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2024. As part of the celebration, First Friday Santa Cruz and Radius Gallery, also celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, have teamed up to host an exhibition entitled “Changing Spaces,” opening on the First Friday in June. “Changing Spaces” features the work of 39 artists and is an homage to this monthly event that presents both emerging and established artists showing in small businesses, galleries, and art spaces across the county.

Radius Gallery was founded in 2014 by Ann Hazels to create a space for contemporary art with an edge. As a commercial gallery, Radius partners with other regional arts organizations while maintaining its vision for curation and creating a platform for local artists. A practicing artist herself, Hazels believes in the power of art to change the world and works hard to create shows at Radius that resonate with visitors, knowing artists are working just as hard to make the same things happen.

Bree Karpavage, the new face of First Friday Santa Cruz since 2020, has injected fresh energy into the organization. Her focus has been on uplifting venues and artists, all while fostering a sense of community. Karpavage’s vision for First Friday Santa Cruz extends beyond downtown or traditional art galleries. She envisions it as a platform that showcases the artistic talent of the entire region. First Friday Santa Cruz is a bridge that connects the community to art and small businesses, firmly believing in the transformative potential of art experiences. 

In this conversation, Ann and Bree discuss the business of art, their own art practices, advice for emerging artists, and what they hope audiences take away from their work. 

Be sure to attend First Friday Santa Cruz on June 7 and check out the opening of “Changing Spaces” at Radius Gallery. This exhibition celebrates 20 years of First Friday and features the work of 39 artists. It is an homage to this monthly event, which presents both emerging and established artists showing in small businesses, galleries, and art spaces across the county. 

@firstfridaysantacruz

@tanneryartscenter

This podcast is also available on Spotify, Apple Podcast, and YouTube.

Jonathan Borca is a San Jose community leader, performer, and rapper. He is currently the Deputy Director at the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza and the San Jose District 5 Arts Commissioner. He performs poetry and rap as ‘The Francis Experience.’

From his early days in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to his nomadic childhood following his father’s Air Force career, Jonathan Borca’s journey is one of determinant care for the community. Settling in East Side San Jose at the age of seven, Borca’s progressive mother, who introduced him to hip-hop albums from Tupac and Arrested Development, ignited his passion for poetry and the transformative power of music.

Borca attended Bellarmine College Preparatory High School in his teens through an East Side pathway program. Reflecting on his time at Bellarmine, he holds two realities to be true: the program did not do enough to support the students from under-resourced backgrounds, but it also was beneficial in developing his interest in pursuing a career in nonprofits. Throughout his journey, music, performance, and storytelling have always been a common thread, sometimes for himself and, more recently, a craft to share with others.

Under the moniker ‘The Francis Experience,’ Jonathan Borca has crafted a unique storytelling platform. His live performance projects, such as ‘Color Me Gold,’ are a fusion of storytelling and various performance genres. These curated performances, featuring a blend of poetry, rap, dance, and jazz, serve as a platform to showcase local San Jose talent.

Most Recently, Borca secured a 3-part residency at the San Jose Museum of Art funded by California Humanities. The project, currently preparing for part 2 on April 5, 2024, is titled First Friday: Hip Hop(e), Jazz, & Storytelling that will offer students and diverse audiences community members new ways to engage with exhibition themes of migration, identity, self-love, and inclusion through written and spoken word. The series is presented in partnership with Francis Experience Quartet, with co-founder Gabby Horlick (drums), standout musicians Bennett-Roth (keys, vocals), and Miguel “Frunkyman” Leyva (bass). Together, the quartet blends rap, poetry, and storytelling, which will be augmented by SJ Storyboard’s digital art and will showcase with a monthly featured poet).

The residency will be offered on SJMA’s late-night “First Fridays” with open galleries, held from 6–9 p.m. on April 5, 2024 (Rasanna Alvarez) and May 3 (Tshaka Campbell).

In our Conversation, we discuss Jonathan Borca’s Background as a youth growing up in East Side San Jose, what led him to a career in nonprofits, and the vital role music plays in his life.

You can follow Jonathan Borca’s on Instagram @francisc_experience

Featured in issue 14.3, “Perform”

Listen and watch on Spotify | YouTube | Vimeo | Listen on Apple Podcast

Trevor Jones is a family man, building designer, and co-owner of Minnow Arts Gallery in Santa Cruz, California. Trevor was born and raised in Cupertino before studying economics and international studies during his undergrad and earning a master’s in architecture from the University of Oregon. Trevor describes the 15 years he lived in Portland, Oregon, as the “cauldron of his life as a creative person.” Inspired by Portland’s DIY art, design, music, and skateboarding scene, he imbued collaborative and process-oriented principles into SpaceCamp Studio, his design-build practice where he works as principal designer and general contractor. 

Trevor moved to Santa Cruz in the early 2010s to continue his work at SpaceCamp, raise his family, and, as a surfer, live a coastal lifestyle. He met Minnow Arts Co-Owner Christie Jarvis through a mutual friend and artist, Jeremy Borgeson. Christie, a landscape architect, ceramicist, and filmmaker, was looking for office space, and Trevor had an office in the barrel aging warehouse of Humble Sea Brewing. It didn’t work out for them there, but it led Trevor and Christie to look for an office together. They eventually found and leased the space that became the Minnow Arts Gallery.

Trevor and Christie began hosting exhibitions that featured work from friends and artists they were connected with. Since then, Minnow Arts has been working to create an inclusive and supportive gallery focused on supporting the local art scene in Santa Cruz and giving opportunities to local and regional artists. Rather than having a strict mission statement, Minnow Arts stays true to its DIY roots and takes a more flexible approach to exploring what the space can be through different shows and events. They also aim to make exhibiting art more approachable and demystified for artists. Trevor sees his role as a “companion” to artists.

In our conversation, Trevor shares his approach to building design, reflections on the journey that led him to co-owning a gallery, and advice for anyone hoping to ‘do it themselves.’

Join Christie and Trevor at Minnow Arts Gallery on Friday, January 5th, for First Friday Santa Cruz as they open a retrospective exhibition featuring artwork from Good Knife Studio Creative Director Juan Llorens, a Buenos Aires-based artist who designs and illustrates work for Humble Sea Brewing’s cans, bottles, and marketing materials. Frank Scott Krueger from Humble Sea Brewing is collaborating with Juan to curate the show.

MinnowArts.com

IG: minnow.arts

Check out First Friday Santa Cruz for their entire lineup of participating galleries. 

Pamela Walsh is an artist of a different sort. As a gallerist, her work lives in the margin between artwork and art buyer. A gallerist’s art is not just curation but creating a space that brings people to artwork and telling those stories-becoming a conduit between artistic expression and the community that is engaging with it.

Pamela Walsh Gallery is a contemporary art space in Palo Alto’s Ramona Street architectural district. The historic building housing the gallery was designed by Stanford architect Birge Clark in 1929.

Having opened in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Pamela was able to weather the turbulence of unprecedented times and is set to celebrate the gallery’s ⁠4th anniversary with a group exhibition⁠ opening in December 2024.

The gallery’s focus on contemporary art is on creating a platform for diverse creative expression or establishing emerging artists. Having spent 20 years before opening her gallery, Pamela sold works from historical artists. Still, she decided to move forward with contemporary art as a fun and inspiring way to work with artists who are currently practicing. Small local galleries like Pamela’s are crucial to the arts ecosystem by encouraging artists, providing opportunities, and fostering a culture of art.

In our conversation, Pamela shares what it means to be a gallerist, her background in art and working in galleries, her journey toward becoming a gallery owner, and the role her space plays in the broader arts ecosystem. 

Join Pamela Walsh this Saturday, December 16th, at Pamela Walsh Gallery for the opening of their ⁠4th Anniversary group exhibition⁠

Follow ⁠Pamela Walsh Gallery⁠ at ⁠@pamelawalshgallery⁠

Listen on Spotify and Apple Podcast

Japanese Pastry and Desserts

IKUKA pastry and dessert shop at State Street Market in Los Altos takes its name from the first syllables of the Japanese words imo (sweet potato), kuri (chestnut), and kabocha (pumpkin). The goal of its creator and general manager, Miyuki Ozawa, is to bring the namesake flavors popular in Japanese baking to the South Bay.

Miyuki created the idea of IKUKA alongside her mother, Kuniko Ozawa, a prolific Bay Area restauranteur. In addition to Kuniko’s five other South Bay Japanese American restaurants, including Orenchi Ramen (also at State Street Market), Sumika Grill, & Ogiku Kaiseki, Miyuki is putting her stamp on Japanese cuisine in the Bay. IKUKA offers the deliciously starchy and subtle sweetness of imo, kuri, and kabocha as well as other favorite deserts from Japan such as the beloved Mont Blanc, burnt basque cheesecake, mini croissants, and mochi bread in hopes that patrons can experience delicate texture and sweetness of authentic Japanese pastries that bring out the natural flavors of the ingredients.

For more info, visit https://www.imokurikabocha.com/

Try IKUKA at Pick-Up Party 16.1 This Thursday, November 30th, 6p-9p at State Street Market. Content members will receive a complimentary taste as a toast to their support of South Bay Creatives.

Check out this other video featuring The Good Salad.

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Video by Nirvan Vijaykar @whosnirvan

© 2024 CONTENT MAGAZINE PUBLISHED BY SV CREATES