Jasper is in the news (blush)

by Dan Cook, August 2nd 06:20pm

There's a new arts magazine in town -- Jasper, named for native son Jasper Johns, one of the leading visual artists of the 20th century.

Take a look at the editor and contributing writers of Jasper, though, and you'll see the list is strikingly similar to the people who put out local magazine undefined -- minus one, founding publisher Mark Pointer.

Launched in 2008, undefined has carved a niche in the local arts community with its in-depth profiles and high-quality photos and layout. But it's also been erratic, with an irregular publishing schedule and a propensity for turnover in its ranks.

Yes, it seems there's a clash of arts magazines going on: undefined editor Cindi Boiter (who, full disclosure, also contributes dance articles and reviews to Free Times), has broken ranks with Pointer, launched Jasper and taken most of its contributors with her. Among the familiar undefined names now with Jasper: Kristine Hartvigsen (associate and managing editor for Jasper), Michael Miller (associate and copy editor), Ed Madden (poetry editor) and more. (Full disclosure: All three have also contributed to Free Times.)

Will Jasper bring Columbia consistent, long-form arts coverage where undefined has faltered? Or will it fall prey to the familiar pitfalls of start-up publishing ventures -- high printing costs, low ad demand and public indifference?

Will the defection of so many be the death knell for undefined? Or will it rise from the ashes and live to publish another day?

Stay tuned ... and check out the contenders at jaspercolumbia.com and at facebook.com/undefinedmagazine.



Thanks for this kind acknowledgment, Free Times. One thing, though.

Yes, Jasper is named as such as an homage to the brilliant, and certainly, one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Jasper Johns. But it is also named in honor of jasper, the lovely gemstone, whose colors you will vividly see when we go to print in lesss than forty days, and a myriad other people, places, and things, not excluding Sargeant Jasper and a now-deceased feline of the same name.