Over the last six years, I have learned to love your arts community through deep and incredibly meaningful conversations. You all give more than you take, and truly my life has been shaped by my experiences with you. During these years, I have actively worked to document these beautiful conversations and the work made around them by founding and running Informality. This January, I have made the decision to formally step down as Senior Editor and take a more informal and less hands-on role as an Editor at Large. I will still remain working with The H&R Block Artspace on PDF Club and be an editorial lead on a couple of upcoming projects through which Informality is the main collaborator.
My team is amazing. Our new Editor in Chief, Julia Monté, is full of exuberant enthusiasm through which I know she will be an incredible advocate for artists in the community and the writers who cover them. Blair Schulman, my trusted writing art mentor and fellow Guerrilla Docent will be taking the role of Managing Editor, overseeing the editorial content and process, alongside the publication schedule. If you’ve got a pitch, he is your guy. Rounding out the team I have Senior Editor Patricia Graham, handling our bad habits of passive voice and turning draft dreams into published realities.
Informality began as, and always will remain a service to the artists. That is what sets us apart truly, as our goal has always been foster growth and document the city’s art history. Through informally and informatively engaging with artists I know it will continue to do good. This little blog I started as an offshoot of an undergraduate internship, turned into a publication I could have never imagined. I am so thankful to the people in the community who have supported it from the beginning. It will remain a service to people who want to read about art on a deep and engaging level. For those who want to dive deep into the cultural critiques and avoid the International Art English. A place to read about radically vulnerable artists being transparent and talking about theories and their practice. This is exactly what it has become and I’m so thankful. It has been an incredible artist-run virtual space for learning, growth, and love.
This blog and its approach were always to remain accessible. My goal in its creation was to make an art blog for my grandma a painter, a community organizer, an advocate, and one of my biggest heroes.
My hope as I step down from this role is that you will continue to support these amazing people that volunteer their time and effort to make this artist-run arts blog happen.
Melaney Ann Mitchell
Hello Kansas City!
My name is Julia Monté and I am thrilled to become Informality’s Editor-in-Chief this year.
As I take over this space, I want to grow the publication’s writer pool to be more of a community. Informality’s distinguishable trait to cover art and culture in the midwest has made the publication unique, in addition to its goal to be informal and informative. I am thinking about how to best serve the artists in Kansas City, and in that, I am planning some meaningful changes. We are going to accept submissions for more diverse content and new types of writers looking at criticism in a broader sense. Our scope will shift at times to a more national conversation, thinking about how an informal and informative conversation about contemporary art can change and shift within and outside of KC. Our style guide will develop to include more fiction, creative writing, and experimental forms, still focusing on how to have reciprocity and care in forms of review and interpretation of contemporary art. We are going to focus on programming that will create the foundation for the voice of the publication and its future. Our new public program P E R E N N I A L starts January 30th. These bi-weekly, drop-in, informal writing workshops aim to bring together writers in the community and bring their current projects to the forefront. We want to offer accountability partners and editorial support, to foster the growth of one another’s publishing goals and deadlines. There will be more opportunities for more diverse categories of writing, expanding beyond the midwest with occasional national stories, artists’ essays about their own practices, and creative writing. The focus on Informality will still aim to be informal and informative, with an emphasis on Kansas City artists and writers, and now offering national features that will help grow our contribution to the national conversation.
I am looking forward to lots of writing, sharing, and growing this year! I am so thankful for Melaney and her vision behind Informality, the Informality team, past and present, for all the time they dedicate to writing and editing, and all the writers who have contributed to Informality. Thank you for entrusting me with this project, and I hope you join the conversation, wherever you are!