Birger Sandzén | "Aspens, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado" | Oil on Canvas | 40 x 30 inches | 1930

Editor’s Note: Western Revelation

The arts, with their unique fusion of emotion, imagination and thought, are a form of communication; works often speak for themselves.

But one of the many things I appreciate about editing WA&A each issue, is discovering the stories behind the artwork.

In each issue, the symbolism, intention, inspiration, process and cultural history of artworks are explained. We understand the context: how an artist’s or architect’s life has influenced their creativity; how their work is tied to schools of thought, unique landscapes or personal beliefs. These stories help us better connect to the work and the individuals creating it.

Take, for example, the E. Martin Hennings painting that was discovered at a Goodwill thrift store in Iowa and sold for $50,000 at the Santa Fe Art Auction. As writer Laura Zuckerman points out, that story will now be a lasting component of the painting’s appeal (“Auction Block.” )

The story behind Jill Soukup’s thoughtful approach to painting not only helps us understand her perspective as an artist, but also helps us consider the world differently. Perhaps we start to see the mechanical beauty of horses or the organic properties in the curves of a grain silo (“Balance in Tension.”) And when we understand the historic importance of Chinese landscape painting, we come to appreciate artist Z.Z. Wei’s work for its heritage as well as for its immediate beauty and the fresh impression of America’s rural settings (“An Inner Landscape.”)

The story of architect Richard Keating is one of continuity. The California-based architect has designed skyscrapers in major metropolitan cities in the U.S., South Korea, United Arab Emirates and Morocco. But when designing a single-family residence in Alta, Wyoming, a town of less than 500, he applies a similar approach: keep the form simple and be attentive to the details and materials (“A Vision Realized.”)

Perhaps part of the appeal of creativity is that it’s full of mystery. This issue of WA&A offers the unsuspecting stories that provide new ways to consider art as well as our world. We hope you enjoy the discovery inside.

Christine Rogel, Editor in Chief

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