Editor’s Letter | A Change of Perspective

By Kristin Hoerth

As you may know,Southwest Art magazine was founded in Houston, TX, in 1971 and published there until 2006, when the offices were relocated to Boulder, CO. We’ve recently moved again, but this time it was just a short six or seven blocks to a different building in downtown Boulder. Of course it was a bit chaotic temporarily, as moves always are. But now we’re settled, by and large, into a slightly funky, modern space with concrete floors and exposed ceilings. Appropriately enough, there are even a few oil-paint smudges here and there—in the past, the space housed studios for several artists, and you can tell by the position of the track lighting exactly where their easels stood.

Despite the hassles and hard work of moving, there are certain aspects of the whole process that I actually find invigorating. I like, for example, having the opportunity to start fresh in an empty space, to arrange furniture and artwork and everything else just where I want it. And I like the shift in perspective that comes with new surroundings. When we’re in one place for a long time, it’s easy to fall into patterns both trivial and significant. In a new setting, everything feels different, and it’s easy to approach the business at hand from innovative new angles.

Speaking of looking at things differently, that’s exactly what several of this month’s featured artists do. In our focus on contemporary and modern art, we meet painters and sculptors who offer fresh perspectives on the landscape, wildlife, horses, houses, and more. Rather than striving for exact representation, they concentrate on the essence of their chosen subjects. The subjects are always there, but they’ve been filtered through the artists’ very personal visions.

One of these artists is California painter Siddharth Parasnis, a young talent we first introduced in the September 2006 edition of our popular “21 Under 31” feature. In an effort to introduce even more up-and-coming artists like Sid, we’ve launched our first-ever Emerging Artists Competition. The first portion focuses on artists under 31; winners will be revealed in our September issue. The second portion focuses (by popular demand) on emerging artists over the age of 31; you’ll meet those winners in our November issue. If you know some talented candidates, please encourage them to visit www.southwestart.com for details on entering. We can’t wait to showcase the best new artists out there! -May 2009