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Mormon Artist Issue 16

Issue 16 of Mormon Artist is now up. This issue features interviews with Tessa Meyer Santiago, Marilyn Bushman-Carlton, Megan Rieker, Elisabeth Bell, Leslie Graff, Sara Webb, and Marilyn McPhie.

And so it ends. (My involvement, anyway.) As you’ll see in the editors’ notes, Katherine Morris is now editor-in-chief and publisher of the magazine, effective immediately. Over the next couple weeks I’ll be migrating the website to her server and handing over the other keys of the kingdom, and she’ll be getting the first few episodes of the new podcast out soon. And it’ll be good.

Three years. Whew.

Update on Mormon Artist

Remember how I was going to shut down Mormon Artist? I’m still stepping down, but I recently decided to pass the name/domain on after all. Katherine Morris (my literature editor) will be taking the reins after we publish Issue 16. She’ll be doing things somewhat differently — I’ll let her explain that when the time comes — but the brand will live on.

The future of Mormon Artist

This next issue of Mormon Artist (#16, June/July 2011) will be our last.

It’s been a good three years — in our seventeen issues (including #16 and our contest issue), we’ll have featured over 130 Latter-day Saint artists. We published some important special issues (New York City, international, and science fiction and fantasy), and I hope we accomplished our goal of showing that there’s a lot more going on in the Latter-day Saint arts world than many of us realized.

Why it’s ending

While I’ve loved doing Mormon Artist, it’s time for me to move on to other projects.

And no, this isn’t because we ran out of content. The field is just as white as ever, and there are still scads of people to interview — more than we could ever hope to feature. Even though we’re laying Mormon Artist to rest, it’s my hope that others will join sites like Linescratchers and The Cricket and Seagull in filling the niche. (A few of my editors will be starting a new venture covering LDS arts, by the way. I’ll have more details on that when they’re ready to launch.)

Some of you may be wondering why I’m shutting the whole thing down instead of just getting someone else to run the magazine. Even if it were easy to find someone to helm a non-profit gig like this, I’d much rather see fresh approaches — new variations on the theme, if you will. The way we’ve done things with Mormon Artist isn’t the only way to cover the Mormon arts world.

What’s going to happen next

Sometime in June, we’ll publish Issue 16 (this time all our interviewees are female, by the way — mostly since in Issue 15 they were all male). And then the curtain will fall.

I’ll keep the website up for the foreseeable future, of course, and comments will stay open, but we won’t be creating any new content under the Mormon Artist banner.

I do want to say thanks to everyone who has been involved with Mormon Artist over the last three years — readers, volunteers, interviewees, all y’all. It’s been wonderful. The magazine has been a huge part of my life, not to mention its role in helping me meet my future wife, and I’ll always look back on these days with fondness. But there are exciting new things ahead, too. Onward ho.

NYT mention

Google Alerts sent me an email today saying that the New York Times linked to my magazine, Mormon Artist. Here’s what they said:

Plenty of the MagCloud efforts are vanity projects or high-end brochures, but many others are surprisingly interesting, gorgeous, niche magazines — Mormon Artist, San Louie, Stranded, to name a few — that would not look out of place at Barnes & Noble.

Somebody pinch me. (I should add that this is our second mention in the NYT — the first was in March 2009 — and TIME also mentioned us just over a year ago.)