Karen Lincoln Michel

Michel: Color in my world

Color influences many of our choices

Color influences many of our choices, from the paint on our walls to the clothes we wear. I was in preschool when my mother told me about our “family colors,” as she called them. She was helping me put on my dance dress made of black cloth, red ribbons and white shells when she remarked that the colors were “right” for me. She was referencing the colors associated with my Ho-Chunk tribe’s bear clan, a kinship system into which I was born. Another of my traditional dresses was blue and black with yellow and white applique designs — and blue has been among my favorites ever since. I connect with these and many other colors to a level where they can sometimes alter my mood.

Color is also a big deal to Madisonians, as we learn in this month’s cover story, “50 Things That Give Madison Color." From food and fashion to arts and lifestyle, color enhances so many facets of our daily lives. This enlightening and entertaining story not only offers interesting tidbits, such as the names of the signature colors of the Wisconsin Union’s iconic terrace chairs, but it also lends insights into some cultural influences, such as African American art and style. The package also contains a poem about my favorite season from local artist Fabu Phillis Carter. This brilliant cover story was the idea of Managing Editor Andrea Behling, who has created a colorful tapestry of words and images for all of us to enjoy.

Also in the pages of this month’s magazine is a feature on local food markets. Of course, farmers’ markets immediately come to mind, and we lead with the prominent Dane County Farmers’ Market. We also spotlight a few local farmers who are known for their specialty items. The food scene is huge in Madison, and local growers are an important part of it. This story lets you know just how special local markets are to our community and its vitality.

Between the vibrant yellows, oranges and reds depicted in the photos of the local farmers’ markets and the brilliant hues on each page of the cover story, the May issue adds color to our world.


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