Sweet Anise


Nov. 24, 1969 to Jan. 1, 2019

Anise Mouette Stevens, 49, of Pasadena, a noted critic and essayist focused on the Los Angeles art community, gently passed from this life on Jan. 1, 2019, after a long and ferocious battle with recurring cancer. Ms. Stevens’ lifelong passion for the visual arts was evident in her frequent contributions on emerging Los Angeles artists for publications such as Artillery and Aeqai, and the lifestyle website, Life in L.A. She was recognized for her support and recognition of artists from underserved communities. As an emerging visual artist herself, Ms. Stevens’ paintings were recently featured in several gallery collections.

Previously, Ms. Stevens had been a professor in the Los Angeles Community College system from 2002 to 2016, with a particular commitment to serving students transitioning from marginal schools to continuing education.Ms. Stevens short play, “Trust Me,” was premiered in New York in 1999 at the American Theater of Actors, and was performed the following year in Los Angeles at The Brand New Theater. That work was included in the anthology, “Best New Short Plays of 1999.” Her academic writings have appeared in numerous journals and peer reviews.A 1998 graduate of Loyola Marymount with a BA degree in English Literature, Ms. Stevens then earned her MFA in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California in 2000. In 2003 she was awarded a full fellowship at the National Writing Project at California State University/Los Angeles.She is survived by a son, Cyan Sanders; her husband, Harold Sanders of Pasadena; mother, Martha Stevens of Studio City; her father, Edmond Stevens of Pasadena; step-father, George Shea, also of Studio City; step-mother, Bernadette Murphy of Pasadena, and numerous step-brothers and sisters, and cousins. A celebration of life is pending and the family requests donations in her memory be made to the Cancer Support Community of Pasadena.


My own memories:

Anise and I go back 25 years- we met in a French class at LACC - two hipster punk girls trying to go back to school and better ourselves. I met her at a time when I had hit rock bottom and friends seemed to be falling by the wayside. Her friendship got me through those times- I swear I don’t know what would have happened to me if I had not met her when I did. She had a way of being there without trying to fix you, minimizing your problems, judging you, or expecting any­thing back from you. She just was there. We would go in and out of each other's life as we got busy in other directions- (I dropped out of school, but she continued and got her Masters degree, and became a professor of creative writing and an award winning playwright and art critic) - but more than ANY other single person I have known in my life- inevitably, we'd be back on the same path, in each other’s life. So many years of being hipster art scene girls- then getting married in our late 30’s, then having our beautiful children.I remember crying so much about 3 years ago when her cancer came back aggressively- But she fought SO damn hard. I knew she wasn't going to win- but she was doing a damn good job of stalling it. I got used to this new Anise- that was a little scattered and emotional, always tired- ( so opposite of old Anise!) but was beating the odds! She lost her battle yesterday morning, as her stepmom put it, as a parade of flowers started outside her window. (She lived across the street from the Tournament of Roses house. So perfect). Damn it, she texted that she was a little tired but we would go for coffee and get the kids together over Christmas break. It’s been such a long battle but still so hard to accept.My heart goes out to her parents, her extended family and friends that I never got to meet - and especially her lovely son and her husband who will be raising him without her. I hope Violet and Cyan (yes, we both named our beautiful Leos colors!), will continue to be friends forever...

Edit to add a link about her service:
From her uncle’s blog (Jim Friedrich) who presided over her service.

And a link to her website, that includes her writings as an art critic.