Art + Type Magazine stresses care in collectivism
Melding collective and community, the art magazine founded by two Steinhardt art majors emphasizes diversity, collaboration and family.
Mar 11, 2022
Collectives are often born on paper. When like-minded artists come together and put their shared ideas on the page, they sign their names to a mission that will drive their ambitions from then on. The typed-up page becomes the catalyst that pushes artists with shared ideals to create. By offering up the printed page to emerging artists, Art + Type Magazine acts as the lifeblood of future collaborative art families.
Founded by current Steinhardt juniors Susan Behrends Valenzuela and Natalia Palacino during their first year at NYU, Art + Type Magazine, a print publication, is an open space for artists to grow together. (Valenzuela is a creative director at WSN and Palacino has contributed illustrations and articles.) Personal testimonies are rendered as a collective existence in the pages of Art + Type Magazine. Exhibiting a myriad of different art mediums from a diverse array of contributors, the magazine functions as an accessible resource of inspiration for all those who come across its pages.
Palacino described the magazine as “creativity, diversity, collaboration, inspiring.” From its inception, Art + Type Magazine was an invitation to the world. The platform’s founders posted an open call on Instagram for the first issue of the magazine almost immediately after deciding to embark on the project together. They were eager for art and received an influx of submissions, which they carefully reviewed over the following months before publishing their first issue.
“We got a lot of things, we got really weird things, but also some really good art — and it was really nice to learn a lot of people have really good things, but they just don’t know what to do with it,” Palacino said. “It was about launching a platform for people to show their work, share who they are and why they do what they do. It was about creating a space for art and helping people publicize it.”
As they worked tirelessly on Adobe InDesign to put together the layout of their first issue, Art + Type’s two-person editing team was also building a family, concretizing it in printed matter. Every artist they took into their publication’s pages became part of a web, acting as the building blocks of a nascent art collective. Through Art + Type, disconnected artists around the globe suddenly had friends to turn to if they needed advice on a long-gestating project or a gaffer on a sudden photo shoot.
“You’re not just contributing, but engaging with other artists in ways that seem truthful,” said Tisch junior Carlos Hernandez, a photography student who wrote the introduction to Art + Type’s latest issue. “The space they’ve created allows us to interact with each other and understand each other’s work.”
Although the speed with which Art + Type Magazine’s founders created their collective belies the care they put into the making of the first issue, the love with which they developed their collective was present from the start. Thinking back to those earlier days, Palacino reminisced on the amount of lengthy Zoom interviews she coordinated in order to get to know every artist they were collaborating with.
“Winter break is a lot of work — picking submissions, reviewing submissions, and then throughout the semester it’s more like social media and launching submissions and just trying to sell the issue,” Palacino said.
Gallatin junior Pilar Cerón recalls being overjoyed after receiving an email confirming that their art would be included in the upcoming issue. Not only was Cerón grateful that their art was being published, but they were also happy to join the community its founders had nurtured so well.
“It’s like a family,” Ceron said. “Amazing energy and vibes — 110%.”
The family Cerón speaks of includes 69 budding artists from all over the world, ranging from 16 to 80 years old. This diversity manifests itself across the magazine’s pages. Rather than spotlighting a specific artistic practice, Art + Type showcases art’s many forms. Including art ranging from photography to ready-made sculptures, the magazine functions as an accessible resource for artists looking for new techniques, inspirations and ideas. Through its careful curation, the magazine acts like a gallery in zine size, framing numerous novelties back-to-back on 5.5-by-8.5-inch paper canvases.
“We wanted for not only our own population to matter in the publication, but other artists,” said Palacino. “We never base it on where they’re [contributors] from, or how they look, or their gender, or anything … We try to diversify the medium, the topic they’re writing about and then diversity just comes through the diversity of the work.”
Palacino’s prioritization of content shows across Art + Type Magazine’s three issues. The small magazines are chock-full of creativity and experiments in multiple art-forms. Palacino’s exploration of grief and mental health through textiles in “Cicatriz Raw II” could not be any more different than Marcia Solis Guzmán’s colorful collages of female icons or Carlos Hernandez’s theories on the nature of craft — and yet the three pieces, among many more, all fit comfortably together thanks to the magazine editors’ layout ingenuity.
“Through their broader approaches, I really think they’re elevating marginalized communities,” Hernandez said. “It’s a thought-driven publication.”
Therein lies the driving power behind Art + Type Magazine’s spirit of collectivism. Its emphasis on accessibility and diverse representation — of artists and art practices — embodies the crux of a collective that cares.
“Their attention and engagement with work is care,” said Hernandez. “That’s what community building looks like, it’s sharing and presenting the resources available to all.”
With obvious love at the heart of Art + Type Magazine, its founders have been able to expand their community of artists into a space of cooperation. All of the artists involved in Art + Type Magazine form part of a network of solidarity that welcomes reaching out, discussing personal practices and lending constructive criticism. Art + Type Magazine does not gatekeep art and techniques relating to its creation; it hosts an open hub of information for artists and readers to extract from.
The way in which Art + Type Magazine splits their earnings speaks to their commitment toward equitable practices. Recognizing the importance of all its members, Art + Type Magazine prides itself on distributing all of its sales earnings equally among contributors and creators. After all, a collective’s heartbeat extends across many.
“I think collective is community,” Palacino said. “I think it’s like that for a lot of people — they find someone who matches their interests or their art aesthetic … and we [members of the collective] had a lot of similar things in terms of cultural identity and things we liked to work with. We just started making work. Once you add words to it, you become a collective.”
After two years online and three printed issues, Art + Type Magazine is preparing to move beyond the virtual space and start organizing art shows that would give their magazine a new dimension. The publication hosted one in-person event last year, taking to Washington Square Park, where they sold magazine issues over the course of a hot summer day.
“We’re thinking about what other events we want to do over the summer,” Palacino said. “We will probably do a group show for some of the artists who do live in New York. We’re trying to find a space, probably a gallery, to show the work physically. Because a lot of times in print, you lose the nuance of the works.”
Expanding upon the tangible quality of their printed nature by organizing a group art show gives Art + Type Magazine an added weight as a collective. In gathering the work they’ve showcased and some of the artists they’ve featured in a single site, they materialize their mission to develop a space for people to craft art and and come together. This allows the creativity and care contained the magazines’ issues to breathe beyond its pages, demonstrating the collective’s journey from the minds of its founders to the printed page and out into the real world.
“We’re going to keep growing and build our community,” Palacino said.
Susan Behrends Valenzuela is a creative director at WSN and Natalia Palacino is a contributing writer and illustrator. They did not view or edit this story prior to publication.
Contact Nico Pedrero-Setzer at [email protected].