American Womankind Magazine: Review 2.0

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.

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Sculptures in the National Marine Park of Cancun. (Photo from American Womankind magazine)

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Closeup of the underwater sculpture (Photo from American Womankind magazine)

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Ocean effects on sculptures over time (Photo from American Womankind magazine)

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!

Author, Cheryl


American Womankind: A Magazine Review

Making its debut in Spring 2015, American Womankind was a delightful surprise, speaking to a hunger I didn’t know I had.  I needed smart, engaging, and thought-provoking writing every bit as much as I craved visual pleasure. Womankind has both.

Born in Australia, Womankind intrigued and seduced me at the cover, a butterfly encrusted portrait of Simone de Beauvoir, the French feminist philosopher and long-time companion of Jean Paul Sartre, French existential philosopher.  Composed of thousands of tiny butterflies in varying colors and patterns, the portrait hints at the theme of the spring publication.  If you think about the life cycle of a butterfly, you can imagine the process of transformation that is part of all life.  Like butterflies, we are in the process of becoming.  What will we become?  What roads will we travel to get there?  With what will we identify?

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Womankind invites you— without carping—to examine the life you lead, to learn something about women in history whose stories you may not have heard before, and to live more mindfully on the planet.  There’s both strength and delicacy in the delivery of essays like: “The Celebrity Machine,” Cooking As Meditation,” and “The One Story That’s Changing Your Life,” framed with startling art, photography and graphics that relate to the articles.

Womankind’s well-written essays explore topics and people in a way I haven’t encountered before— and in a format that invites my curiosity and engagement.  Fresh perspectives from artists and writers, concerned with different aspects of the same topic, were paired in such a way as to resonate with my own thinking.  I was not just informed, but enlightened; affirmed, as well as supported.  I feel that my ability to look at myself individually and as a member of society is respected by this magazine.  The lack of advertising invites me to see myself as something more than a consumer.  Finally, the magazine inspires as it celebrates women in every aspect of life through art, prose, and poetry.

My second issue of American Womankind arrived with Frida Kahlo, the Mexican revolutionary artist and wife of artist Diego Rivera, on the cover.  This time, the portrait was composed of a miniature garden of brightly colored flowers.  Again, I was struck by the quality of the content. One essay, “Frontier wars,” by Todd Miller, explored the impact of immigration laws on ordinary people who just want to do ordinary things like take their children to visit grandparents. Regardless of politics, one can’t help but be touched by this human interest piece.

If you’re looking for an intelligent, though -provoking, and visually-engaging magazine, try American Womankind, available at some Barnes & Noble locations, or at womankindmag.com.

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Author – Cheryl

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