Category Archives: On the move

Getting Schooled

Kids teach me all the time.little kids pointing at art on the wall

A few weeks ago, I was in Ann Arbor for a long and challenging outdoor show. Business wasn’t going particularly well, and I started thinking about the indignities of “selling my work on the street”; a phrase I use when I’m feeling run down, sometimes with colorful variations on the vocabulary.

Why wasn’t I exhibiting in a more refined space? A gallery, where (in my fantasy) I stay home and make work, and someone else sells it and sends me a check? No fussing with the weather! No crowds! Wouldn’t that be great?!

Then I noticed a little boy, asking his mom to help him look at my book, Overlooked Undertakings. She started paging through it with him, first on the display table, then holding it lower so he could look closer, and finally sitting in the middle of my booth, like it was a living room. The middle of my booth, meaning “on the street”.

Why I'm on the street.

The boy and his sister (whose name was Audrey!) were blissfully absorbed. The rest of the world had disappeared, and they were deep into the fantasy worlds that the images evoked. They bubbled with chatter as they made up stories and explanations and what-ifs. They giggled and squirmed and crawled all over mom.

Ann Arbor fans!

“Ah!”, I thought, “This is why I’m here.”


If you want the fun of sharing my book with someone special, this is a great time to do it!  I’m offering a big discount on multiple copies, from now until sometime after school starts.


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Filed under On the move, Overlooked Undertakings, You Are Here

Not my normal art show…

For twelve years I have traveled to art shows around the country, setting up and exhibiting my work. I’m well adapted to the unpredictable routine, but I still have occasional  anxiety dreams.  In my dreams, I forget something, or my car won’t start, or no one comes to my opening.  Showing my art at Burning Man made those dreams look astoundingly pedestrian.

I hope most of you have enjoyed amazing photos of the event.  If not, start here or here and then Google away.  It is so huge and so varied, that I find myself looking at whole albums full of things I never saw.  Big things.  With flames.  It’s the kind of place where you CAN miss a giant boulder suspended in air, or a Billion Bunny March.

This is a look at exhibiting my little art piece on the big desert.  (This story started with my previous post.)

You can click on an image to see it bigger, with comments, and scroll through the albums.  Hit “escape” to get back to the main post.

Placement (AKA Booth Assignment)

I brought what’s called “walk-in art”, which means I had not registered ahead of time, or been assigned a location.  So I had to work that out at The Artery, on site.  They were great.  Welcoming, fun, and pro.  Always a winning hand.

Load In

I had my placement, and was ready to set up!  But you can’t just drive a car out into the middle of the Playa, because that would break the visual mood.  Luckily, my camp had a resident art-car, approved by the DMV (Department of Mutant Vehicles).  She had to be coaxed into waking up, but it was worth it to be able to say “I was going to leave at 11, but my dragon wouldn’t start…”

Set Up

Time to see if this actually works!


It worked!  I set up on Wednesday morning, and the piece held up until I took it down on Sunday.  It was a fantastic experience.  Every time I went out to check on it, or clean it, I had wonderful conversations with gracious, creative, appreciative, generous and quirky people.  I had a couple of teary moments and a lot of great laughs.  It was illuminating and fulfilling to step away from any connection to commerce, and just focus on what I really love, which is making a connection to people.

Tear Down

And then it was done, and time to dismantle and leave no trace.  Some of my wonderful campmates came out to help me break down.  In a final strange twist, the one thing I was unable to do was to burn the work!  I dismantled all of the plastics and metals, but the Community Burn Garden wouldn’t take the cardboard in the mats!  So the prints are back home after all.  Trying to find a date to burn them at Baker Beach, where this all began!

Thanks to everyone who pitched in!  It was so much fun to work with so many people and create something together.  It helped my hands and filled my heart!  Big dusty hugs all around!


Filed under On the move

I thought this was a metaphor…

I started this blog thinking about travel as a metaphor, but suddenly my world is full of guidebooks and packing lists.

I am making final preparations for a week at Burning Man.  My packing list is nuts, and I say that as someone whose “normal” packing looks nuts to most people.  Do I have enough water for all of my needs for 7 days?  Enough food?  Enough sexy outfits that are suitable for climbing giant jungle gyms? Enough moisturizer? The list of dance parties  and utopian lectures that I don’t want to miss? Protection from extreme heat and dust storms?  Enough batteries to run my light up suit?  Does my bike have enough personality?  Did I bring presents?  And earplugs?

And then I decided to make an art installation…

These beloved prints were headed to the trash, after a mounting mishap left them all just damaged enough to make me crazy every time I looked at them on the wall.  This project will give them a last moment to shine, and then to glow.

Thanks to Joen Madonna for the spark, Kate Boyd for the brainstorming and scene shop, David James for the wonderful help and laughter and Ahmed, Hugo, Paul and Raymond at the Home Depot Pro shop for getting in the spirit of play and rule bending!

This may last a minute in the heat and wind, or it may last the week.  In any case, they will end in a blaze!  Look for the follow up post after Labor Day.

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Filed under On the move