Dug Uyesaka has been making art in Santa Barbara since the ’70s and trained under an impressive roster of instructors during his time at UCSB. A really swell guy to talk to, I’ve seen Dug out and about in SB since I started hanging around the wine-and-cheese peeps that congregate at art openings, and he’s always got time to talk. So that made him perfect podcast invitation material. But because information about him is scant, I used this interview to really unearth his background, and by gum we did!
In this chat we go into a lot of Californian and American history, then wind up talking about art and teaching.
Topics discussed include:
Being born in Fresno and his earliest drawing efforts
Dug’s dad’s job and Fresno’s Chinatown
Being a sansei, a third-generation Japanese-American
The Forestiere Underground Gardens
The San Joaquin Valley and the drought
How Dug’s family went into the internment camps in Jerome, AK and Poston, AZ
The aftermath of internment
Going to UCSB and his teachers: William Dole, Howard Fenton, Bob Thomas, Richard Ross, Guy Williams Ciel Bergman, Michael Dvortcsak
Living in I.V. during the mid-‘70s and Dug’s listening list as an undergrad
Dug’s disastrous post-Tom Petty date
Dug’s interest in ink on paper
The Slingshot Gallery “Outsider art” and Jeff Koons
Being an artist model for Jack Tworkov and Alfred Leslie
Random people met while working at the BottleShop: Stuart Whitman and Playboy Playmate Kym Herrin
Working for Andrew Davis and Robert Zemeckis
Transition to Laguna Blanca School and the fun of teaching children
Artist and friend Michael Blaha
The Santa Barbara arts community and the Funkzone
Being interdisciplinary and working with history
What he’d like to borrow from his students and how he thinks his students see him
Bringing his pets into his art
Dug really doesn’t have much of a web presence…maybe he’ll ask one of his students to bash together a site for him. Hey, it’s what we call extra credit in the teaching biz. In the meantime, here’s his Facebook page.
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Lastly, our theme tune is brought to you by Raw Vegan.