Sunday, December 13, 2009

New interview with Janice from Where Women Create sessions

Jo Packham, who published the beautiful interview with Janice in the current issue of Where Women Create also does an e-newsletter. This weeks issue features an antidote from Janice that was not published in the magazine, and Jo has shared it with us here.

It is so, so Janice. I think you will really enjoy it. Here is a link to the story:

The painting Janice is talking about in the interview is now in the collection of her oldest son Brandon and his wife Carri. A few weeks before Janice died, she made one last visit to her studio with me and all of our children and their wives. They each got to choose one piece, and Carri chose that painting. Janice had always refused to sell it, since it was one that gave her so much courage to keep fighting her fears. And in the end, she never did sell it-she gave it away to the next person she thought might be needing it.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Janice's friend Julia needs your support

Janice met Julia Beers almost immediately after moving to California in 1976. Son Kevin was enrolled into Kindergarten, and when Janice went to the new parent orientation, there was Kevin's new teacher Julia. The two creative, gregarious earth mothers with their giant hearts and dreaming spirits immediately connected, and Julia remained one of Janice's closest friends until the day she died.

Nearly 20 years ago, Julia was diagnosed with breast cancer and not given much hope for recovery. But Julia is a resilient soul. She beat the disease and has remained cancer free all these years.

But life has played it's cruel tricks. Cristoph, her husband at the time was to be stricken with cancer himself shortly after Julia was and died a few short years later. Julia was single for many years, but this September she became a newlywed to Jim Kelly, and they are happily head over heels in love.

Having just returned from their honeymoon, Julia was not feeling well, and was taken to the hospital. Doctors discovered a large cancerous tumor in her skull pressing against her left frontal lobe, and it was surgically removed this past Friday.

At this point, they are awaiting the results of a biopsy to see just what it is they are up against. It is definitely serious, but Julia is hopeful, and as always, a fighter.

Chances are, if you are a friend of Janice's, you are probably a friend of Julia's too. Her friends have set up a website to keep everyone posted, as well as give people the opportunity to send Julia their love and support. And this is where you come in.

It certainly made a big difference to Janice and I to know so many people out there were caring for us, and I would ask you to do the same for Julia. You can access her site at:

She and her family would love to hear from you.

Much love,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Where Women Create on newsatnds now

The November 2009/Winter 2010 issue hit the news stands this week, and it is really beautiful. This issue features one of the last major interviews that Janice ever gave, and is eight pages long. It was shot at her studio in February of this year, just before we found out about the cancer. She is absolutely full of life and energy, and the photos are really the nicest that were ever taken of Janice in her last studio.

Jo Packham has put together a truly beautiful package, with 12 different women artists profiled. Although Janice didn't get to see the finished product, she did see a proof of her article before she died, and she agreed with me that this was probably the nicest article that had been done on her. If you are reading this blog, chances are good you'll want this book.


Genevieve and Jon at the installation of Janice's ofrenda

I came by to see Genevieve as she put the final touches on Janice's ofrenda at the Bower's Museum Friday, October 30th. That Sunday alone, over 4,000 people came to the Day of the Dead celebration at the Bowers. Janice would truly have loved that. I have a feeling she was there checking it all out.

Thanks again to Nancy Johnson and everyone else at the Bowers for making it happen.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pictures of Janice's ofrenda at the Bowers Museum

Thanks again to Genevieve and all at the Bowers. It looked beautiful. In case you missed it, it will be in the basement level of the Santora building as part of the Santa Ana artwalk on Saturday, November 7th.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Janice to be featured at Bowers Museum Day of the Dead celebration

Janice had many friends and admirers who work at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, and they have chosen to honor her at this years Day of the Dead celebration. Genevieve Barrios-Southgate has been constructing Day of the Dead altars (or "ofrendas") for about 15 years, and has done one for Janice in the front lobby of the Bowers. I went there yesterday for it's installation, and loaned Genevieve a number of Janice's personal affects for the altar. It's really beautiful, and something Janice would have loved. It combines her long love affair with traditional Mexican art with her long love affair with the Bowers, and I am so pleased that it has happened for her.

The offrenda will be up at the Bowers only until Tuesday, November 3rd. It will then be moved over to the Santora Building in the Santa Ana Artist's Village as part of the first Saturday Art Walk and Day of the Dead celebration on Saturday, November 7th.

I hope you will get a chance to see it at one of these locations. Here is a link to the Bower's website that mentions Janice:

Thanks again to Nancy and everyone else at the Bowers that knew and loved Janice.

Happy Day of the Dead-

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jenny Doh and Janice

Jenny, for those of you that do not know her, is the Editor-in-Chief and Director of Publishing for Sommerset Studios magazine. She and Janice were friends for several years. Jenny asked Janice to contribute articles to the magazine, which Janice did regularly. Janice also served on the editorial advisory board. I think the partnership was successful because Jenny gave Janice such a wide berth to basically write about whatever she wanted to, which was certainly the best way to get Janice inspired. As a result, Janice's work reached a much wider audience that it otherwise would have, and to this day I still get e-mails from people all over the world that begin "I never knew Janice, but she really inspired me..."

Jenny was one of the people Janice personally asked to speak at her memorial service. She did, and was great, as were all of the speakers and musicians.

Jenny writes her own blog, and has posted several really moving tributes to Janice. Here are links to three of them I think you will enjoy:

Nonsense to the side

Happy Trails to our Beloved Janice Lowry

Remembering Janice Lowry

Thanks for everything, Jenny.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

November issue of Smithsonia magazine with Janice article out now

Janice and I have been long time subscribers to Smithsonian magazine (waaaay before they accepted her journals). On Friday, the November issue arrived in my mailbox with Janice's last interview, written by Owen Edwards. It appears on page 24 and 26. It is a very sweet article, even though Owen had told me he was somewhat sheepish about it not being a really long and in-depth profile, due to space limitations. Perhaps this will spark interest in more and longer stories in the future. Let's hope so.

I am fairly certain you can purchase Smithsonian magazine at bookstores and good news stands, but if not, you can read the story on their website. Here is a link to it:

Thanks again Owen. Janice would have loved this.


Thank you all so very, very much

It has been quite sometime since my last post, and I do apologize for that. A lot of my time and focus has been on Janice's memorial service, which was held on October the 10th at the Episcopal Church of the Messiah, followed by a reception at our home.

I have to say, I was completely overwhelmed by the love and support shown to Janice and our family by so many of you out there. Not just at the memorial service, but
throughout this process, with your cards, your letters, and your e-mail postings on this blog. Not to mention all the folks that made us food and brought it by the house, just knowing we would not have much time to cook (which we didn't, by the way). The folks that came to wish Janice well at her bedside, the people that continue to show me and my family the love and support since Janice's passing. I literally could never begin to find the time to write back to you all individually...there are just too many of you, which is certainly a testament to how deeply Janice touched so many, many people.

I hope you will accept this blast in to cyberspace as at least a small way of letting you know how much we appreciate everything you have done for us. Your support has certainly provided us with a lot of strength during this dark time in our family's life, and we sincerely want to thank you for all that you have done for us.

Full text of Janice's LA Times obituary article

Several of you have told me that you were unable to open the link to the LA Times website to read Janice's article, so I have included here in case you missed it.

Janice Lowry Gothold dies at 63; artist and journal writer taught in Orange County
Her journals are in the Smithsonian's permanent collection and her art received national acclaim.

Janice Lowry Gothold's collage-filled journals were accepted into the Smithsonian Institution's permanent collection. (Family photo)

By Valerie J. Nelson

October 2, 2009 | 11:05 p.m.

Janice Lowry Gothold, an artist who specialized in creating primitive-looking assemblages from found objects and whose journals received national recognition, died of liver cancer Sept. 20 at her Santa Ana home, her family said. She was 63.

At 11, Gothold started keeping a diary, which led to a lifelong fascination to "prove" that she "existed," the artist said in a 2008 interview.

Over the next 50-plus years, her journals became increasingly visual, and, in 2007, the collage-filled collection of 126 volumes was accepted into the Smithsonian Institution's permanent collection.

"They have these elements of diaries and confessions and to-do lists, a whole matrix of an artistic life," Liza Kirwin, a Smithsonian curator, told the Orange County Register in 2007 when she decided to add the journals to archives that document how artists live and work.

Gothold was "attracted to real objects from the real world" and found many of the pieces she worked with at swap meets, in trash bins and at thrift stores, she once said.

In a review of a 1989 show of Gothold's three-dimensional assemblages at the Westside gallery Art Space, a Times reviewer said that the artist made "droll little commentaries on life" as she developed an "idiosyncratic cast of characters" that was "rife with sprung clock springs, measuring stick figures and skeletal ladders."

Born March 30, 1946, in Phoenix, she was one of five children of a mother who married seven times. Family instability and the desert of her youth were prominent in her art, her family said.

She was a divorced mother of two when she earned a bachelor's degree at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1979 and a master's a year later. She also taught at the art center but took a break after marrying Jon Gothold, an art director, and having a third son in 1985.

In 1986, she returned to teaching, first at Cypress College and then at the Art Institute of Orange County.

As it praised "her little shadowbox monsters," the Orange County Weekly named her the region's "best visual artist" in 2007.

In addition to her husband and sons, Brandon, Kevin and Brent, she is survived by two sisters, a brother and three grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Episcopal Church of the Messiah, 614 N. Bush St., Santa Ana.

Instead of flowers, the family suggests donating to Taller San Jose, a continuing education program for at-risk youths,

Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Nice article on Janice in today's Los Angeles Times

I am very happy to tell you that the LA Times has published a feature article on Janice in the obituary section today, Saturday October 3rd. Here is a link to the story:,0,7635613.story

I wrote up a full obituary for her and submitted it, along with photos, to the Times, the OC Register, The OC Weekly and the local Idyllwild paper, the Town Crier. I also pitched each paper with an individual letter, asking them to consider her as a significant artist that deserved a feature treatment, not just a standard obituary.

I know Janice would have been really pleased to see this in the LA Times, a newspaper we both hold in very high regard. I am really, really happy and proud of this tribute for her.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A charity that was near and dear to Janice

Several of you have asked about the possibility of making a donation to a charity in Janice's name. There is a continuation school in Santa Ana that serves at risk youth that both Janice and I have been involved with for several years, and we would love for donations to be made to them. They do an incredible job with some of the toughest kids in Orange County, and have remarkable statistics for success in walking youths out of poverty and into healthy productive lives. To make a donation and to read more about them, please go to for details. We would ask you to consider doing this in lieu of flowers, as this was a very important organization to Janice.

Many thanks,

Monday, September 28, 2009

Memorial Service for Janice set for Saturday, October 10

Hello friends, it's Jon.

There will be a memorial service for Janice at The Episcopal Church of the Messiah, 614 N. Bush Street, Santa Ana, 92701 at 2 PM on Saturday, October the 10th. We will have a reception celebrating Janice's life at our home in North Tustin immediately following. La Chiquita, one of Janice's all time favorite Mexican restaurants will be catering. Margaritas, cervesas, and sharing stories about Janice will be the order of the day.

The church is a beautiful building, built in 1888. We have had a long association with it and Father Brad from the many years we lived in French Park. Our son Kevin married Monica there, and two of our grandchildren were baptised there as well. Janice was on the volunteer board for Helping Hands, one of several outreach programs sponsored by the church.

Parking at the church, and at our home is somewhat limited. I would suggest that if you can carpool with friends, so much the better.

We will look forward to celebrating with you all then.

Peace be with you-


You can get directions to the church at their website,
We will provide driving directions and a map to our home at the church.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Janice Lowry Gothold March 30, 1946-September 20, 2009

Last night at 6 PM my beloved wife Janice completed the last part of her journey and quietly slipped from this world into the next. She was 63 years old.

She was at home in our bedroom, surrounded by the people she loved-including all three of our sons, our daughter in laws, our grandchildren and her best girl friend Katy Jo. She went calmly, quietly and without pain, which had been our solemn oath to her and something I am very proud to say we were able to fulfill for her. Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon was playing softly on our stereo, an album she listened to pretty much daily.

For the past few days she had told us that there was a cowboy in the bedroom with us, silently smiling and watching over her. She did not know who he was, but she could tell by his face that he was kind and she was not afraid. We told her that it was all right, we trusted him, it was OK for her to go with him and we are all going to be all right. When our time comes, we all know who to look for to take us to see Janice. And I'm sure by then she will have the afterlife totally wired, and we'll have the best looking piece of real estate in heaven.

The hole she leaves in our hearts, and in the world, is immense and quite frankly, I don't think will ever be filled. It seems that the brightest stars just can't burn with such intensity for overly long periods of time, and we have to enjoy and savor each moment with them as they pass through our orbits. Janice was the sun in our families universe, and it will be a long while before we can right ourselves and move on. That is truly the hell of it-for such a little person, she has left enormous shoes to fill.

We want to thank all of you-friends, family and loved ones for all the support you have shown us these past few months. It has taken a village, and we feel very blessed to have had a village as large and caring as you all are.

This will not be the end of this blog. We will be posting details about a memorial service, as well as keeping you posted on what Janice's plans for her final resting place are, which I promise you is classic Janice.

We also have an artist's legacy to keep alive and I hope that all of you out there will continue to post your memories and stories about her. She will never truly be gone as long as she is still in our hearts, and too few people in this world know about all of her amazing gifts as an artist. Sometimes a tragedy is what it takes to push an artist's work from a career into a legend, and dying at 63 at the peak of your art making prowess certainly qualifies as a tragedy to us. My daughter in law Carri says Janice is the Frida Kahlo of the United States, and I sure as hell agree with her. Time will tell if the rest of the world will come to the same conclusion. Yes, time will tell.

The picture in the sunglasses was taken on August 23, 2009 when her bother and sisters were visiting us. The other one was taken on September 6, 2009 and is the last portrait of Janice and I together. Fittingly, she looks a lot more composed and put together than I do.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Here is a link for a film about Janice

Many of you might not have seen this little film that was done as part of a series promoting creativity in the city of Santa Ana. It has been running on public access TV stations, primarily in Orange County.

I think it captures Janice really beautifully, and it was shot in her first Santa Ana studio shortly before she moved around the corner into her new loft. She occupied that studio for over 10 years, and you can really feel her essence in every nook and cranny.

I think you will enjoy this.

Janice to be featured in Where Women Create Winter 2010 issue

Early in 2010 be on the lookout for the Winter issue of Where Women Create. There is a beautiful 8 page article that features the first published photos of her new studio loft in Santa Ana, as well as the text being written by Janice herself. We have seen a PDF preview of Janice's article, and it is one of the finest articles done on her yet. See for more information.

Here is a post from Mark Ryden

The photo was taken at the opening of Mark's Tree Show, 2007. Jon, Janice and Mark.

Dearest Jon and Janice,

Your e-mail came in while Marion and I were visiting Seattle. I am shocked
beyond words to here the news. I find myself at a total loss of knowing
what to say. I am so so sorry. I can't imagine how hard this must be for
you guys and what you must be feeling. How are you handling it all? How is

Janice, I don't know if I have ever told you just how much of an impact you
had on me at Art Center. You and your art set my creativity on fire back
then. I remember the first day of your class when you had us make masks.
You made art such fun! When you first showed your amazing dimensional
assemblages I was forever transformed and inspired. It is hard to describe
the feelings your art gave me. When ever I use a hot glue gun the smell
brings me back to those days of making art late at night in a delirium of
creative ecstasy! You would tell me how much more rewarding a life of making
fine art would be than doing commercial art and rendering strawberries. It
took me ten years to finally follow your advice but I thought about it the
whole time I was doing commercial art! (I guess it's ok to also tell you to
that I had a total crush on you back then too!)

I also want to thank you so much for your support and coming to my shows. It
is always so nice to see you guys.

Please write back to me if you feel up to it. I would love to hear how you
are doing. It must be really tough to correspond with everyone. I will be
checking in on the blog.

I send my love and best thoughts to you guys!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Family dinner with grandkids

All three grandkids are in the front row. Left to right, Savanah, Nigel and Ashton

Family outing, August 23 2009

Back row, left to right: Daughter in law Monica, sister Joanie, Brother Bob
Front row, left to right: Janice, son Kevin, sister Judi

Three sisters

Left to right, Judi, Janice and Joanie, taken August 22, 2009

Here's a handy little tip for you newbie bloggers

If you double click on any of the photos in Janice's blog, they will come up very large on your computer screen. That way you can really see her magnificent artwork, as well as her smile.

Janice's first international one person show in Oaxaca, Mexico

In March of this year, Janice and I were in the middle of a series of tests on her liver that would ultimately lead to her cancer being diagnosed in early April. In the middle of all that, Janice had been contacted by the MUFI Museum in Oaxaca about doing a one person show of her "Stamp People". For those of you not familiar with this aspect of Janice's art, this was something she had started doing rather informally in her journals several years ago. She would take vintage postage stamps, usually of a person, and then draw the rest of their body and perhaps an environment, using the stamp for their head. People started to see them, and they became wildly popular. Janice created quite a few of them over the years for various U.S. gallery shows, as it was a way for her to create affordable Lowry art. They sold out every time she exhibited them. Somerset Studios Magazine asked Janice to write an article about them, and the article caught the eye of Gallery director Eduardo Mendoza and his right hand man Edu Cabral when the two of them were traveling in the US looking for artists to exhibit.

The MUFI was founded with the idea of celebrating the art of the postage stamp. While the gallery showcases a wide variety of art beyond just postal works, they are always on the lookout for anyone using stamps in a modern context, so they actively sought out Janice and asked her to do a show for them.

Janice didn't really know what to expect, but we figured it was a great excuse to visit Oaxaca together, which is a town Janice dearly loves and one we had not been to together before, so she agreed to do the show.

It turned out to be quite a triumph for her. They treated her like royalty, picking us up at the airport in a private car, wining and dining us, taking us out sightseeing, and then hosting a wonderful opening reception. They did posters, postcards and magazine ads promoting the show, and arranged for her to give a lecture with a translator provided. They also covered all the costs of shipping the art, as well as framing all 30 pieces. Janice really was made to feel like what she was-a visiting, internationally recognized artist.

Janice, being the charmer she is, made friends with all the guests in the boutique hotel we stayed at (Casa Oaxaca, HIGHLY recommended!) and invited them all to the opening. They came, as did the owners of the hotel, and Janice sold quite a few of the works at the opening. As a final coda to our stay, MUFI agreed to buy the entire remainder of the show for their permanent collection, making Janice's first international show a complete sell out.

Janice had nearly canceled going to Oaxaca in order to get her liver biopsy scheduled sooner, and I convinced her that the liver biopsy could wait a week for her to do the show. Given what was soon to come, I am so, so glad we made that decision.

Here are some photos of some of the works, as well as the show opening.

Here's one from Joe Ongie

Last summer Janice and I took a trip to Ireland. We planned a little 24 hour layover in New York City on the way so we could see our friends Joe and Catherine, and Joe spent a whole day playing hookey with us all over the city. A highlight for me was a show of J. C. Leyendecker originals at the Society of Illustrators, which completely blew my mind. I think we hit 4 or 5 museums and shows in one day with the art life to it's fullest. Thanks for the memories and photo, Joe!

Hi Guys,
I just came across this shot from your (too brief) trip to NYC. It
was a fun day (and colorful) day.
Thinking of you.
Love, Joe and Catherine

A posting from Jacki Long

I wanted to thank you for your inspiration, teaching and kindness that
has honestly affected my life and work.
And, I am just a speck among the many who have benefited from YOU.
You truly are a "hero" to me.

You are in my thoughts and prayers,

jacki long

Friday, September 18, 2009

Janice to be featured in the November issue of Smithsonian Magazine

Not all of the news we received this August was grim. In fact, when Smithsonian magazine contacted Janice and let her know they wanted to write an article about her journals, well, that was really a high water mark. It is always especially gratifying when a magazine that you have subscribed to and enjoyed for many years calls out of the blue and says they want you to be a part of it.

Making it even sweeter was the fact that Owen Edwards wanted to write it. Owen has been writing about artists and photographers for many, many years, and in particular has written extensively about Peter Beard, an artist and journal maker that Janice has admired for years. Once again, here was a writer whose work Janice already owned, and he wanted to write about her! Very gratifying indeed.

Janice gave Owen a long telephone interview, and sent him one of her very special packets of goodies to inspire him. The results will be published this November, so be sure and pick up a copy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some great images from Bart Morris

Our good friend in Virginia Bart Morris sent these photos he shot of Janice and I. We spent a great weekend with Bart and his wife Kate back in November of 2007 in Baltimore. Baltimore has a surprising amount of great stuff to see, and the crab eating is truly spectacular. The shot of Ratso is from last year when Bart came visiting. Thanks for sharing, Bart!

Bob wearing his contraband Jack in the Box uniform

Joanie, Judi, Ratso and Tricia