Art Watch Interview, May 27, 2020
In April 2020, Artessa Alliance was formed from a local mothers’ art cooperative. Constance McBride talks with members about how they came to make the change, and in the process transform their mission. Members Karen Hunter McLaughlin and Rebecca Schultz discuss the ambitious work local Greater Philadelphia area women artists achieved within the space of three months.
McBride asks the members about why they chose now to make the change and discusses working through quarantine, art practice changes, overcoming Covid and what’s next for Artessa Alliance.
On the name choice Hunter McLaughlin explained, “The final name was actually a combination of two ideas. We all gravitated to the idea of tessellation. In art a tessellation is created when a shape is repeated over and over again covering a plane without any gaps or overlaps. We loved that it was a metaphor for our group, each artist is made stronger by our combined power.”
On the change process, Rebecca Schultz shared, “I’m really proud of how we have navigated this process. I’ve been part of lots of groups, including two performance companies, and have worked for arts and community development nonprofits for over 20 years. It’s really hard to make this kind of change in true collaborative fashion. We were able to arrive at a new name and mission in a way that honored each member’s ideas, and allowed space for creative brainstorming–all over Zoom and email”