Two East-coasters meet in Denver to create unique works of art
What started as a “blind friend date” soon became a business for the duo behind Magik Studios. Artists Kristen Fogarty and Meredith Steele are Denver transplants from the East coast. Now, in a city full of murals, Magik Studios fits right in. “I think the Denver creative community is young, so it’s pretty open to new people and ideas. We come from cities with thriving artist communities on the East coast, but it’s more old-school and traditional. Here, thinking differently is encouraged and we appreciate that,” says Fogarty.
Alongside their passion for creating, the team launched The Magik Mural Project, a program that gives back to local public schools when businesses choose to sponsor public artwork. With celebrating community at the core of their mission, the project came naturally.
Tell us about your meeting in a coffee shop on a “blind friend date.” How did you decide you’d be a good fit to create art together?
KF: I thought Meredith’s work was so unique. I didn’t know then that we had one degree of separation, and she’d be moving to Denver from Charleston, SC within the year. I wanted to work with her before the first time we met, so I told her just that. We didn’t know what Magik would become, but once we put our skills and styles together, we realized how well they complement one another.
MS: Looking back, it feels very serendipitous. After our first coffee date, I knew we would be great pals and I felt lucky to have found a fellow artist that I could relate to and talk shop with. Starting a business with someone, especially a friend, can be a very delicate thing. Fortunately, Kristen and I were not only fast friends but also professionally compatible. Collaborating on projects was a new approach for us but now it has become second nature.
And how did Magik Studios get started?
Magik started with murals, but we create custom artwork in a variety of mediums, including installations & digital design. We each have a unique creative background and bring different skills to the table, thinking like designers and working like fine artists. Every project is a collaboration between Magik and the client, and we always aim to bring their vision to life by thinking outside the box.
What sparked the idea behind The Magik Mural Project?
We came up with the idea for The Magik Mural Project simultaneously with the launch of the business. Magik’s mission is to make “art with impact,” and we knew we wanted to have a charitable component from the beginning, especially because of the pandemic. So, we developed a program for local businesses to sponsor public artwork designed to celebrate our community, and from the project budget, we give 20% to an art education program at a local public school.
Students, teachers, and faculty have been so affected by the pandemic, and creative education is vastly underfunded, yet so important to a child’s success. This is our way to collaborate with our community and foster more creativity within it. We’re currently in the middle of one of these projects at Recess & fieldTRIP in LoHi.
What’s your all-time favorite project?
KF: By far, the “Spill” stairs. We got to drip paint a parking garage stairwell in a new complex in Lowry, Boulevard One. It was the most fun to apply. We played with paint, and the colors were so vibrant. It’s totally 360, inside and out, so you feel like you’re inside the painting.