The Magazine, Santa Fe’s contemporary art publication, now falls within a new business entity called Southwest Contemporary, established July 22 by the magazine’s owner, Lauren Tresp.
The Magazine has been evolving into a broader media business since November with Southwest Contemporary giving it a new business structure — with a less awkward name.
“You’re not able to google The Magazine,” she said about the generic magazine name. “It doesn’t describe all the things we want to do. Everything except the magazine is transitioning to the new name. It really is a new company in so many ways.”
Why not drop name?
“I didn’t want to rename it completely in order to preserve some brand continuity and make sure that our readers and advertisers who see the magazine out on the streets still recognize it as the same publication (at least for now) producing the same quality, curated content as before,” Tresp said.
Tresp, who bought The Magazine in January 2016, moved the “tiny office” in November from Guadalupe Street to a 1,400-square-foot, two-story space at 1415 W. Alameda St. that has a 900-square-foot event space. Tresp staged The Magazine’s first art exhibition in March and April called it “12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now.”
She plans to do an exhibition with accompanying The Magazine issue each February-March.
Tresp intends to host a salon series every two months starting toward the end of the year that could include panel discussions, artist workshops, exhibitions, musicians, puppetry or artist works in progress. Next year, she plans to start podcasts, another avenue beyond the magazine for artists to communicate with the world.
She wants Southwest Contemporary to be a “two-way street” with the contemporary art community.
“Our goal is not to make a magazine but get people to connect with contemporary art,” Tresp said. “I want to invite the community into the space of the magazine. A print magazine is just a one-way street. Art discussions should be a dialogue. This is a way to begin that conversation.”
The Magazine got a subtle name change in August, now formally known as The Magazine by Southwest Contemporary. More noticeable changes are coming in October.
The paper stock will change from newsprint to uncoated matte white paper, similar to the stock used for Edible New Mexico. The 13-by-9.5-inch magazine will be reduced to standard magazine size, 8.375-by- 10.875 inches, and the frequency of publication will be trimmed from 10 issues a year to six issues, Tresp said.
“I think it is really important as a visual arts publication that we can produce a more accurate presentation of art works,” she said. “It’s meant to have a longer shelf life.”
When Tresp acquired The Magazine, it was just a print product as it had been since 1992 with no online presence. She launched a website in 2017 but she the site was not getting as many hits as she wanted, part of the reason for creating Southwest Contemporary. Tresp has also added an email newsletter.
Tresp will also establish a member program with benefits yet to be determined.
“We would like to give readers a way to support us,” she said.
She wants Southwest Contemporary to become the media voice for the contemporary arts community. Santa Fe may be the most art-saturated city in America, but Tresp has noticed artists not involved with Canyon Road or Meow Wolf can get lost between the cracks.
“There is a whole contemporary art scene that does not get visibility,” Tresp said. “There are a lot of artists that go unnoticed.”