Editorial 100: Conversations


For 32 years, Number: Inc’s mission has been to support artists and promote dialogue about contemporary art in the South. Over time, our geographic boundaries have expanded from coverage in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi to a much larger swath of the South, but the city of Memphis has always been – and remains today – the heart of our organization. In celebration of our 100th issue, we are taking the opportunity to revisit our Memphis roots while, at the same time, connecting with artists, writers and art organizations all over the country.


In this special issue of Number, we asked art professionals living and working in Memphis to reach out to a colleague for a conversation about current challenges and opportunities related to art and cultural production. This request was left intentionally open ended in an effort to make space for a variety of voices, topics, styles, and perspectives. Our contributors definitely delivered: in this issue you will find artists, activists, curators, administrators, educators, gallerists, and collection managers from Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas. The rich, diverse conversations and razor-sharp observations that have made it into the pages of this issue are equally delightful and compelling. We are grateful to each one of them for taking the time to contribute to this issue, and it is our hope that it accurately reflects some of the interests and current issues impacting our art community and readers.


Beyond the quarterly magazine we produce, we would like to take a moment to let you know about our other endeavors that support Number: Inc’s mission and our goal to better meet the needs of our art community. For the last six years, we have hosted the Art of the South exhibition at a rotating series of venues in Memphis and Nashville. Between quarterly print issues, we now invite writers to publish web-exclusive exhibition reviews and interviews, specifically to support and promote art events in a timely manner. We are very excited about our new Young Art Writers Project; teachers use Number as a resource in order to encourage art writing at an early age. Additionally, we regularly feature “Art-Ed Hero” interviews in the magazine and on our website through Young Art Writers Project. We are also excited to announce that we will be shaking up the magazine itself beginning with Number: 101’s theme Art 101: Introduction to Art Career Practices as well as a professional development column in subsequent issues. For more information about any of these programs or if you have ideas regarding how Number: Inc can support you and your work, please contact me at katie.maish@numberinc.org or any board member; our contact information can be found at numberinc.org/about/board.


So much wonderful art is being made in the South for so many reasons – academic research, social and political activism, love of craft, community building, education – and the indisputable fact that this area of the country has become a true locus of critical cultural production makes us hopeful for the future and excited to continue our work at Number, Inc. Thank you to all of our readers and contributors for supporting us for the last 100 issues. We look forward to Number: 101 and beyond.


Katie Maish


Editor, Number: