By Kristin Hoerth
Thoughts of family and relationships seem to be everywhere this month. As I write this, I’ve just returned from a trip to the Midwest to attend a wedding in my husband’s family. These gatherings are always busy, multi-generational reunions, but this one was even more special because the ceremony took place on the farm that belonged to my husband’s grandparents and is now owned by four of his aunts and uncles. The bride and groom exchanged their vows on the lawn where his grandmother’s garden used to be. It was a meaningful way to honor those family members who are no longer with us.
Of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas—those most family-oriented of holidays—are just around the corner. I’ll spend the former back in the Midwest with my husband, where some 60 or 70 of his father’s relatives will converge on one house for a day of food, football, and finding out what everyone’s been up to since last year’s get-together. In contrast, we’ll spend Christmas here in Colorado with part of my family, and the party will number in the single digits.
The theme of family winds through this month’s issue, as well. Our special focus on “Family Ties” spotlights eight of the many artistic families in the West—parents and children, siblings, husbands and wives. You’ll learn about the benefits and challenges that exist when close relatives share the same career. And you’ll discover both the similarities and the differences in their artwork.
Other features in this issue echo the relationship theme, as well. Featured artist Julio Reyes almost always paints family members or friends in his figurative works. “I want to paint real people in my life who have real stories,” Reyes says. “I don’t want to pay a model I don’t know to come and sit in my studio. If I am familiar with people’s stories, I can think about them when I’m painting, and I can feel tied to their emotions. I want to feel filled up by their stories, and then pour it all out into a painting.”
Finally, we bring you a story of collaboration among longtime friends Preston Singletary and Dante Marioni, two masters of the medium of glass. Earlier this year they worked closely to create a stunning body of work that marries elements of each artist’s signature style. “It was a real joy to work together,” Singletary says. The rhythm of blowing glass together was as familiar as if they had been doing it all along, Marioni adds.
That’s one of the joys of family ties: a comfortable familiarity and permanent bond that endures despite time, distance, and all other challenges. We hope you enjoy learning more about these bonds in the art world. –November 2011