Editor’s Letter | Time to Celebrate!

By Kristin Hoerth

Happy new year! The year ahead is full of celebration here at Southwest Art Magazine, because 2011 is our 40th anniversary. Forty years! It’s a long time for any business, but especially a business in the art and publishing industries. The magazine you enjoy today began life in 1971 in Houston, TX, as Southwest Art Gallery Magazine. Its original focus was the local Houston art scene, but it quickly expanded to cover the burgeoning art movement in the southwestern U.S. As that movement grew larger by leaps and bounds in the 1980s and 1990s, Southwest Art was there to chronicle the explosion of interest. And as the definition of “southwest art” itself gradually evolved in the 1990s and 2000s, Southwest Art was still there, guiding tens of thousands of faithful readers to the best artists. Above all else, quality artwork always has been—and always will be—our strongest guiding principle.

Pillows by Michael Steirnagle

The May issue will mark our exact anniversary month, and we’ll have several special features to honor the occasion. Meanwhile, though, we’re kicking the year off by sprucing up the look of our pages. You’ll see a number of updated designs throughout the magazine, and especially in our events column, which has been revamped to bring you more news of art shows, more images, and more reading enjoyment. We’ve also got a new column, From Our Archives, in which we’re taking a look back each month at some of our most notable covers from the past four decades.

Of course, this month we also celebrate the art of painting the figure. Our featured artists run the stylistic gamut from realism to impressionism to expressionism. And because women are such a common theme in figure painting, we created a special portfolio this month exclusively focused on paintings of men. I think you’ll enjoy comparing and contrasting these portraits, as well as reading the artists’ own comments on their pieces and what inspired them.

Finally, I’d like to remind you that every month we’re giving away a painting by one of our featured artists! It’s very easy to enter this sweepstakes—just visit win.southwestart.com and fill out the entry form, but make sure you do it before the January 15 deadline. This month’s painting comes from Montana artist Susan Blackwood, who’s featured in “The Good Guys” portfolio. It’s a wonderful way to add to—or start!—your art collection. -January 2011