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Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Thumbnail

New Color in the Times of Slow Coffee is a long-distance collaboration with artists Kristin Texeira, Michelle Maguire and Kelsey McClellan that began during the pandemic lockdown as a way to stay connected and creative.

Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery

Michelle and Kelsey created photographs inspired by Kristin’s paintings, and Kristin created paintings inspired by Michelle and Kelsey's photographs. The end result fostered connection between the artists during a time of distance and isolation while also prompting a new way of composing artwork and creative problem solving. Read on for more about the project.

Text by Amanda Reed

>> Michelle Maguire is a visual artist, a gatherer of things, and an observer of how the shapes and textures of certain objects, bars of soap and chocolate, brushes and sandpapers, a mop, a dodgeball, complement one another within a space. Kelsey McClellan is a photographer whose images are made of bright, intentional light, stirring prisms capable of instantly clearing cob-webbed minds. When painter Kristin Texeira puts oil paint to canvas, all at once she warmly summons the abstract and oft-elusive shapes of nostalgia, music, feeling.

Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery
Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Chefas Projects

>> Color is the magnetic force that bonds this trio, asserting their collective vision. New Color in the Times of Slow Coffee is the result of the asynchronous exploration they shared in a year otherwise defined by insularity and isolation. As ordinary patterns and familiar ways of living continued to upend amid the onset of coronavirus, Kelsey, Kristin, and Michelle found themselves working together in a sort-of artists’ residence. Despite the suspension of traditional “work,” they chose to work together, a continuous exercise in inspiration. They found common studio space between lines of snail mail, text messages, video chats, and volleys of emails.

Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery
Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery
Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery

>> Kelsey, living and working in San Francisco, California, and Michelle in Columbus, Ohio, first offered a series of ten photographs inspired by the shapes and palettes of Kristin’s paintings. Under stay-at-home orders and reliant on using items already in their respective possessions, Michelle and Kelsey worked together to assemble props and materials to create sets that replicated Kristin’s paintings. From a cabin in upstate New York, Kristin answered each of the curated compositions with paintings that closely (but not exactly) resembled Kelsey and Michelle’s images.

Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery
Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Chefas Projects
Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery

>> Months blurred by, and Kristin developed five new works, flipping the challenge back to Kelsey and Michelle to manipulate and interpret. Using domestic and utilitarian objects, five similar-but-different, dimensional renditions emerged.

Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery
Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery
Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery

>> The way it all unfolded was slow, careful, precise. Loose but structured. A daydream with a deadline. This tempered pace, and separation of time and space, carried these three and their work through the year. Each artist’s respective medium blended to expose a colorfully cyclical conversation.

Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Chefas Projects
Journal: 3 artists on their long-distance creative collaboration: Gallery

>> This work suggests a revelationnewness and slowness can truly exist in symbiosis. Unexpected combinations can be born and thrive when we pause to bask in creativity and connection. And that can be the prize.

Discover the full series, New Color in the Times of Slow Coffee