All of us at the New Art Examiner are pleased to offer this January / February 2016 issue of our revived, independent magazine for your reading enjoyment. The future looks bright for Chicago to, once again, have an arts journal that will cover the art world, locally and abroad, with a spirit of inquiry that is, true to our first editorial, without fear or favor.
As we face a new year with optimism, we want to share an account of the heretofore secret struggle that we endured over the past year that blocked our re-emergence until this past September.
In 2014, Derek Guthrie, the co-founder and current publisher of the New Art Examiner (NAE), joined forces with artist Laura Frazier to produce the anticipated inaugural issue of a newly emergent NAE as co-publishers. This issue debuted at Art Expo in September, 2014.
When the issue was printed and handed out at Navy Pier, however, Laura was identified on the masthead as the sole Publisher and Guthrie was named as Editor. Unknown to readers at the time, a falling out had occurred and an editorial coup was instituted.
Ms. Frazier had switched her allegiance to director of the Zhou B Art Center, Michael Zhou, who provided her with funding to print that September issue. They then proceeded to buy the then-dormant ‘newartexaminer.com’ domain name, created a new Facebook page (NAENow) and represented themselves as NAE’s new owners.
Guthrie faced being shut out of his own publication. Guthrie’s supporters have been engaged since that time in seeking some reconciliation with Frazier and Zhou. When numerous offers to meet over a six month period were met with stony silence, we contacted Lawyers for the Creative Arts.
LCA has provided us with valuable counsel but they are still seeking to make contact with Frazier. We have sought for her to take down her NAE Now Facebook page, cease representing herself as the new publisher and to return a large cache of historic Examiner issues that she borrowed to their rightful owner.
These legal actions have consumed a great deal of our time during the past year. Ms. Frazier, who remains unreachable though her LinkedIn page to us, has been pursuing other interests. Mr. Zhou has reportedly withdrawn his financial support of her plan. Meanwhile, we have moved on with the same determination and community-generated spirit shown in 1973 when Derek Guthrie and Jane Addams Allen first published.
We have taken concrete steps to assume our rightful ownership of the magazine. We created the journal’s true website, www.newartexaminer.net, trademarked our exclusive right to the New Art Examiner name and opened a bank account to process business transactions, donations and subscriptions.
The first issue with Derek as the acknowledged publisher appeared at Art Expo last September. As 2016 arrives, we are in exciting discussions to acquire editorial offices for the magazine, recruit artists and journalists to contribute to future issues and work on building our funding infrastructure. For the first time we have a UK office.
The future is much brighter. We have regained our name and our editorial voice is once again loud and clear. We look forward to having you join us on our journey.
Tom Mullaney, Chicago Editor (retr’d)
Volume 30 number 3 January / February 2016 p2