Beholding Beauty

If there is one thing I have learned as the editor of Cape Cod ART, it is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone, it seems, has a different idea about what makes a work of art compelling. This truism was underscored for me again when our staff reviewed possible cover choices for this issue.

We have always involved our small staff in the selection of covers for all our publications. This can be a somewhat contentious process, especially when it comes to the cover of ART. There always seems to be a dividing line between the more conservative members of our staff and those who lean towards somewhat edgier, more abstract choices.

The art director and I narrow down the possibles to 10 or so options (which we run by the publisher, who always jokes that he gets at least five votes for every cover.) We post the choices on the walls of our office for several days. And then we discuss. And disagree sometimes. And discuss some more. Take a few votes. Vote again.

Our discussions range around a lot of topics. How will the image work on the newsstands? Is it too subtle, not strong enough to capture a reader’s attention in the carnival of magazines on every shelf (including the tough competitors on Barnes and Noble newsstands around the country?) Will our subscribers be offended if we pick something too edgy? Will the artists and art collectors sniff if we pick something too traditional?

It is never an easy choice, usually because all the artists we profile are all talented in their own unique way and they all see beauty differently. There were those (like myself) who took a serious dive for the Joan Albaugh painting Snorkel Boy on page 18. There were many who loved the clarity of Ryan Young’s Morning’s Edge on page 64.

In the end, the art director, the publisher, and I chose Mike Rooney’s Summer Cottage. We all agreed that Rooney’s painting made us long for summer days with gentle sea breezes, warmed by Cape Cod’s famous light. Rooney’s  painting invited us in, made us feel at home in a world we want to share.

I am sure we will hear from some artists and readers who see beauty differently than we did. And that’s just fine. After all, Cape Cod and the Islands have always been places that welcome those with different ideas. And maybe next year, we’ll surprise everyone and put something really out there on the cover. Until then, we are sure you will enjoy beholding all—or at least some of—the beauty on these pages.

Artfully yours,

Susan Dewey

Susan Dewey, Associate Publisher & Editor


Susan Dewey is the associate publisher and editor of Cape Cod LIFE, Cape Cod HOME, and Cape Cod ART. She lives in Centerville on Cape Cod and enjoys gardening, sailing, walking on the beach, gallery hopping, cooking with fresh seafood, and exploring Cape Cod and the Islands from shore to shore.

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