Wallowa County has a newspaper, a radio station and a number of websites devoted to a variety of topics.
But Lauren MacDonald couldn’t escape the impression that something was missing when it came to communication pieces. She created a Zine.
“The genesis of this project was just basically me sitting on my front porch enjoying the early summer sun and realizing I wanted to share my seasonal experience from Wallowa County, and I wanted to connect with community here and share their experience,” said MacDonald, a nurse and herbal medicine practitioner by trade.
She was born and raised in St. Louis and moved west to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012. After four years, she was ready to leave the city hustle and came upon Wallowa County by way of a friend.
“Since moving here last year, I have felt called to engage with community here in an artful way and this idea just came through,” she said. “Once I had the project idea and motivation to make it happen, I realized I really wanted to make it a simple production and free and accessible throughout the county.
She sought the support of another friend, Ehlana Struth, and connected with a potential publisher.
“Lauren contacted Fishtrap last year about creating a Wallowa County zine and asked if we would be willing to help,” said Shannon McNerney, Fishtrap Executive Director. “We were so impressed with her vision and production plan that we said we’d pay for printing, help with distribution and provide any additional help she and Ehlana, her co-conspirator, might need.”
Zine editing is a maiden voyage for MacDonald, although she has self-published a book of poems called “Open Heart.”
“It a simple publication that I printed, folded and stapled myself,” she said. “I appreciated the ease of it.”
The Zine took on a similar form, 8.5x5.5 with a cover and content rendered in Courier, which has the appearance of a an old-fashioned typewriter. Photos and artwork are interspersed.
The Zine has popped up everywhere across the county, in clinic waiting rooms, coffee shops and retail shops. A copy is available at the Chieftain office.
Buoyed by the success of the first edition, MacDonald and Struth are planning the spring edition.
“The invitation to participate and share art in this zine is open to anyone who has experience of the season in the county,” said MacDonald. “Locals, visitors, seasonal workers, passersby ... all are welcome and we hope to have a wide range of voices, ages and art.”
Submissions to be submitted by email are due Feb 20. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Authors who don’t have an email can drop submissions at Fishtrap.
Short stories, poems, drawings, photos, collages, graphic designs, prints all with the essence of spring or spring inspired by Wallowa County and art made in Wallowa County in the spring is the priority.
“We want to welcome a variety of art so really its up to the artist to interpret ‘spring’ when they are choosing a submission,” MacDonald added.
A cheaply printed magazine published irregularly by amateurs, esp. one featuring images and ideas reflecting unconventional, often alienated thought.
Be like the buffalo, the pine
Shake death from your shoulders like antler
dust. Tuck each quavering rib
steadfast ember of your
–– Molly McCarty