It is thought that Valentine’s Day may have derived from the purifying ritual known as February that was practiced in early Roman times on February 15 to bless the city of Rome. According to mythology, a festival to celebrate the she-wolf who nurtured Romulus and Remus, who are credited with founding Rome, was also observed on February 15.

Valentine was a priest in Rome in the third century AD. Emperor Claudius II condemned him to death for performing secret marriages that prevented young men from becoming soldiers. Legend recounts that while he was in prison, he became friends with the jailor’s daughter. Before he was executed, he wrote her a letter, signed “From your Valentine.”

We dedicate this issue to artists, artisans, designers and all who create. The world would be a colorless place without artistic expression, and we are grateful to you for opening our eyes. Thank you for bringing beauty to the grayness of our lives. Life is sweeter and the days are brighter because artists have the courage to create.