Mormon Artist will stay as it is for now, but if/when we resurrect it, we’ll consider changing the name. (I’ll admit that the lack of a short, simple adjective to replace “Mormon” is kind of hard, with “LDS” out of the running as well, but we’ll cross that bridge later. Hopefully the forthcoming instructions will have some good solutions.)
My wife was reading a book yesterday and noticed that the photo in the back was one we’d taken for Mormon Artist. Cue my sudden realization that the ten-year anniversary of the inception of the magazine came and went on June 19 without my noticing. (To be clear, if ten-year anniversaries mean anything, the release of the first issue on September 1, 2008 would be far more deserving. But we’ll just celebrate it today, comfortably sandwiched between both dates.)
I miss Mormon Artist. I made mistakes — the multiple hiatuses, optimizing interview production like mad in the second era (flaying off much of the magazine’s character in the process), ignoring the site’s dire need for a redesign, to name just a few — but I’m proud of what we did. 185 interviews, ten articles, and seventeen podcast episodes. It was hard, but it was wonderful, too, and I hope it helped people in some small way.
While grad school is keeping me from resurrecting the magazine right now, I do hope to do something more (and a little different) with Mormon Artist in a few years. I don’t know exactly what that means, though I have some ideas.
In the meantime, thank you to everyone who was involved — the artists of all kinds who let us interview them; the volunteers who helped with interviews, editing, photography, management, and more; and all the readers. God bless you all.
Back in October we started our Mormon Artist podcast, releasing new episodes every two weeks on Tuesdays. You can subscribe on iTunes or via the RSS feed. So far we’ve interviewed Melissa Leilani Larson, Scott Jarvie, and Blair Treu. (I should add that my involvement is limited to putting the episodes on the web; Katherine Morris does all the interviewing and audio editing.)
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.
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.
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.
Mormon Artist Issue 13, our special science fiction and fantasy issue, is now available. We’ve got interviews with Orson Scott Card, Ally Condie, Dave Wolverton, Aprilynne Pike, Tracy Hickman, Mette Ivie Harrison, Brandon Mull, James Christensen, Derryl Yeager, and Keri Doering, along with a special Writing Excuses podcast by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler. Enjoy: