Book of Ruth: “Making the Hand Obey Another’s Psychology” – Interview with Robert Seydel

Saul & me & hare

Published on the Siglio Press blog on 02.26.2013 

This interview Savina Velkova conducted with Robert Seydel in 2010 is the only interview with Seydel before his sudden and unexpected death in January 2011. It reveals much about an artist whose own life and those of the personas he constructed were knitted in inextricable ways.

Seydel is the author of Book of Ruth (Siglio, 2011), an alchemical assemblage that composes the life of his alter ego Ruth Greisman—spinster, Sunday painter, and friend to Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. The collages, drawings, and journal entries from Ruth’s imagined life are conceived as a gathering of materials from the Smithsonian and a suburban family garage. They not only construct a mosaic portrait of a reclusive, unknown artist but reveal much about the tenuous creation of self. Continue reading


The Fortuneteller of Claremont

Kindred Spirits
Kindred Spirits (photo: Claremont Courier)

Persis Newman lays a sugar-glazed donut on a paper plate, licks her thumb and index finger, and sits down to close the circle. She looks at the faces of the women around her and immediately feels the presence of what she calls the spirits. This gathering of women might be an AA meeting or a ladies’ poker club, or even a Sunday morning Bible study class, for these women come week after week, bearing their confessions to a strange sort of priestess.

They drive to the corner of Foothill and Mountain Avenue and ring the bell that signals that a new visitor has entered Kindred Spirits. Jillian[1], a former alcoholic with a loud voice and an aggressive sense of humor is among the first to arrive. She is the veteran of the group and it is her task to keep some of the more fickle members on track by driving to their homes and, sometimes forcefully, bringing them to the meetings. Jane, another one of the “usuals,” arrives a shortly after. She has been coming to these meetings for so long that it has become part of her routine, but she says it is helpful, even when she does not need it. Continue reading

James Hueter: A Retrospective, and the Life and Work of the Artist

James Hueter
James Hueter

Published in the Claremont Courier 2.25.2009

One of Claremont’s best-kept secrets has been revealed, and the public is fascinated. The exhibition James Hueter: A Retrospective, a chronicle of local artist James Hueter’s life-long journey through concepts and media, opened at the Claremont Museum of Art on February 21st with a lively reception for more than 200 people—family, friends, and anyone involved or interested in the Claremont art community.

Themed as a retrospective, the exhibition strives to tell the story of Mr. Hueter’s dynamic artistic development over the past 66 years. It is the artist’s hope that people will “look closely and see the connections” between the works, tracing change and growth of ideas and approaches. Continue reading