“The greatest thing a human soul can do in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plain way,” wrote English art critic John Ruskin. “To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion all in one”
I’d like to think that seeing clearly and telling poetically about what we’ve seen has been our most singular endeavor as we’ve published PADUCAH LIFE Magazine for the past quarter century. We truly believe that ART is LIFE in Paducah, Kentucky. The two are indelibly intertwined.
As you will read in this edition, PADUCAH LIFE Magazine was awarded a 2016 Governor’s Award in the Arts for Media this fall. The Governor’s Awards in the Arts are coordinated by the Kentucky Arts Council and honor those who have made significant contributions and achievements in the arts throughout the Commonwealth. The awards are Kentucky’s highest honors in the arts.
Telling the story of arts in Paducah and western Kentucky has been a part of the magazine’s mission since its beginning in 1990. The process of submission for this award was enlightening for me even though I have read every word and approved every image that has appeared in PADUCAH LIFE since its inception. I began with our inaugural issue in which there was a story about a local author and a feature on a young dancer. When I started working my way through subsequent editions to support our nomination I found that the magazine has included a piece on art or performance in literally every edition we’ve ever published! I don’t know why that surprised me since arts is such a vital part of LIFE in our community.
And not only have we featured the creative minds and spirits in our area, we’ve also employed them. Artists are a part of each and every edition of this magazine from writers and designers to photographers and illustrators. In particular I want to take this opportunity to lift up two hugely important people to this endeavor and who greatly contributed to this award. Scott McWilliams has been working his graphic design magic on our pages since almost the very beginning. And JT Crawford has been sharing his eye for both journalism and photography with our readers for the past decade.
We also want to thank Mary Hammond, Executive Director of the Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau for nominating us for this prestigious award. “This magazine has served the arts in western Kentucky with unquestionable devotion and perseverance. It is most deserving of our gratitude and recognition with a Governor’s Award in the Arts. No other media in our area serves the arts in such a dedicated way or with such eloquence and beauty,” Mary said.
This is a thrilling recognition for our magazine but also for our community. Consequently, we share this award with everyone who has allowed us to tell their unique creative story on the pages of PADUCAH LIFE Magazine.