My love affair with American Womankind magazine has not abated. I opened Issue 7 (February – April 2016) of the magazine and thumbed through its entirety, as is my habit. That first look was all it took for me to renew my subscription right away.
This magazine continues to deliver. It is an exultation of color. Charis Tsevis, who does the cover illustrations, created a stunning portrait of a woman of color. She could be Caribbean, which was a focus of this issue. The colors capture vibrancy and excitement, not hinting at some of the darker parts of Caribbean history, except maybe in her gaze.
A number of articles in this issue resonated with me. But, first…the art. The art of Shari Erickson, whose tropical paintings are placed throughout the magazine, draw me into the island vibe. When Erickson first visited the Caribbean, she said she had been led “to a world without grays.” Her tropics are just as lush as we would want them to be. Who even remembers gray? Interestingly, Erickson’s studio is in Appalachia. Her artistic process and the things that move her are fascinating.
The next thing that captured my imagination is the work of artist, Jason deCaires Taylor, whose work appears, not in a conventional museum, but in the Museo Subacuatico de Arte in Cancún, Mexico. His central themes are water pollution, ocean acidity, and over-fishing. I had seen some of this artist’s work before; but the presentation in Womankind tells me what his mission is: “to prove that we can revivify nature if we only try.” The artist makes his point with this underwater installation of sculptures.
See how the sculptures changed over time when claimed by the sea and its creatures.
I don’t relate only to the eye candy, though. One of the things I like best about the magazine is that it is introduces under-represented, but not insignificant, bits of history. Did you know Jamaica had a “Warrior Queen”? Read about Queen Nanny. Then move on to “The Story of White Gold,” and the impact of sugar on 12 million slaves. These were not subjects in any of my history books.
Another item that caught my interest is historical, artistic, and design focused. There are eight of the most stunning pages of fashion I have ever seen. Here, we are introduced to Vlisco, a Dutch textile designer who invented a wax printing process for the production of African textile prints. These designs go back 170 years. You will be as enthralled as I was if you appreciate great textiles.
While I have focused on highlights that particularly captivated me, there are many more thought-provoking articles that round out American Womankind’s on-going themes that include happiness; ideas to change your life; money and consumerism; and society. For the full experience, you have to buy your own copy!