Hadley Anne Rampton, "In Flight"

In Flight

I’ve never been one for goodbyes. But I’m older now. A mother. A daughter. A partner and friend. And I know they come whether we want them to or not. So I look at them differently, see them in a new way. I have to. 

I spent part of last evening looking at the very first issue of WA&A, from the fall of 2007. I was expecting braces and bad haircuts, something adolescent and awkward. I was ready to be embarrassed. But what came, what rushed over me like river water on stones, was gratitude. So much gratitude. For the artists. For the writers. For the stories that have made it a joy to sit at my desk for eight-and-a-half years. 

The themes in that first issue — the expansiveness of nature in our West, the visceral power of a work of art, the drive of an artist to represent something that cannot be said in words — are as true in these pages as they were in our very first effort. But I see art differently now. I appreciate both the immediacy and the timelessness. I understand that every experience with a work of art or an architectural space opens us up and moves us to another place. In that way, each encounter is embedded with a goodbye that gives us momentum to go forward. 

It has been my great privilege to work with such phenomenal and talented people around a subject about which I have grown passionate. My experiences with each one of them have brought me here, to this goodbye, and I am nothing if not grateful. By watching them work, by seeing them leap in ways that leave me breathless, I have found the courage to pursue my own art as a writer. 

Editor Christine Rogel and Art Director Karen Schmidt are forces of nature. Their vision, talent and drive to share these stories will take WA&A to new heights. The writers and photographers too will stay unswerving in pursuit of the most beautiful, most meaningful stories. And the advertisers — the remarkable and steadfast  advertisers — will enable their efforts to bring the very best of it, on the page and on the website, to you. 

Publisher Jared Swanson gave me a painting to say goodbye. It’s by Hadley Rampton, and shows the white bark of an aspen against a still-blue evening sky. The leaves are starting to turn. The season is shifting. I loved it before I even saw the title — In Flight. I will look at it every day with gratitude … and aspire. 


Carter G. Walker, Editor

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