Michelle Aldredge is an arts-enabler. And she isn’t afraid to take risks. After 13 years at the legendary artists residency, The MacDowell Colony, she quit the happy gig to pursue writing and photography. In less than two years, her arts blog Gwarlingo has attracted lots of fans: about 30,000 people come to the site every month to read in-depth profiles of emerging painters, photographers, poets, and musicians–i.e, those who don’t get enough attention from mainstream outlets. Hence the name Gwarlingo – a Welsh word for the rushing sounds a grandfather clock makes just before it strikes. Don’t we all feel Gwarlingo sometimes?
Sure Aldredge has an impressive collection of contacts from MacDowell. But what keeps readers coming back is her earnestness. There’s seemingly little ego involved. She’s not a critic, but an evangelist. She simply wants to get to know the people who create the art that moves her. She’s that uncommon type in the sometimes savage art world: she’s, well, she’s nice. In addition to nursing the ambitions of artists, she cares for injured hawks, eagles and owls at a local raptor rehab clinic. It’s refreshing. Check it out.