A Whirlwind Weekend

Seeded Earth Studio - Tempe Festival of the Arts

Sherpa in the “Midwest Gallery” © 2011 Bo Mackison

Sherpa and I spent the last three days at Tempe’s Art Festival exhibiting my photography. What a weekend! I am so, so grateful that Sherpa was willing to fly to Arizona for a long weekend so he could be my assistant.

The show was open from 10 a.m. til 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A total of twenty four hours. But when Sherpa and I added the hours we spent unpacking and carting the tent, display walls, art and other necessities to our 10 foot by 10 foot site, setting up until one a.m. for the first day of the show, opening and closing the booth each day, and then the packing everything back into the trailer for the drive back to Tucson — wow! We easily worked another 15 hours “behind the scenes.” And we didn’t count any travel time nor the time it takes to actually create the art.

I love the art festivals. I love talking art to the many thousands — yes, thousands! — of people who stop at my booth and look at my photography, talking about a specific photograph that catches their fancy, or asking questions about techniques or camera gear or locations. And of course, I love to talk art with the wonderful people who like what they see enough to purchase my art for their homes.

But doing art shows is lots of work, too.

That is why I want to send a special thank you — decorated with big hugs and kisses — to my best assistant ever. He is my biggest fan and my strongest supporter, and without his encouragement and help, I could never manage the travel required for 16+ shows a year — Spring in the Southwest, Summer in the Midwest, Holidays in Wisconsin. I couldn’t physically manage the strenuous load-ins and load-outs. And while I can work in the booth alone, it is surely more enjoyable having my life-long companion there beside me, working together.

It always gives me a thrill when a customer asks him about “his” photography, and he smiles broadly, nods towards me, and says, “My wife is the photographer. I’m just the roadie.”

Well, this photographer loves her roadie, and she thanks her Sherpa for helping keep this creative dream alive.


Bo Mackison is the photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC.  She is living in Tucson for two months – exhibiting her photography in art shows, taking photographs, and blogging about photography, art festivals and often about living life solo. But she didn’t have to live life “solo” this past weekend as her soul-mate and show-assistant flew to Arizona for a long week-end. She said good bye to him this afternoon as he boarded a plane back to Wisconsin. But it won’t be long, this adventure is winding down. Only two and a half more weeks and I, too, will be saying “Good bye, Arizona. Hello Again, Wisconsin.”

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Joanne Keevers says:

    Oh wow, Bo, isn’t that what makes it all worthwile? Having Sherpa’s support. He sounds like a very rare and amazing man. Love the photo too. It’s great to see Sherpa, who is mentioned so often here, and just look at your art work, looking larger than life and almost as fantastic as Sherpa himself!

    Congratulations on what sounds like it was an amazingly successful weekend all round. 🙂 xxx

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Sherpa makes art fair weekends doable. Andyeah, I love this photo of him too. It is just “soooo” Sherpa-ish!

  2. I enjoyed the festival (work and all), but the company was the best. I’m looking forward to having you back up North. I’d like to promise no more snow, but this is Wisconsin and it’s not yet July.

    Nice photo – I do cut a rather dashing image don’t you think. Rather a Wisconsin version of Indiana Smith or Jones or whoever. 🙂



  3. What a great photo, and a wonderful tribute to your roadie. 🙂

  4. You do indeed have a marvelous assistant, Bo! I’m glad your Art Festival went well!

  5. A lovely tribute to a lovely person – your Sherpa! A spouse’s support is critical in reaching goals and you are one lucky lady, indeed. Sherpa – I bow in your general direction!!!

  6. Aw, this is an adorable post. And yes, Sherpa, quite the handsome buck you are! You two are a team, a partnership. It makes me smile to think that you two have supported one another through the years.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Ah, reminds me of the Kenny Rogers’ song, Through the Years. One of the songs Sherpa and I used to sing to each other in our “early years”. [Smiling!]

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