The morning hours before the hustle and bustle of the day commences is the perfect time to pause and enjoy a sense ofrenewal and vitality. On the morning of December 7, 2006, Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes eachtook a digital photo of everyday objects randomly arranged on their kitchen tables and, unbeknownst to one another, uploaded them to the website Flickr. Noticing a remarkable similarity between their images, they agreed to documenttheir mornings by posting one photo to a shared blog every weekday for a year. Their site, 3191 (http: //3191.visualblogging.com)named after the distance in miles between their homes in Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregonquickly acquired a worldwide following of devotees fascinated by the magical coincidences and pictorial synchronicity of their photographic pairings. A Year of Mornings collects 236 imagesalways taken before 10 am without discussion between the two womenfrom this uniquely 21st-century artistic collaboration. The intimacy of these photographsdiscarded clothing, a view of a snowy day from the window, a tableclothcombined with their striking similarities in color and composition defies the reality of their long-distance collaboration. While clearly kindred spirits, the two women have met in person only once. Their friendship is maintained solely online, sustained by a shared love for moments of serenity, solitude, and peacefulness. The annotated photographs in A Year of Mornings radiate an aura of sweetness and lightthe promise of a new day.
Maria Alexandra Vettese is an artist, letterpress printer, and graphic designer in Portland, Maine. Stephanie Congdon Barnes is an artist and toymaker in Portland, Oregon.
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