With sharp, clean lines and a minimalist approach to design, the look of the magazine “Art Mill” is as deliberate and expressive as the art works depicted in it.
Art Mill is the brainchild of Spenser Weeks and James Elliott — a project inspired by their mutual love of the arts and born from an interest in seeing more people engage with art.
“We just want to have a platform where everyone can be creative,” Weeks said. “We just want everyone to be able to express themselves.”
With Weeks’ background in graphic design and Elliott’s in photography, the two discovered their mutual enthusiasm over the arts. Art Mill stemmed from an interest in finding ways to get more people engaging with art and give artists a public platform to display their works.
“It’s all about giving all these very talented people a platform for their art,” Elliott said.
Right now the magazine is being published online at artmillmag.com, while the duo seeks sponsors to help make this digital magazine into a physical product. The first volume features local artists and former Lander art students alike, including photographer Jon Holloway, cartoonist Mike Beckom, Krysten Bevilaqua, Molly Ott, Melanie Fennell, Marius Valdes and Cameron Lusk.
The spreads on each artist take a stripped-back approach Elliott said was deliberate — a minimalist approach to designing the spreads and playing the artworks large on the page helps contribute to the feeling of walking through a gallery while browsing the magazine.
Alongside images of the works, each artist contributed some writing that helps either explain the art, the process behind it or the drive behind their individual artistic drives.
The duo hopes to fund the magazine through sponsors in order to avoid advertising crowding the art on the pages.
“It’s incredible being a part of something so supportive and aimed at making people’s lives better through art exposure,” Holloway said. “It’s unique for South Carolina.”
He said the magazine’s clean, beautiful presentation helps emphasize the content on the page. Outside of the publication itself, Holloway said this effort is part of what makes Greenwood such a good place for creative people.
“I think Greenwood is lucky to have an Arts Council that’s so active,” he said. “I’m proud to be a part of the Lander art department, too, it’s doing incredible work. James was a student at Lander.”
There’s little boundary to what Weeks and Elliott want to highlight in the magazine, either, Weeks said — they’re happy to work with artists of all disciplines and backgrounds. Elliott said they’re working with a local rapper who is writing an editorial they hope to feature.
“Us succeeding would be producing a magazine that’s always fresh and has a wide variety of content in it,” he said. “We want to promote artists, but also to encourage everyone to be creative and to have a higher awareness of art.”