Booth Lessons

This week­end had its chal­lenges: a 5:00 a.m. set-up fol­low­ing the hour lost to “spring­ing-for­ward” plus anoth­er hour lost due to trav­el east­ward, loca­tion chal­lenges includ­ing a restau­rant encroach­ing into our space, and tem­per­a­tures and humid­i­ty that seri­ous­ly chal­lenged the wardrobe in the lug­gage I packed almost a month pri­or. Com­bine these tem­po­ral chal­lenges with some unwit­ting­ly insult­ing com­ments, and some­times I ques­tion why I have cho­sen to share my art­work in this way. Eas­i­ly for­got­ten are the impor­tance of acces­si­bil­i­ty and the democ­ra­ti­za­tion that the art fairs pro­vide, the rich­ness of watch­ing peo­ple inter­act with my work, and all the lessons I can learn when I am pay­ing atten­tion.


Mile Mark­er 268, 16x22


Then with one brief encounter I remem­bered with­out a shad­ow of a doubt why I was stand­ing in the street, tired and sweaty, allow­ing any passer­by to inter­act and expe­ri­ence my art­work. It made up for each frown that exit­ed my booth, the Wiz­ard of Oz jokes that are endured, each “these are just pho­tographs” that is heard. As I stood in the back cor­ner of my booth try­ing to escape the blaz­ing hot sun a elder­ly woman and her daugh­ter stopped in front of my booth. I couldn’t hear all of the words said when the moth­er placed her chin close to the daugh­ters shoul­der to speak very low, with an ease between them that made it clear that this exchange had been hap­pen­ing in just this way for a long time. But I did hear her tell her daugh­ter that my images felt like sum­mer­time, it was warm out­side and prob­a­bly the end of the day, that she thought maybe you could walk for­ev­er with­out encoun­ter­ing any­one or get­ting where you were going. And as the sweat rolled down my back and she described my art­work to her blind daugh­ter, I knew why I was there.



  1. bigjim March 21, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    i hope if i am ever blind i have a poet as my guide too! xoj

    • Chris March 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

      Not a poet but I will glad­ly be your guide. Look­ing for­ward to see­ing you real soon!

  2. Patricia Hecker March 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Beau­ti­ful­ly caps off a long hot day. A grand reminder that art is a shared and cel­e­brat­ed expe­ri­ence and felt in the heart if not seen by the eyes.

    • Chris March 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      The reminder of this is the joy of doing art fes­ti­vals!

  3. erin mcgrane March 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    beau­ti­ful, beau­ti­ful, beau­ti­ful.

    • Chris March 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      You are beau­ti­ful Erin.

  4. Janie Jones March 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm #


  5. winnie dunn March 23, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    I have always felt that your work, in all its forms, tran­scends the ‘visu­al art’ expe­ri­ence… it trans­forms the present moment, trans­port­ing peo­ple to anoth­er place… such that the actu­al act of stand­ing in your booth becomes irrel­e­vant for a while. Per­haps ‘hear­ing’ the expe­ri­ence of your work is not so far away. Those of us who can cur­rent­ly see may rely too heav­i­ly on that por­tal to acti­vate our inter­nal lived expe­ri­ences…

    • Chris March 25, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

      Thanks Win­nie. Very inter­est­ing to think about. I have explor­ing the idea of adding audio to some of my pieces to change the view­ing expe­ri­ence. The dif­fer­ence between view­ing the image while lis­ten­ing to birds chirp ver­sus hear­ing a con­struc­tion site could play with the mean­ing in a very inter­est­ing way!

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