March 2021


Clay, Glaze & Firing: Minnesota

Photo by Ani Kasten

Whether we’re talking sculptors, painters, authors, musicians, or any other creative, decade after decade, the Midwest produces some of the most profound artists in the world. In recognition, this year we’re zooming out from Wisconsin to celebrate ceramicists in our neighboring states. First stop: Minnesota.

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The Clay Collective Spring Pottery Tour

Photo by The Clay Collective Spring Pottery Tour

The point is visual art can come off as exclusive. If we’re not in the know, then it’s hard to find the door. I think one compelling role of art tours is to dispel that myth. From the highly educated critic to the curious browser, everyone’s interpretation of a piece begins as an intimate experience. At The Clay Collective Spring Pottery Tour, the experience can become something you share with the people around you and with the artists themselves.

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Kate Sample: An Honest Look

Photo by Mike Gorski Photography

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” This is a rephrasing of a quote from author Ian Maclaren. Read it again. And again. How many of us can say we truly approach life with such generosity? I know I can’t. At least not in most aspects of my life. It seems borderline science fiction to imagine a world where kindness and empathy always come before criticism.

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Playing Your Part Being An Ally

Photo by Eric Tadsen

If there’s anything we as a society have learned in 2020, it’s how precious human life is. This was brought to the forefront by the pandemic—hundreds of thousands of lives lost and each and every person’s own story.

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Himal Chuli

Photo by Eric Tadsen

In 1972, when Krishna Pradhan, owner of Himal Chuli, came from Nepal to Wisconsin, owning and operating a restaurant in Madison was not a part of his plan. “I was 33 years old with my Master of Arts degree and working as a professor in Nepal teaching English as a foreign language. I came to the University of Wisconsin–Madison to be a lecturer, work on my PhD, earn tons of money, and return to my wife and family waiting for me in my home country.” Instead, he found the journey to wealth to be as challenging as climbing Mt. Everest of the Nepal Himalayas. The reality was that his position with the University didn't pay well enough for Krishna to become wealthy in a couple of years. He finished his PhD in 1982 but didn’t retire from the University until 2001. His wife, Bishnu, and their children joined him in Madison at the end of 1973.

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Adaptive Restoration: Going Back to Go Forward

Photo by Adaptive Restoration LLC

Centuries of land development have made life easier for some select megafauna, namely humans. We needed food and other resources, so, according to data from the Wisconsin DATCP, we turned 14.3 million acres of Wisconsin’s almost 35 million acres into farmland. Then there’s questions concerning where we’re going to live and how we’re going to get around, so residential areas and roads were developed. It’s progress, they say, and I guess that’s okay, but what if we want to adjust? That’s where land management and restoration come in.

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N/A Beer: 0.0 in Wisconsin

Photo by Kyle Jacobson

For the most part, N/A beer gets a bad rap, and that’s because it’s pretty terrible. Or at least most of its iterations have been for decades. If the industry took to N/A beer with the same creativity given to turning perfectly good Italian dinners into mediocre beers, well, we’d probably be worse off. Luckily, some unhazed minds have taken the helm, and we’re seeing a culture forming around the sober lifestyle that doesn’t sacrifice luxury for health.

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John R. Commons House

Photo by Carl Jorgenson, Jorgenson Photo Studio; provided by Doris and Dick Dubielzig

In the early 1900s, the only recourse a worker who got hurt on the job had was to sue the employer and prove the injury was due to an unsafe work environment. Since many employees injured at work could not afford to go to court, they usually were forced to deal with lost wages, find another job, or live with a permanent disability. That is not the case today.

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JustDane: Healing House

Photo by Tessa Tsarong-Blomker

What does homelessness mean to you? Is it someone begging for food? Someone sleeping outside? Is it someone whose name isn’t on a lease or rental agreement? Does your definition include people who can occasionally scrounge up enough money to sleep in a hotel room but are otherwise sleeping in their cars? Truth is, even in government there isn’t an agreed upon definition between departments.

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Is It Time?

About the only good thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is that a lot of dogs and cats have found new homes. Having a new companion has improved the lives of many people and pets. Those in the veterinary profession have rejoiced with all the new owners and enjoyed helping pet parents learn how to keep their new pets healthy and the importance of enriching their lives with walks, toys, attention, and lots of love.

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From the Publisher

I look forward to the day when the pandemic no longer looms over us. While there has been progress in vaccinations, we still have a long way to go. The heart of our magazine is in our communities and with the restaurants, retail businesses, nonprofits, and individuals in the places we live. We feel their pain not only in empathy, but in congruity as we work together to make it through the difficulties presented by the pandemic. We’re stronger together when we support one another.

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Fighting Racism: A Vital Component of Wellness

Photo by Eric Tadsen

Fostering a healthy community involves taking care of ourselves and one another. During the past year, this has meant changing our lives in major ways in order to prevent transmission of the coronavirus while staying healthy. At the same time, we have faced the urgency of acknowledging and working to undo the long history of racism and white supremacy still very much alive and present in the United States. According to Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, racism is a system of advantage based on race, and white supremacy refers to the centrality and assumed superiority of white people and practices based on these assumptions.

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