A Letter From The Editor: Issue 5
One summer in the mid-2000s I was fortunate enough to spend a little more than 20 days in the U.K. I flew into Shannon, Ireland, and romantically explored Limerick and Dublin. I drank cider in a castle near Edinburgh, Scotland, introduced myself to around 1,000 sheep in Northwest England’s Lake District, dipped a toe in the English Channel and spent a few days in Wales. I concluded my adventure touring a handful of cities in England. After touching the grave of William Shakespeare, I sang “Sweet Caroline” with a 75-year-old Englishman in a blue jumpsuit. I was the farthest from home I had ever been, and the history and weight of the magnificent places I took in overwhelmed me.
Days after a cruise on Loch Ness, I was staggering in front of Stonehenge. I felt an incredible weight on my shoulders (which I later attributed to a deluge of gratitude) but in the moment, I thought I was nothing and I was nowhere. I felt buried by history; I felt small.
And then, an anomalous event whipped me back into the present. As I stood on the edge of the medieval stronghold that is Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland, I felt a tap on my shoulder. As I slowly turned, a classmate from my small-town high school was smiling in front of me. More than 4,000 miles from home, on the exact same day, at the exact same time, we had ended up in the same place. After that, the moment was packaged in my memory, to remind me always that we are all mysteriously connected.
The artists we’ve gathered for this issue all have an acute understanding or a thirst for knowledge around how humans interact with others and their surrounding environments. Seitu Jones, a Minneapolis-based multidisciplinary artist, installs public artwork as well as museum exhibitions to connect directly with his audience. St. Louis potter Phillip Finder is interested in the way humans interact with material and object. In Traverse City, chef James Bloomfield re-imagines—and re-prints(!)—new menus every single day to reconnect with the food, the staff and the guests at his 40-seat restaurant. Designer Chrissy Fogerty realized early on that humans have more than a simple aesthetic connection to their clothing. With a strong, environmental awareness, she is beautifully crafting PVC-free faux leather garments in St. Louis.
Kate Arends is a St. Paul-based creative consultant who creates award-winning strategic design, while injecting wit and realness about her life into daily posts for her nearly three million loyal followers. Her success seems to know no bounds, yet she’s somehow been able to maintain an authentic (and at times hilarious) human element in her work. After graduating into a rocky economy, Chad and Meg Gleason returned to Chad’s family farm in Audubon, Iowa, and launched letterpress studio Moglea. As you dig into this lovely couple’s story it’s hard to not connect with some part of their journey, as they now thrive in a custom-built studio on their 2,000-acre property.
Whether we’re studying a 5,000-year-old sacred stack of stones or a beautifully designed day planner, remembering the creative hands behind the work can, at times, be lost. No matter how far we stray, our mortal connection to other living souls will always find a way to shake us awake and remind us that connection, above all else, is why we’re here.
Photography by Attilio D’Agostino.