Introducing the writers and editors, all art professionals steeped in culture and politics who form the Board of Directors of TDC. As a not-for-profit publication our priority is to engage in the open discussion of public issues freely and respectful of each others'--and your--opinions, but within the larger context of art and culture, as described in our Mission. Indeed, TDC operates on a parallel track to our sister platform, Visual Art Source, where you will find our reviews of exhibitions at galleries and exhibitions in the Western U.S. along with a guide to exhibiting art galleries and museums.
A subscription to The Democracy Chain eJournal, sent to you via email and accessible at this website, is free of charge. It also includes a subscription to the Visual Art Source eNewsletter of reviews and columns on visual art issues and exhibitions; and our gallery and museum Announcement Service, which keeps you current as to selected exhibitions around the region.
Your donations to TDC and its writers are important. The model for journalism has changed radically over the last decade, and both TDC and VAS have embraced the not-for-profit model in part to help in this major realignment. This type of journalism demands commitment to public service, editorial integrity, and quality writing. Our aim is to make you our partner in this work. Your support is appreciated; your interest and attention to what these writers have to say, even more.
Bill Lasarow, Publisher and Editor, is a longtime practicing artist, independent publisher, and community activist. He founded or co-founded ArtScene Digest to Visual Art in Southern California (1982); the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (1987); and Visual Art Source (2009). Most recently he is also the founder and President of The Democracy Chain.
Peter Frank, Associate Editor, is former Senior Curator at the Riverside (CA) Art Museum. He has served as Associate Editor of Fabrik Magazine, Editor of THEmagazine Los Angeles and Visions Art Quarterly and as critic for the Huffington Post, Angeleno magazine, and the L.A. Weekly. Frank was born in 1950 in New York, where he wrote art criticism for The Village Voice and The SoHo Weekly News. He contributes articles to many publications and has written numerous catalogues for one‑person and group exhibitions. Over his fifty-year career Frank has also organized dozens of theme, survey, and solo exhibitions for galleries and institutions internationally. McPherson & Co.‑Documentext published his “Something Else Press: An Annotated Bibliography.” A cycle of poems, “The Travelogues,” was issued by Sun & Moon Press, and Abbeville Press released “New, Used & Improved,” an overview of the New York art scene in the 1980s (co-written with Michael McKenzie).
JD Beltran is a writer, filmmaker, and award-winning artist based in San Francisco, California, where for four years she was an art & culture columnist for SFGate. For five years, she also covered art & culture for the Huffington Post. She is currently serving as Director of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto Rooted & Written Writing Conference. JD Belran’s website. Photo: Sebastien Bachar
DeWitt Cheng is an art writer/critic based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has written for twenty years for regional and national publications, in print and online, including:SanFranciscoArtMagazine.com, DailyGusto.com, Art Business.com, VisualArtSource.com, Artweek, Art Ltd., Artillery, East Bay Express, East Bay Monthly, Sculpture, Modo, Artomity, and his blog, ArtOpticon.us, with articles archived at Authory.com. He has written dozens of catalogue essays for artists, galleries and museums, and is the author of “Inside Out: The Paintings of William Harsh.” In addition, he served as the curator at Stanford Art Spaces from 2013 to 2016, and later Peninsula Museum of Art, from 2017 to 2020.
Margaret Hawkins is a writer, critic and educator. Her books include “Lydia’s Party” (2015), “How We Got Barb Back” (2011) a memoir about family mental illness, and others. She wrote a column about art for the Chicago Sun-Times, was Chicago correspondent for ARTnews, and has written for a number of other publications including The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Art & Antiques and Fabrik. She teaches writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Loyola University. Visit Margaret Hawkins’ website.
Caroline Picard is a writer, publisher and curator. Her writing has appeared in Artslant, ArtForum (critics picks), Flash Art International, and Paper Monument, among others. Fiction and comics appear under the name Coco Picard. Her first graphic novel, The Chronicles of Fortune, was published by Radiator Comics in 2017. She is the Executive Director of the Green Lantern Press—a nonprofit publishing house and art producer in operation since 2005. Curating exhibitions since 2005, Picard has worked with artists like Takahiro Iwasaki, Ellen Rothenberg, Edra Soto, Xaviera Simmons, and others, presenting exhibitions at La Box ENSA Bourges, Gallery 400, The Hyde Park Art Center, Vox Popuili and more. More at her website, cocopicard.com.
Richard Speer is based in Portland, Oregon, where for 13 years he was art critic for Willamette Week newspaper. He is the author of “The Space of Effusion: Sam Francis in Japan” (Scheidegger & Spiess, September 2020) and co-curator of the exhibition “Sam Francis in Japan: Emptiness Overflowing” (LACMA, April-September 2021). Richard Speer’s website. Photo: Adam Bailey
Visual Art Source has covered visual art in the Western United State since 2009.
VAS art writers review exhibitions presented by art galleries and museums and offer commentary on larger issues current in the art world. It’s Email Announcement Service and Visual Art eNewsletter are designed to keep subscribers informed as to today's art critical discourse. Visit the VAS website, visualartsource.org