We have some good news, some big news and some more good news.
The good news: After 12 years of accepting cover art from local artists and paying $150 per published work, we're changing how we do things. Starting January 2014, we are suspending the $150 payment in favor of cutting artists in on the results of our annual Cover Auction. Rather than pay each individual artist the same amount, they will receive 30 percent of the proceeds from the sale of their piece at the auction.
That might sound like we're forgoing payment to our brilliant local artists, but really we're sweetening the pot. Consider that the average piece of original art sells at auction for about $500--that's $150 right there--but pieces routinely go for between $600-$1,000, giving artists the chance to take home as much as $300 for their efforts.
In addition to our Cover Auction Grant, which would remain unchanged, we think this new percentage plan is one more chance to reward artists whose talents grace the cover of Boise Weekly each week.
The big news: After 12 years at BW, Art Director Leila Ramella-Rader will be leaving the paper effective Friday, Dec. 6. This could very easily be bad news--and it is sad news for us--if not for the fact that Leila is leaving for an opportunity at BodyBuilding.com that could not be passed up.
Leila's impact on this paper can't be overstated; it looks the way it does, feels the way it does and (on some weeks) comes out the way it does because of her leadership. Personally, it's been an enormous privilege to work with her, and I know that local artists feel the same.
Rather than getting maudlin, I'd like to publicly congratulate Leila on her new position, thank her for being the best kind of collaborator there is and wish her well.
The other good news: With Leila's departure, we have two stellar graphic designers who will be taking over the visual component of BW. Tomas Montano, who has actually been with us for a few months, and Kelsey Hawes, who joined Boise Weekly in November, will be sharing design/art direction duties from now on. Both are incredibly talented--some may recognize Tomas' name as a past cover artist and BW grant recipient--and already great parts of the team.
As we say goodbye to Leila, we also welcome Tomas and Kelsey, who will be handling all graphics needs, available at firstname.lastname@example.org.