This is the cover of the latest "Boston" magazine. It's made up of shoes worn by runners who'd competed in the Boston Marathon interrupted last week by tragedy. It's a simple, powerful message of hope and determination; the text inside reads, "We will finish the race."
The photograph came together in rapid fashion; the magazine had only a short time to devise the concept and pull it off, given the tight deadlines necessary for printing.
"We wanted to do something really special that would honor the runners and everything they had to go through in the events of marathon," Liz Noftle, the magazine's associate art director, told The Atlantic. "We had only a few days to pull something together ... We reached out to anyone and everyone to collect shoes in less than 48 hours. It was a tremendous effort by everyone—people going out of their way to bring in shoes, interns collecting them, organizing couriers to bring them here."
The magazine's staff contacted runners through personal connections and social media. Several runners' stories were spotlit for profiles that will appear in the magazine and on the web. The art team took the shoes to New York City for the photograph, and the issue was wrapped up on Friday while the rest of the city was still under lockdown.
"To me, the cover says perseverance, the cover says unity," magazine editor John Wolfson told The Atlantic. Even taking one shoe out of the arrangement, he noted, would "diminish the overall effect."
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-