Charles Donelan
Charles Donelan

Charles Donelan has lived in Santa Barbara since 2001. He writes about visual art, music, theater, and books for the Santa Barbara Independent, where he is the arts editor. Prior to his arrival in Santa Barbara, Donelan lived in New York City, where he earned his Ph. D. in English at Columbia University while pursuing his lively interest in New York’s wide variety of cultural offerings, from the Metropolitan Opera and the Museum of Modern Art to the Mudd Club. Donelan has at various times been employed as an elevator operator at the nightclub Danceteria, a visiting professor of Literature at Tufts University, the Director of New Media at the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and an exercise rider for polo ponies in Millbrook, New York. He enjoys Santa Barbara’s extravagant ratio of cultural opportunities to minutes in the day, and looks forward to helping artbound become a leading source for great stories about the arts in Southern California.

Q&A

LOCATION: Santa Barbara

WHAT INSPIRES ME: People who pay attention to lots of things, and who do what they do because they love it unconditionally and feel responsible for it inspire me. I’m also inspired by the sacrifices I see people make every day in order to be part of something bigger than themselves.

FAVORITE PLACE TO GET AWAY IN MY AREA: Mountain Drive

FAVORITE WRITERS: James Ellroy, D. H. Lawrence, James Baldwin, George Orwell

ARTIST/CREATIVE YOU’D WANT TO HAVE LUNCH WITH: Dave Chang of Lucky Peach

MOST OVER-HYPED ARTIST: Not thinking too much about this

PERFECT SOUNDTRACK FOR WRITING: Is often what I am writing about.

WHY I LOVE WHERE I LIVE: The balance and combination of factors—great climate, beautiful geography, vibrant culture, delicious food, warm and interesting people.

ART YOU MAKE (IF YOU MAKE ANY...): I wouldn’t necessarily call it art but I love to cook.


Recent Articles
California Dreaming and the Car Painters of the SoCal Landscape
California Dreaming and the Car Painters of the SoCal Landscape
Rachel Rossner, curator of "California Dreaming: Plein-Air Painting from San Francisco to San Diego," shares observations about the beginnings of the plein-air landscape painting movement in California.
Parry Gripp: From Nerf Herder to Meme Master
Parry Gripp: From Nerf Herder to Meme Master
Santa Barbara musician Parry Gripp is the man behind some of the web's biggest memes.
The New Noise of Santa Barbara
The New Noise of Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara's annual New Noise Music Festival and Conference aims to grab a chunk of the music festival circuit from bigger acts like Coachella and South By Southwest.
Santa Barbara's Funk Zone Plays Itself
Santa Barbara's Funk Zone Plays Itself
"Focus on the Funk Zone," the one day public event that occurred on October 6, offered the city's artists multiple spaces in a burgeoning neighborhood to make and display their work.
Mario Ybarra, Jr. The Tío Collection
Mario Ybarra, Jr. The Tío Collection
Mario Ybarra, Jr. exhibits his work The Tío Collection riffing on childhood memories rather than high-culture aesthetics, and filling the gallery space with artifacts that Ybarra discovered in the homes of his uncles.
Art from Office Supplies? The Émigré Experience of Peter Meller
Art from Office Supplies? The Émigré Experience of Peter Meller
Artist Peter Meller represents a fascinating and nearly lost chapter in the epic story of the European intelligentsia who moved to Southern California to escape Nazism and World War II.
Music Academy of the West: Santa Barbara's Ultimate Band Camp
Music Academy of the West: Santa Barbara's Ultimate Band Camp
Travel to Santa Barbara to experience the world-renowned Music Academy of the West, which celebrates its 65th anniversary this summer, offering approximately 150 master classes open to the public and putting talented musicians through their paces.
Portrait Photography in the Age of Instagram
Portrait Photography in the Age of Instagram
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art's Karen Sinsheimer curates a big summer show called "Portrayal/Betrayal" comprised of portraits by photographers operating at the top of their games.
Santa Barbara's Art From Scrap Incubates Ideas
Santa Barbara's Art From Scrap Incubates Ideas
Started in 1990 as the reaction to cuts in the arts at the city's schools, a group of Santa Barbara parents started Art From Scrap. It functions as a teaching facility, a gallery, a store for reusable and new surplus art materials, and a community center, rolled into one.
Live from the Piano Kitchen
Live from the Piano Kitchen
By day, one can hear the sounds of pianos being fixed and practiced in Jim Connolly's piano repair shop and studio space in Santa Barbara. But at night, the space erupts with live entertainment.
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section header: disciplines
icon, Architecture/ Design discipline

Architecture/ Design

California becomes an international export by redefining the concept of city and home.

icon, Community Arts discipline

Community Arts

Through workshops, education and placed based projects, art is the connective tissue of a community.

icon, Cultural Politics discipline

Cultural Politics

Funding bubbles, cultural deserts and the politics of access to the arts in the 21st century.

icon, Film & Media Arts discipline

Film & Media Arts

At the shadow of the entertainment industry, video artists and underground filmmakers take a stand.

icon, Literature discipline

Literature

Noir, sunshine and dystopia create a multi-ethnic narrative that is read, watched and admired around the globe.

icon, Multi-Disciplinary discipline

Multi-Disciplinary

Multi-hyphenate works that combine disciplines, remix dogmas, and reinvent the wheel.

icon, Music discipline

Music

A dialogue between cultures, the music of our state serves up the California dream like no other artform.

icon, Performance discipline

Performance

Staging the drama of California through dance, music and theater.

icon, Visual Arts discipline

Visual Arts

Breaking away from the European and New York vanguard, California reinvents the art world.


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