Krystii Melaine | Something in the Wind | Oil on Linen Panel | 26 x 26 inches | Courtesy of the Eiteljorg Museum

Editors Note: The Art of Slowing Down

In today’s modern world, as technology moves us along at an accelerated pace, the effort to stay present has become increasingly challenging. Our lives often require a sense of hurry, constant multitasking, and responding to endless notifications. In the midst of this chaos, art offers a refuge. A place to pause, stay present, and embrace the beauty available to us in the world. 

In this issue of WA&A, that beauty takes many forms, and each is worth slowing down for. Take artist Melissa Cody, for example. She’s working to reclaim the tradition of Diné (Navajo) weaving, endowing the medium with all the expressive potential it has to offer while recognizing its important cultural history. And Cody’s impact is radiating to others, inspiring artists in her community to do the same (“Reclaiming Tradition,” pg. 132).

In this issue, we also read how architects, builders, and interior designers curate spaces into experiences. We see how Montana’s mountain environment shapes design out West in two homes: a modern structure that highlights the landscape and a contemporary art collection (“Enduring Drama,” pg. 138) and a ski-in, ski-out residence that takes its cues from Scandinavia and is made for facilitating family memories (“Amid the Alpine,” pg. 150).

We also read about artist William Matthews as he reflects on his life’s work to date (“The Wilds of Watercolor,” pg. 156). While hanging pieces for his retrospective at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, he was surrounded by decades of creative effort and noticed that “every poster, every album cover, every painting, every different project brought its own anxiety and stories and dynamics and bliss and frustration.” We may sometimes think of artists as invincible talents, gifted by the muse to be visionaries who easily interpret the world, but Matthews shows us that true artistic success is about hard work, dedication, and the bravery to trust our intuitions. 

In a world that seems to be perpetually speeding up, art encourages us to take an intermission. We can identify with the emotions conveyed through colors, find awe in a painter’s brush strokes, and lose ourselves in the story. We can wander through a building, noticing that even the smallest design detail was crafted to impart an ambiance. By embracing art, we can find moments of tranquility. This issue is an invitation to slow down and appreciate the beauty that’s so readily available to us if we just take the time to stop and look.

Christine Rogel, Editor in Chief

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