Metrosphere Arts & Literary Magazine is a publication of Metropolitan State University of Denver that features the creative endeavors of both students and alumni. In publication since 1984, Metrosphere’s mission is to deliver the very best MSU Denver student and alumnus creative work and inspire students to share their work beyond the classroom, workshop, or art studio setting.
As the Editor-in-Chief/General Manager of Metrosphere, I was responsible for the management of a small editorial team as well as the content, creative direction, design, social media, community outreach, distribution and production of MSU Denver’s quarterly magazine. My team of dedicated individuals successfully undertook several major projects that gave Metrosphere a stronger presence around Auraria Campus including the increase from an annual magazine to a quarterly one.
With Metrosphere’s wordmark I wanted to make it timeless and capture the essence of art and literature. I modified Avenir to make it look more organic and free-hand. I also selectively connected some letters to mimic the inconsistencies found in writing and brush strokes. Avenir was chosen because of its circular nature, which plays on the “sphere” of Metrosphere. The bracketed “M” to the left of the wordmark is part of Met Media’s brand guidelines, which Metrosphere is part of.
Fall Fest is a yearly event on Auraria Campus in which both vendors and student organizations set up booths and give away collateral to gain the interest of students. For Fall Fest 2014, the Metrosphere staff commissioned graffiti artist and community advocate Ratha Sok for a live painting session as a means of promotion for the magazine. Ratha Sok created a solid, finished piece that we then used for a photo booth the next day. During Fall Fest, the Metrosphere staff had great interaction with the student body, and handed out collateral and past Metrosphere issues.
For the Halloween season, Amanda and I put out our first publication, Metrofear, to the student body. The idea of Metrofear came about when I found an old Metrofear created by the 1991 Metrosphere staff. The 1991 Metrofear was a basic, zine-style booklet, the content of which was solely produced by the Metrosphere staff. Amanda and I took the idea and modified it to fit our vision. We were intent on combining artistic and literary talent, so we commissioned five writers to create original stories set on Auraria Campus. The five commissioned illustrators each received one of the stories to visually capture the essence of their assigned piece.
With Metrofear, our goal was to create a collection of local “urban legends” that would pique curiosity and appreciation for Auraria’s historic past. In order to make a connection with Issue 1 that was soon to follow, I made Metrofear’s word-mark resemble Metrosphere’s identity. Using Photoshop, I created the back and front cover.
In 2014, Metrosphere moved from being an annual print publication to a triannual one. The first issue of Volume 33 was released in November of 2014. The magazine contained editorial content, interviews, and submissions. Before 2014, it was uncommon for Metrosphere to have a staff aside from an editor-in-chief and assistant editor. In 2014, a team of talented individuals, including a section editor and photographer, came together to produce the first issue.
Issue 2 | February 2015
The second issue of Volume 33 was released in February of 2015. The magazine followed the same format as Issue 1 and contained editorial content, interviews, and submissions. For issue 2 the design and content was a lot sharper and left the magazine stands almost immediately. The cover art which was an art submission selected by the Metrosphere team was eye-catching and captivated the eyes of many.
Issue 3 | April 2015
The third and final issue of Volume 33 was released in April of 2015. Issue 3 was considered the special edition issue and followed the tradition of past Metrospheres where only the top-juried art and lit submissions were published. A panel of judges was assembled by Amanda and myself that consisted of art and literature professionals throughout the community, the judges ranked over 200 art and lit submissions and the top-ranked pieces compromised Issue 3. Issue 3 also differed in size and page count, it was a 172 page perfect-bound book.
Metrosphere Art Exhibit
The Emerging Artist Gallery at The Center for Visual Art on the Santa Fe Art District hosted the Metrosphere art show that coincided with the release of Issue 3. Twelve pieces were displayed in the gallery and on April 24th, Issue 3 was released to a party full of eager guests. The release party had a significant turn out and was a wonderful closing to an eventful year.
I loved every minute of Metrosphere and beyond proud of what we were able to accomplish.