January 20, 2015
Dear F&M Supporters,
Many years ago, I joined a few friends for drinks at Southtown’s La Tuna. They had just finished up a workshop on authentic branding run by Creative Capital, an organization that works with state and local artists to provide professional development within their artistic communities. Inspired by the topic, my friends and I discussed how artistic success is established and measured through writing—a creative field often undervalued and overlooked.
Language plays an important role in the dissemination of ideas. Historically, the pairing of artist and writer is mutually beneficial, expanding the critical voice and making accessible the sometimes challenging concepts of contemporary thought. Charles Baudelaire wrote on Edouard Manet’s paintings, putting them in the context of a burgeoning cultural modernity. Clement Greenberg was instrumental in garnering respect for the new American avant-garde. Minimalist and conceptual artists like Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt documented and propagated complicated concepts through their own writings. In all of these cases, language was the foundation for furthering not only cultural value for the individual, but the cultural capital of a place.
When I introduced French & Michigan as a multidisciplinary firm with a design studio, art gallery, and now workshop, I did so with the intent of promoting collective conditions with a San Antonio base. The business has grown under the position of bridging gaps and deepening the creative community. It seems natural then to extend this mission into a publication, one which cultivates and curates the processes and ideas of thinkers and makers of all kinds in support of the creative endeavor at large. And so we introduce you to FAM, French & Michigan’s writing platform.
FAM’s cross-disciplinary model is led by a curatorial vision, presented through an annual theme. Our first issue focuses on Residuals, with six professional writers commissioned to respond to the concept with essays and articles from academia to flash fiction. Additionally, FAM includes critical investigations in art and design by French & Michigan’s own staff. These writings, collected initially online, will be released in an annual print publication expected this fall.
French & Michigan’s intent is to provide a platform in which ideas can thrive and risks can be taken—whether it be through art, design, or writing. As FAM progresses, future incarnations of the publication will continue to balance cross-disciplinary energies with a quality reading experience. In turn, our hope is that supporters further engage through this outlet, realizing their role as we set out to recognize contemporary artistic innovation in visual, built, and now written encounters.
Happy New Year,