Dear Friends,

A Letter from the Editor

Dear friends,

What a wild ride it’s been. Thank you for being here, being you, and supporting arts publishing! When I co-founded this magazine in mid-2020 with artist Vickie Vainionpää, whose design chops shaped the look and feel of Dovetail, we set out to highlight and foster connections between contemporary art and photography, design, and craft.

Throughout that year, we printed two magazines that included feature articles about artists like Kahlil Robert Irving, Moley Talhaoui, Jezabeth Roca Gonzalez, and Daisy Parris. Online reviews, interviews, and highlights contributed from writers all over the world comprised a wealth of amazing work and insights. Initially conceived as a publishing arm of Young Space, it immediately took on a life of its own. Video calls and impressively lengthy email threads were the core of the process. Organized virtually, something beautifully tangible was produced and shipped around the world to subscribers and a handful of stockists who shared a passion for independent publishing.

The shifting sands of the pandemic and our individual paths meant navigating and adapting to changing circumstances. At the same time as Vickie’s painting career soared and her time in the studio became increasingly vital, I decided to move from Wisconsin to Scotland for what amounted to a much-needed change of pace. It was a natural time to put the magazine on hold.

Traveling or moving abroad has a remarkable way of altering perspectives on many things, not least the way one relates to their surroundings and the nature of familiarity. In a roundabout way, I realized that I had become over-familiar, in a sense, with the online contemporary art landscape, and I wanted a break. I began to spend more time outdoors, making journeys to overlooked nooks, exploring small towns at home in the Midwest and then eventually around Scotland. Something fundamental had gone missing in the way that I had been approaching my curatorial work and the process of managing Young Space. I came to realize that the missing piece was a sense of place: a feeling of belonging, meaningful interaction, and intentionality. There was a sort of dysmorphia to existing only online⁠—an inability to see the real shape or size of the landscape we floated around in. I craved something that would root me.

Dovetail has been a way to arrange and connect ideas, art, and people in a palpable, anchoring sort of way. So, perhaps inevitably, I found myself drawn back to it again, considering the ways it could respond to the ever-changing landscape of the contemporary art world. I’m so excited to begin again! The spirit of the magazine remains: visual art fits nicely with a host of other design and aesthetic practices. It also fits really well with ideas around locality—the nature, history, landscape, people, and ideas that make a place into somewhere.

As Vickie continues to focus on her art practice, I’m diving back into Dovetail, and I look forward to sharing this second iteration with you. Opportunities to submit proposals for writing contributions will open soon on this page. It will be online for now, and we’ll see what happens next! You can also follow updates on Instagram or sign up for email updates below.

Warmest wishes from springtime Scotland,

Kate Mothes


Share your thoughts