SPACES Board Members
Jo Farb Hernández
Jo Farb Hernández, a 40+-year veteran of the art world, is Director of the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery and a Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at San José State University. She also serves as Director of SPACES (Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural Environments). Hernández earlier served as Director of the Monterey Museum of Art (1985-93), and concurrently as President of the statewide California Association of Museums (1991-92). She has also taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1999-2000), directed the Triton Museum of Art (1978-85), and was a Rockefeller Fellow at the Dallas Museum of Art (1975-76). She is a Contributing Editor of Raw Vision magazine and a member of the International Editorial Board for Elsewhere journal, serves on the Advisory Boards for the Fred Smith and Vollis Simpson art environments, and provided prior service on the Executive Board of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts and on the Advisory Board for the Fund for Folk Culture.
Hernández’ curatorial efforts have been impressive and wide-ranging; she is equally comfortable with contemporary and modern as with self-taught, folk, and ethnic/tribal arts. She has been particularly involved with the aesthetic genre of art environments since 1974, when she completed her Master’s degree project at UCLA on sites in the American Midwest. She has done primary fieldwork on art environments across the U.S. and in Western Europe; and on Mexican, Spanish, and Balkan folk arts and performance events. She has juried numerous national, statewide, and regional exhibitions; has been a panelist for numerous governmental agencies, private foundations, and nonprofit organizations; and has lectured widely at museums and universities internationally. Hernández has authored or co-authored over thirty exhibition catalogues and books, and has published articles for a variety of international art journals. Among her award-winning books are A.G. Rizzoli: Architect of Magnificent Visions (1998), one of Amazon.com’s “10 Best: Art and Architecture” books that year; and Forms of Tradition in Contemporary Spain (2005; accompanied by four DVDs), winner of the prestigious 2006 Chicago Folklore Prize.
In 2008 Hernández received a Fulbright Senior Scholar award to research art environments in Spain. Her groundbreaking book resulting from this research, Singular Spaces: From the Eccentric to the Extraordinary in Spanish Art Environments, was published by Raw Vision in 2013 and won a design award from the American Alliance of Museums in 2014; it has been called the “…most impressive single volume of research ever published in the field of self-taught art” (www.singular-spaces-book.com). In recognition of her scholarly achievements, she was lauded as San José State University’s “President’s Scholar” in 2014-2015, the highest honor awarded to a member of the university faculty.
Recent Blog Entries by Jo Farb Hernández:
Mourning Francisco González Gragera, Creator of Spain’s Capricho de Cotrina
John Foster is a graphic designer, writer, artist, and passionate collector/scholar of folk, self-taught and outsider art. John founded and was president of ENVISION Folk Art of Missouri from 1995 to 2005, a not-for-profit arts organization; he also served during that time as editor of ENVISION’s Journal. He is an emeritus member of the Advisory Board of The Folk Art Society of America and was the 2004 recipient of their Award of Distinction.
He is a weekly writer/contributor to the popular website Design Observer, which features news and critical essays on design, urbanism, social innovation and popular culture.
John Foster organized and curated the exhibition “Accidental Mysteries” of vernacular photography which opened in 2005 at the Sheldon Art Galleries in St. Louis and has traveled to more than 10 venues throughout the United States, including the Peabody Essex Museum in Boston, MA. Over 77,000 visitors visited the exhibition during its seven-month display there. The exhibition has received numerous positive reviews and acclaim during its travel schedule, and Art & Antiques Magazine named the Foster collection of vernacular photography in its annual list as one of the Top 100 Art Collections in the United States (2005). John was invited to speak on vernacular photography at the American Folk Art Museum’s annual symposium Uncommon Artists: A Series of Cameo Talks during the Outsider Art Fair week in 2007.
John holds a BFA degree from East Carolina University and a MFA degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He is Director of Business Development at Almanac, a design firm in St. Louis, MO.
Lisa Stone focuses on the documentation and preservation of artists’ environments, museums, and collections. She has been involved in the preservation of art environments since 1981, and has worked on the preservation of Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park since 1987. Working with Don Howlett, of Preservation Services, Inc., she writes preservation plans and manages site preservation projects for art environments and other sites. She has a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism. She’s co-author of Sacred Spaces and Other Places A guide to the Grottos and Sculptural Environments of the Upper Midwest (with Jim Zanzi, SAIC Press, 1993), and lectures and writes widely on the subjects of art environments and self-taught artists. She lives in Chicago and Spring Lake, WI where she works on a garden/ruin.
Bill Swislow is a digital media consultant who helps companies navigate the intersection of technology, product and content. He was Senior Vice President of Product & Chief Information Officer at Cars.com until December 2014. He oversaw all aspects of their product and technology operations and guided the site’s development from its inception in 1997.
Before joining Cars.com, Swislow held several roles at the Chicago Tribune, including interactive marketplaces editor. He helped brainstorm the Tribune’s overall Internet strategy, developing the first prototypes for its Web edition and launching its first editorial site after serving several years in the newspaper’s business section. Prior to his time with Tribune, he served as managing editor of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Quill Magazine and of four alternative weeklies in New England. Swislow also spent two years as an editor at Dow Jones News Service.
Swislow received his Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Harvard University and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Columbia University.
In addition to his consulting practice, he operates the cultural website interestingideas.com, writes about self-taught and vernacular art, and documents roadside art. He serves on the boards of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art; the Reading Odyssey; and SPACES.
EMERITUS BOARD MEMBER
1946 in Besançon, France-2017, Paris, France
Alumnus of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, associate in Modern Literature, Laurent Danchin taught at high schools in Nanterre and Boulogne-Billancourt, in the suburbs of Paris, from 1972 to 2006. He was also an art history and philosophy teacher at the Ecole Emile Cohl in Lyon between 1985 and 1990 (illustration, strip cartoons, computer graphics, animated drawing).
A writer, lecturer, and art critic, he has published in a dozen countries across the world and, since 1995, has curated a series of exhibitions at the Halle Saint Pierre in Paris, as well as for such other venues as the Auberive Art Center, France, 2014; Pavillon Carré de Baudouin, Paris, 2010-2011; Finland, 2011-2012; MIAM – the International Museum of “Arts Modèstes,” Sète, France, 2010 – 2011; and INSITA, Slovakia, 2010. Danchin also serves on the Advisory Board member of the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, and is the French editor for the magazine Raw Vision. He is also the co-author of the web site www.mycelium-fr.com, along with Jean-Luc Giraud, a French art teacher and pioneer in computer graphics.
Danchin’s books include Artaud et l’asile (with co-author André Roumieux, réed. Séguier, Paris, January 2015), Art Brut – L’instinct créateur (Gallimard Découvertes, Paris, third ed. 2011), Aux frontières de l’art brut – Un parcours dans l’art des marges, Lelivredart, Paris, 2013), Le dessin à l’ère des nouveaux médias (lelivredart, Paris, 2009), Pour un art postcontemporain, Lelivredart, Paris, 2008), Dubuffet, peintre-philosophe (La Manufacture 1988, Paris, réed. Terrail 2000), and Chomo, Paris, Ed Simoën, 1978.
As a journalist and radio/TV broadcaster, he has collaborated with France-Culture, Radio Libertaire, Artension, Art et Thérapie, Beaux-Arts Magazine, Création Franche, Graphis, Jazz-Hot, Libération, Raison Présente, Raw Vision, and Télérama, and he has published numerous articles, essays, and forewords/introductions for catalogs and interviews of creative people.
Laurent Danchin passed away on January 10, 2017. He had been crucial in helping SPACES expand our international reach to those interested in studying, documenting, and advocating for art environments.
Photo courtesy of Jean-Luc Giraud
EMERITA BOARD MEMBER
Lyn Kienholz is founder and president of the California/International Arts Foundation, and a long time arts advocate. The non-profit C/IAF foundation, which she began in 1981, partners with U.S. and international museums to organize and tour art exhibitions. Other programming includes books, catalogs, lecture programs, conferences, symposia, cultural tourism, and, for the past four years, an ongoing internet programming series seen regularly by over 8.5 million people in 173 countries. 28.11% of all U.S. views come from educational venues.
Ms. Kienholz serves on boards of directors for many national and international arts organizations and public galleries. Her many past and present board involvements include: L’Ensemble des Deux Mondes, a chamber orchestra in Paris; CIMAM (Comité International pour les Musées d’Art Moderne), an international organization of modern and contemporary art museum directors; the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art; Baxter Gallery, California Institute of Technology; and the Galef Institute, which promotes national school reform. She has been a member of the SPACES Board of Trustees since 2006.
EMERITA BOARD MEMBER
Holly Metz is a writer and public historian. She’s been writing about social, legal, and cultural issues—and where they intersect—for over twenty-five years, and has been documenting American art environments for nearly as long. Her writing has appeared in a wide range of newspapers, journals, and magazines, including Metropolis, Preservation magazine, Raw Vision, Poets & Writers, Southern Art Quarterly, Threepenny Review, and the New York Times. For nine years she was a contributing writer for The Progressive and the American Bar Association publication Student Lawyer. As a public historian, Holly founded the Hoboken Oral History Project. She serves as editor of its “Vanishing Hoboken” chapbooks series. She lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Recent Blog Entries by Holly Metz:
Q&A interview with Don Howlett
EMERITUS BOARD MEMBER
Allen Porter has had an extensive career as designer, teacher, photographer and activist for the preservation of folk art environments and architecture. He met Laszlo Moholy-Nagy at the New Bauhaus while in high school and became exposed to the modern design movement for the first time; after his discharge from service in WW2, Porter entered the New Bauhaus/Institute of Design, expanding his interest in graphic/industrial design, architecture and photography. He moved to Los Angeles in 1950 and opened his first design office, serving architects, furniture and lighting designers, manufacturers, and showrooms; his practice grew to include a spectrum of industries in a range of design disciplines.
Returning to Chicago in 1969, Porter co-founded another design office and became a founding member of Chicago Bauhaus and Beyond, a non-profit organization engaged in promoting preservation and education about mid- century architecture and design. He has won numerous design awards, and his work has been exhibited and published worldwide. He has taught at California State College/Los Angeles, the University of Illinois/Chicago, and Columbia College/Chicago, and has lectured at many design and business conferences. His photography has been exhibited in galleries in New York and across the Midwest, and is included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey, and various private collectors.
Porter was a founding member of the Committee to Save Simon Rodia’s Towers in Watts, California and still serves on its advisory board. He worked closely with Seymour Rosen for over 40 years and has been a Board member of SPACES since its inception in 1978. He designed the catalog for the first museum exhibit of the Watts Towers (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1962) as well as the pioneering newsletters for SPACES.
EMERITUS BOARD MEMBER
Peter Tokofsky is the director of academic programs at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and an adjunct professor in the Department of Germanic Languages at UCLA. He was previously executive director of the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles and visiting professor of folklore at UC Berkeley and UCLA. Tokofsky is a scholar of art and cultural traditions in Germany and the United States. He has published numerous articles on festivals, fairy tales, and other traditions. He is currently working to preserve John Ehn’s Old Trapper’s Lodge sculptures at Pierce College.
SPACES actively collects all kinds of materials pertaining to art environments and self-taught art in order to keep the archives updated.