Dear Readers, Friends and Subscribers,
This week Ornament's founding coeditor, Carolyn L.E. Benesh, lost her battle with breast cancer. As her friends and family remember her, Carolyn was a fierce and compassionate woman, intelligent, big-hearted, and always able to make new friends.
Carolyn's legacy of forty-six years of Ornament, and countless relationships forged over documenting decades of American personal adornment, is an empowering message. It details how a couple with a dream can create a constellation of connections between human beings.
Ornament continues to print. The creative vision that Carolyn and my father have built is an important part of the cultural conversation, and Ornament's mission is a timeless one. American artists over decades have been given their due, and placed into the expansive, dynamic context of the craft movement. So, too, has a global perspective been evident in our magazine, showing the shared humanity of expression wrought out in beads, gold, silver, and thread.
Our next issue, Volume 41.5, is slated to print near the end of October, and Volume 42.1 will print in January. These last few months have been a period of struggle and trials, but nevertheless a grateful reminder of the importance of friends and family.
With these recent challenges, we wish to assure that each issue has the level of quality you have encountered with Ornament Magazine these past forty-six years. If you are a subscriber, there will be no change in how many issues you receive in your subscription.
The coronavirus has required many of us to take stock of a different world, and where we go from here. Ornament sees the opportunity to grow into a new role, one suited to an era where stay-at-home is the new normal.
We are reimagining our website, with a new design and layout. Our goal is to provide a platform to meet artists and craftspeople, both established and new to the field, as well as for announcements and the hosting of virtual events. In addition, our purpose is distributing informative articles that explore the pursuit of beauty by so many in the wearable arts, as well as exhibition reviews and historical articles that give a larger picture to the history of human personal adornment.
With the craft field now deprived of the physical events that gave both emotional connection and a venue to see work in person, we are intent on exploring ways of connecting with each other. The internet is not a full substitute for the craft shows, art fairs and galleries that have been a part of our lives for so many years, but if the arts are to survive and grow, we must learn to adapt. With the upcoming new iteration of Ornament's website, we aim to give craftspeople and collectors alike a community to engage in.
We will also be updating our web store, to sell individual PDFs of articles, as well as introducing Patreon. Think of it like a tip jar; if you've appreciated Ornament all these years, you can express that by offering as little as a dollar per month. With this crowdfunding addition, we will be able to offer blog articles from our contributors, and perhaps podcasts and videos down the road.
Print will continue to be the heart and soul of Ornament. The tactile pleasure of pages, rustling between your fingers, is one we hold dear.
It has been our deep joy to produce Ornament over these past forty-six years. The journey we have undertaken with you, our readers, has touched on the most miraculous aspect of our shared humanity, that of the boundless territory of our creativity and imagination. We thank you for having been our partner in this journey, and for your understanding as we navigate the rest of 2020 and beyond.
With our best wishes,
Patrick and Robert