The Napping Wizard Sessions

Wizards need naps too

David Colosi weaves conversations with artists from all over the map of mediums and genres. These radio shows are divided into Interviews, Tributes and a new series called PREMISE which takes a fictional premise and thro... More

Interview: Adrienne Whiteley

Season 2, Ep. 7

From 1977-2018 Adrienne Whiteley worked at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, NY. As a voice major in college, she found part-time work as a seasonal employee at the zoo. She didn't know then that she had fallen into her career path. Over the next 41 years she worked her way up to the position of Senior Zoo Keeper, Collection Manager and Registrar, overseeing most aspects of the Zoo’s operation, and, most importantly, animal care and well-being. Since 2007 she has been teaching a highly popular course at Syracuse University on zoo animal management. In June 2018 we sat down to talk about elephants that paint, why penguins are vicious little monsters, unpredictable lions, the heart problems of gorillas and Bambi. “There’s a saying in the zoo community that there are more tigers in Texas than there are in the wild. Nobody needs a tiger.” Learn more about this wisdom and of Adrienne’s perspective on the zoo experience and the state of zoos and animal welfare in the American context. This interview is a bonus edition to my first episode of Premise: A Bold Move With The Cowardly Lion. In this isolated interview I cut the bits about the lion in the elementary school and focus on Adrienne’s experience and insights. To listen to her parts in Premise, find episode S02 E01 Premise: A Bold Move With The Cowardly Lion in my past shows.

*Photo of M'Wasi and Kierha (©Rosamund Gifford Zoo), the last two lions at the Rosamund Gifford Zoo. Kierha died in Dec. 2017 and M'Wasi in August 2018, shortly after this interview. Adrienne was fortunate to work with them.


Interview: Rachel Bacon

Season 2, Ep. 2


Have you ever crumpled paper just right, or covered a sheet from edge to edge with graphite, or, otherwise, protected a clean page from damage at all costs? Rachel Bacon has, and from the sound of it, she’ll continue doing so. She’s been experimenting with materials for decades, and she’s gotten it down to a science – the science of paper and pencil, trees and graphite, wood and carbon, pulp and powder. Just like diamonds and coal both come from carbon, and folklore spins yarns of devils shitting gold or turning gold into shit, Rachel’s drawings act out allotropic roles. They’re unique works that play with our perceptions of reality and confront us with lightness and dark, weight and scale, and encourage us to take responsibility for the materials we exploit. Her drawings operate on subliminal and individual levels and position us as guests on a planet that allows us to inhabit it for now.

She was born in NYC and moved to the Netherlands after earning a BFA at Pratt Institute in 1990. She currently lives and makes art in The Hague where she teaches drawing at the Royal Academy of Art. In 2016 she earned an MA in London at the Wimbleton College of Art. She reappears in New York City often as well as travels the world taking advantage of artist-in-residency programs. Most recently she participated in the Banff Centre for the Arts, Mass MoCA and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Art Center on Governors Island (where we met in 2010). In addition to The Netherlands and the United States, she has had exhibitions in France, the United Kingdom, The Czech Republic, Turkey, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden, among others, and she has been nominated for and received several public art commissions.

I encourage you to explore her website while we’re chatting:

Record Date: 15 April 2018

Air Date: 02 December 2018