Through the years, Baily’s Beads has been a hallmark of the Pitt-Bradford community. As the first combined editor and designer for Baily’s Beads, my goal was to leave a blueprint for future editions.
Baily’s Beads began around thirty years ago as a print magazine and went online in 2021 in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our first website design was very playful and colorful. This year, as an interdisciplinary arts major specializing in graphic design and writing, I decided to develop our image to further suit our audience. So, in our second year as an online literary magazine, Baily’s Beads underwent a remodel. Our staff sought a neutral color scheme, a sleeker professional website design, and a 3D art gallery for our art selections. Our staff, advisors, and community collaborated to create this exemplary 2022 edition.
Here at Baily’s Beads, we are no stranger to irregularity, which led to the theme of our 2022 edition, anomaly. An anomaly is a deviation from the standard. It reflects the spirit of this period and this literary magazine. The name Baily’s Beads itself originates from a cosmological anomaly. I created a special division marker and vector art for this edition to reflect the anomalous nature of the Baily’s Beads phenomenon. We conducted a contest for the cover image, and the winner was Allison Larrabee. Her interpretation of the anomaly theme became our website’s banner. Our 3D art gallery is one of our newest additions, where we showcase the variety of art for this edition in a unique way that is specific to our website. We received many wonderful submissions by Pitt-Bradford students, faculty, and community members.
We are living in an era of constant cultural change. Most significantly, the state of race relations in America that erupted amid the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a new examination of our society. These events caused us to look inward, which is apparent in the variety of work we’ve selected for this issue.
The anomalies of mask mandates, social distancing, online courses, and COVID precautions greatly impacted our community just as similar restrictions impacted the larger world. This fall, for the first time since early 2020, Baily’s Beads sponsored an in-person Open Mic night along with First Take Media, our Pitt-Bradford media club, the Pitt-Bradford Writing Center and the Pitt-Bradford creative and professional writing program. Following CDC guidelines, we had a full audience of a hundred guests with twenty performers. Spoken word poetry and music were the main theme of the night. People bared their souls to the audience, sharing stories of love and loss. Poets, musicians, comedians, and creatives like me banded together during this crisis and shared our collective talents.
Due to the pandemic, most classes were held online last year, over Zoom. In the spring of 2021, Dr. Nancy McCabe taught a class on the connections between artistic processes and health benefits. The writing for that class led to the special feature on Writing and Healing in this edition of our magazine. Publishing online has broadened the scope of what we can include in our magazine, and this issue features two graphic narratives, “Microagressions” by Maddie Cincala and “Peter the Penguin” by our former editor Jessica Jordan. Inclusivity is a major part of this edition. One of our distinct submissions is a creative nonfiction piece by Damian Challingsworth entitled “Animal Brain,” detailing what it’s like to experience the world from a neurodivergent perspective. Last spring, we introduced a Spring Music Feature to Baily’s Beads, including original music from students and faculty with links to their performances, music features, memoir, analyses, album cover art, and work from my own personal playlist project. We are gearing up for more music features and hope that you’ll consider contributing. We are eager to incorporate ideas from our audience. Feel free to contact us with any feedback or suggestions or even join our Baily’s Beads staff.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in the making of our unique 2022 Anomaly edition. Thank you to our Baily’s Beads staff, and our passionate discussions on writing and art. Thank you to our art advisor, Professor J.D. McGuire, Communication and the Arts Division Chair Jeff Guterman, writing professor Karen Bell, Writing Center Assistant Director Catherine Kula, Communication and the Arts Division Administrative Assistants Shelley Whitman and Jenifer Spencer, former art professor Anna Lemnitzer, Gina Prosch and Lohman Hills Creative, LLC, and last but not least, our advisor Dr. Nancy McCabe.