Check out MARGINS, the very first issue of our new online magazine.
Welcome to an all-new Sixty Inches from Center–though “all-new” might be the wrong way to put it. After all, we’ve been around since 2010. But whether you’re a regular reader of our weekly publication, an artist who has participated in our Get Archived events, an art-lover who attended last year’s Pay It Forward gala, or if you’ve never even heard of us, Sixty Inches from Center has become something you’ve never seen before. We’re debuting a brand new magazine format in order to expand our reach and diversify our arts coverage. But before you dive into our very first magazine issue, allow us, the editors, to show you around.
First and foremost, we’re still keeping our old site going. But instead of a weekly editorial publication, we’re refocusing on the “archive” part of our mission. Artists who’d like to get their ephemeral materials entered into the historical record can contact us to be profiled and featured at our old web address and through our partnership with the Chicago Public Library.
Similarly, we’re refocusing our mission of community engagement. Check out our events page for news on that front. At our new brick and mortar headquarters at the Zhou B Arts Center, we’ll be hosting workshops and panel discussions that explore the realities of being a working artist in Chicago. These events aren’t just for artists, though: they’re for everybody whose lives intersect with the arts. In other words, they’re for everybody.
And all of this doesn’t mean we’re forsaking our editorial side. As a matter of fact, you’re reading it. From here on out, we’ll be publishing a triannual magazine that draws on our city’s rich network of writers and journalists interested in the arts. Each issue is built around a theme (and the corresponding workshops and panels will follow suit), and represents an evolution of our old editorial publications. Just like our former practice, you’ll find artist profiles, studio reflections, and gallery visits. But you’ll also find think-pieces, editorial commentary, and audio/video pieces from some of our favorite creators.
You’ll find each of those in our very first issue, MARGINS. We have always been drawn to art found in surprising places, and we intend to keep that in focus. That’s why we chose the fringe as our opening topic. In this issue, you’ll read about a creator literally transforming Chicago from the outside in in Kwame Shorter’s interview with Indira Johnson, and you can find out about how one collective found high art in areas usually excluded from the narrative in Felicia Holman’s history of Honey Pot Performance. You’ll learn about surprising connections being made between two equally marginalized, but otherwise radically different, art forms in Caitlin Bruce’s juxtaposition of circus and graffiti, and you’ll see how artists use their work to navigate societal margins in Mario Contreras’s discovery of the cinematic essay. Meg Santisi explores how gentrification (which is often blamed on artists) actually pushes artists further out, Jason Kreke speaks with the leaders and participants in Arts of Life’s program, and Jasmine Neosh talks to poet and teaching artist Nate Olison about his plan to circumvent the physical distance that separates artists from the city center. We couldn’t be more excited for this debut, and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
Reuben Westmaas and Toby zur Loye, Editors, Sixty Inches From Center
Image credit: Kyle Asperger.