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Bill Lasarow


Drawing by Kent Twitchell

Entering our 25th season of providing you with information and opinion about the current art of Southern California can’t help but provoke reflection about who we were at the time we launched compared to what we have become.  Being fans of origin stories of all kinds, we naturally took this question to our contributing writers.  We asked them:  What are your stories, your key personal experience that ignited your engagement with art, that convinced you to immerse yourself in its alchemical brew?  What moment of emotional impact, of sudden clarity, of doubt turned to certainty brought you to dedicate yourself to the creative encounter?

Thus Mario Cutajar’s column begins a season of reflection that is also one of a new beginning.  25 years of publication means that we have a history to draw on, and relationships with you, our readers to maintain.  But it also means that we must continue to look beyond the horizon, to find new ways to allow this vehicle to illuminate the public options for visual art.  We do it because we prize the encounter, we are energized by the discussions, and we are endlessly surprised by all of it.  

If the personal stories that our contributors share with us give the season its special mark, it is about much more than what they reveal about these special people.  It is a reminder that art--beyond the popularity of an artist, the prices at auction, or the hot new gallery district--is fundamentally a private matter.  Beyond the vast structure of the art world on which it rests, there is the creative impulse that produces art and the curiosity that drives us to go see it.  This is what is substantial, it’s why we are here, and it’s what will keep us coming back for more.