ON APRIL 22, 202o, a billion people around the world will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day — except, this year, likely not together. Ironically, a small forest of trees will be sacrificed for print publications around the globe to analyze the lasting impact of Earth Day, deep-dive into a half-century of environmental activism and opine on the ecological state of our world today.
Here in the pages of Pacific NW magazine, we’re not doing any of those things. Instead, we’re handing the entire magazine over to a bunch of artists for their take on Earth Day. This isn’t the first time we’ve had a one-topic issue, but it’s quite possibly the first time we’ve had an issue without a single story.
I’ve been an art director at The Seattle Times in one form or another since 1990. Over those years, I’ve had the great privilege of working with some of the finest newspaper artists in the world. Believe me: They have stacks of international awards to prove it. When we decided to reach out to local artists for this project, I knew just who to call. Most of them don’t work here anymore, so on one level, I was motivated by the opportunity to “put the band back together.”
As I was struggling to find everyone, my wife, former Post-Intelligencer artist Kim Carney, produced an illustration of her own (shown here). Her enthusiasm for the project inspired me to keep making calls and round everyone up. I really wasn’t sure how many of them would want to contribute, so I was thrilled when every last person I could track down happily agreed.
Some of the artists created something brand-new. Others offered something brilliant they already had done that fit the bill. Collectively, their work makes a great statement about Earth Day and the issues surrounding it. I couldn’t be more grateful for the wonderful work on these pages, or more proud of the fine artists who created it.
Oh, and for anyone wondering: No, I wasn’t at Woodstock. But yes, I was at the first Earth Day.