Credit: Jack Hornady

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The Afflicted: Alexandria-based wood engraver Rosemary Feit Covey, 52, and BosmaDance artistic director Meisha Bosma, 34.

Diagnosis: A need to expand artistic horizons. “Wood engraving is very technical and very solitary: It’s your hand, your tool, and your press,” says Covey. Adds Bosma: “I’ve been creating dance for close to 15 years now, and what I’ve found in that time is that the themes and ideas I want to create art out of tend to demand other artists’ input.”

Symptoms: Before Covey met Bosma, she felt the claustrophobia of the insular engraving world. “I was desperate. I was trying to do things to stretch the form bigger and bigger. Even in wood engraving I’m kind of a renegade,” she says. “But I never would have thought of dance.”

Treatment: Find a kindred spirit instead of a similar artisan. When Bosma first met Covey–and her elderly dog, Nikki–in July 2005, Bosma shared her experience coping with the death of her 14-year-old dog, Lexi. “This happens to me about three times a day, people telling me about their old dogs,” says Covey. “But this time, I was riveted. And it’s because Meisha really knows how to tell a story. I knew right away that we were on the same page.” They’ve been working together on multimedia performance pieces since 2006. “You’re sharing the darkest places that you might want to go artistically, and it has to be a similar place,” says Bosma. A similar taste in pets doesn’t hurt either. “Rosemary and I are very much dog people,” says Bosma.

Covey and Bosma’s next collaboration is scheduled for Alexandria’s Art Whino in September.

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