Editor's Letter

Painting the Pages

Southern creativity takes center stage in our first-ever arts issue

A girl sits on the floor in an art studio with paintings around her. She wears a blue, red, and white patterned skirt and a white blouse.

Photo: Margaret Houston Dominick

G&G’s Gabriela Gomez-Misserian in her studio space in North Charleston, South Carolina.

I have been a morning person for as long as I can remember, a trait that plays well with my passion for the outdoors, on the water or in the field. But more often than not, it means I can log a good walk before work. And while I do carry my phone with me, you won’t find me listening to music (I’ll take birdsong) or taking a call (send to voicemail). Instead, I occasionally snap a few photos, which sometimes end up on my Instagram feed with the caption “If I could paint, I’d paint this.”

An artist I am not. But that didn’t mean I came with an empty folder when we began planning G&G’s first-ever arts issue. I raised my hand for James Prosek, whom the New York Times referred to as a rising “Audubon of the fishing world” back in 1994, while he was still a student at Yale. But Prosek, whose work has always intertwined art and conservation, has gone well beyond the trout streams of his early career and now finds himself translating the beauty and importance of the remaining Texas prairie onto canvas and other media. Senior editor CJ Lotz Diego, who’s especially fond of folk art and ceramics, championed the talented Chesapeake decoy carver Mark McNair and others, including the Savannah painter (and our cover model) Andrew LaMar Hopkins. Associate editor Caroline Sanders Clements was particularly jazzed by the work of Ryan N. Dennis, the senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, who is helping to bridge gaps in the art world.

We also listened closely to digital producer Gabriela Gomez-Misserian, who, when she’s not building stories for the G&G website, can often be found at the easel in her studio or painting the flora at Charleston, South Carolina’s Hampton Park. While she’s reluctant to call herself an artist, her work says otherwise, including stunning impressionistic paintings of street corners, coneflowers, and even very Southern studies of butter. She finds art where the colors and the right light speak to her. In this issue, Gomez-Misserian, also a talented writer, highlights the monumental sculptures of the Caddo Nation artist Raven Halfmoon.

Through the years, G&G has often shone a spotlight on great Southern artists, from the Mississippi painter William Dunlap to the South Carolina sculptor Grainger McKoy and many others. I hope this issue helps you discover a new favorite.

Follow DiBenedetto on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) @davedibenedetto

Homeward Bound

A new read from G&G’s style director

When it comes to the art of the home, few are as well-versed as G&G’s style director, Haskell Harris. In her new book, The House Romantic, she shares stories about the homes she’s lived in and made her own, as well  as the folks who have inspired her aesthetic, including the Charlotte-based designer Barrie Benson and the Charleston watercolor artist Lia Burke Libaire. Grab a copy and take a tour.

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