When editor Kaitlin Bain asked me if I would like to write about the arts in Southeast Texas for The Beaumont Enterprise I leapt at the chance. Having stepped down from editing ISSUE magazine for 18 years I was looking for a new challenge. Kaitlin explained that it was part of her vision to emphasize the community in the paper, and I like to think I have my finger in arts pulse.

Little did I know that it would lead to earning a Texas Associated Press Managing Editors second place award for Comment and Criticism. It is always nice to win stuff (anyone who knows me knows I’m just a teensy bit competitive). But I am more pleased that the newspaper’s philosophy — and Kaitlin’s in particular — has been recognized.

Over the past months I have been able to write about the arts in all its forms, from theater to photography to painting and the Symphony. I have also had the opportunity to meet and write about some lovely and interesting people.

And as a teacher of communication, I feel it is important to produce content to show my student show to do it, how to find stories — to lead by example.

The judge’s comment was: A nice collection of informative and accessible stories about art and the artists behind it. The Calder-Picasso piece, in particular, would be valuable context for any reader who wants to attend that exhibition.

I can’t think of a better compliment. When I was young I always wanted to find a way to talk about the arts in a way that was accessible to everyone while still being the pretentious art snob I am. I guess I pulled it off.

I have to come come first to get a plaque. Challenge accepted (I told you I was competitive).

If you want to read the three stories that comprised the entry, the links are below.

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