The project, Shared Energies: Cells, Stars and the Fluidity Between, is a collaborative residency project between New York City based artist Fiona Chinkan and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia based artist Maria Doering.

Fiona and Maria elaborate on an artistic conversation, merging and reacting to both of their notions of space. Fiona interprets imagery of outer space while Maria explores the inner space of the human body. Their work juxtaposes the formation of star systems with human cellular structures while laying in emotional complexities. Their unique styles intertwine and merge in an unexpected explosion of energy through pen and ink on paper. They either draw simultaneously on the same sheet or both artists begin a drawing separately and then switch to continue working on the other’s drawing.

The artists met in 2003 during their undergraduate studies and have collaborated on several projects over the years. Shared Energies began shortly after Fiona visited Maria in Nova Scotia in 2013 and they began drawing on the same piece of paper during her stay. Once Fiona returned to New York City, they began mailing their drawings back and forth to continue the collaboration. These first few mailed drawings grew into the Shared Energies project, which was first exhibited during their studio residency stay in 2016 at the Inverness County Centre for the Arts in Inverness, Nova Scotia.

In 2017 the two artists spent a total of 246 working hours throughout the month of April turning the Taplin Gallery at the Arts Council of Princeton in Princeton, NJ into their artist studio and finishing four new 6ft x 45inch drawings, plus twenty-one medium to small sized drawings. Day or night, the studio was lit up so passersby could stop to observe the artists in action and see the progression of the project. The general public was also welcome inside the gallery to witness their artistic process up close. Conversations with the visitors brought a variety of thought provoking perspectives to the artists, who were pleasantly surprised by the enthusiastic public engagement.

In summer of 2018 the artistic duo is going to bring the newest iteration of the project back to Inverness, NS. Download the latest press release here.


WORKSHOPS we offer during our residencies

Artistic Collaborations 101
(Min. 5 participants - Max 10 participants)
In this workshop, we introduced participants to the idea of artistic collaboration, why it is valuable and the different approaches artists can take when working together. We shared our own methods, as well as other ways we have seen artist teams collaborate. During the workshop participants were paired up and challenged to work on a project together in one of the many approaches. It was a fun event that people with and without experience enjoyed. All individuals needed was to bring is their favourite "making" materials (pencils, watercolors, yarn, etc…) and an open mind. It was a fun way to connect with other artists or take an interesting workshop with their favourite art buddy!

Sketchbook Collaborations
(Min. 5 participants - Max 10 participants)
One wonderful artistic collaboration method that we discussed in our first workshop was sketchbook sharing with another artist. In this workshop, we dove deeper into this approach and introduced the class to different methods of sketchbook collaboration and explored how this method works when artist teams live close together versus apart long distance. Participants were paired up to start working together in small folio sketchbooks while expressing their own ideas and reacting to each other’s styles. This workshop worked as people signed up on their own, as well with to their art buddies.


Fiona Chinkan is a New York City based artist. She graduated Cum Laude in 2007 from the University of Hartford Art School with a BFA with concentration in Visual Communication Design and minors in Photography and Art History. She moved to New York City post graduation to pursue a career in graphic design and worked as a digital art director in the fashion industry with clients such as Kate Spade, Coach, Kenneth Cole and Victoria’s Secret for 10 years before deciding to pursue art full-time.

Fiona began her signature style of drawings in 2001, as a way to accompany the graffiti lettering she was exploring at the time. Over the years, she has developed the lines and forms as a means of expressing herself and interpreting the world around her.

Most recently, she has shown at the Pleiades Gallery in New York City as part of the group show “Small Works” and at Clouds Art + Coffee in Tokyo as a part of the group show "The New Yorker's Show".

Fiona creates out of her Brooklyn-based studio. You can see more of her work at: www.fionac.nyc and follow her for daily drawings on instagram @fionac.nyc


Maria Doering is a German multidisciplinary artist and printmaker, living and working in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia since 2012. She left Germany with her family at the age of 15, arriving in New Jersey. She received a BFA summa cum laude from the Hartford Art School in 2007, majoring in Printmaking with a minor in Art History, then completed an MFA at Concordia University in 2010.

Maria’s work has been exhibited in Canadian cities including Ottawa, Calgary, Kelowna, Montréal and Halifax as well as internationally in the U.S., the U.K., Denmark, Italy, Taiwan and Japan. In 2015 her print “Enveloped Evolution” was an honourable mention in the 5th Tokyo Screen Print Biennale, and in 2016 her print “The Old Soul” was selected as a finalist in the International Print Biennial: 2016 ROC at the Taiwan National Museum of Fine Arts.

Maria founded Doering Editions in 2010. She has taught undergraduate printmaking courses at NSCAD University in Halifax since 2013. She is the current president of the Nova Scotia Printmakers and organized their inaugural print exchange and touring exhibition in 2015. She is a co-founder, President, and Executive Director of the Maritime Centre for Contemporary Print, established in 2016 and planning to open to the public in 2017-2018.

Maria currently works from her studio in downtown Dartmouth. A broad selection of her work can be viewed at www.maria-doering.com