On Jasper Issue #2 -- a message

A Message from Cindi: By now I hope that most of you have had the opportunity to take a look at the newest edition of Jasper -- The Word on Columbia Arts. We released the new copy on Tuesday, November 15th, and have been steadily distributing it throughout the week. Unfortunately, being the mom & pop kind of shop that we are, we don't have a large van or a crew of delivery persons to make distribution simple and efficient. But we do have a list and we're checking it twice, so if a stack of Jaspers has not materialized in your gallery, boutique, or restaurant space yet, no worries. Monday will come and your magazines will, too.

I do want to take a moment and comment on this, the second issue of Jasper. It's a little different from issue #1.

The first difference you may notice is the cover. Heyward Sims, our design editor, came up with the cool look of the magazine cover being torn away to expose the art living on the inside. I like the way the reader opens the magazine to find the full image - in this case, Thomas Crouch's American Crow, waiting right there in all it's glory. (Visit www.jaspercolumbia.com to see more of Crouch's work.)

Some of you also may have noticed that the magazine is a little heftier. That's because, in our efforts to give Columbia artists their due, we increased the number of pages from 48 to 56 and plan on continuing with this trend.  There's no shortage of stories -- we just need the pages to write them on.

We also added two new departments to this issue. Jasper Takes Notice and Day Jobs. Of the two, I'm most excited about Day Jobs.

I fear that, too often, people on the outside of the arts community fail to realize how difficult it is to be and declare oneself an artist. Very few folks can do this without relying on a day job to help them make ends meet. And in the process, these artists become two-fold contributors to our culture -- via their day jobs and their work as artists.

I'm tired of folks who aren't in the know making assumptions about the lifestyles of artists. Of all the people I know, artists are almost universally the hardest working. Their art isn't a luxury -- it's a necessity; and they make sacrifices for it in hours of sleep, dollars earned, and relationships untended that those of us who just love art, rather than create it, will never know. Dammit.

Our other new department, Jasper Takes Notice, allows us -- sometimes with the help of advisers -- to shine a little light of attention on a fresh and new local artist who has caught our collective eye. Jasper's first Newly Noticed Artist is Rachel Borgman, a student at USC. We were most taken by Rachel's warm and glowing color palette and the Old World aesthetic she brings to her work. We don't want to take our eyes off of Rachel as she grows and matures as an artist.

Of course, you'll likely find other tweaks and turns in this issue of the magazine that weren't there in the last. While we want you to be comfortable with our pages, we never want you to be bored -- so expect things to shake up a bit every now and then.

But there are a few things that will never change:

Our  promise to release a magazine every other month on the 15th of the month (unless the 15th falls on a weekend in which case we'll release it the Thursday before)* just like we said we would; and,

Our commitment to the principle that those of us who endeavor on this magazine do so for one overriding reason -- it's not about our egos, or the writing or the photography or the design; it's not about the magazine itself. It is about the art and the fact that, because of it, Columbia is a better place to live than it would be without it. We're simply proud to be a part of the process.

That said, we'd like to know what You think about the magazine. What would you like to see more or less or? Who would You recommend Jasper to take notice of? What have we not written about that you would like to see in our pages? Write us at DearJasper@jaspercolumbia.com -- we'd love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading friends -- please keep in touch.


*The Jasper January 2012 issue releases on Thursday, January 12, 2012 with a party at the Art Studios at the Arcade on Main Street