(One Too Many) Adventures at the Chicago Botanic Gardens Art Festival

Chicago Botanic Gardens Art Festival

Strolling at the Chicago Botanic Gardens Art Fair

Sherpa and I spent the weekend in Chicago. I exhibited my Seeded Earth Photography at the Chicago Botanic Gardens Art Festival. It was a rather crazy, mixed up weekend.

First we had to keep switching schedules to adapt to work schedules and show timetables. When Sherpa had a conflict on Thursday which was set-up day, my son agreed to drive me, the trailer and the art set up to Chicago on Wednesday evening. That worked out well. We had an entire evening to catch up on a few years worth of conversations.

Thursday set up went well. We set up the booth, strolled a bit through the Botanic Gardens, had a quick lunch, and Jeff was back on his way to Madison by 3 in the afternoon. Sherpa arrived later that evening to take over the assistant’s duties.

Friday again started off well. It was warm and humid, but there was no rain in the forecast until later in the evening so we were looking forward to a dry, uneventful first day of the three-day show – maybe a bit sweaty, but not rainy! The day stayed dry, but not uneventful.

We had a couple of hours of set up to do before the show began. As Sherpa and I were getting the awnings of the booth unrolled, I stepped backwards, tripped over another artist’s gear, and hit my head hard on a ladder laying in the grass. I’ll sum up the next 24 hours quickly–ambulance, ER, CAT scan, hospital admission for 24 hours’ observation for post-concussion syndrome.

Sherpa went back to the festival where employees of Amdur Productions and so many wonderful artists near my booth pitched in and set up my photography display and helped Sherpa when he needed a second pair of hands. When I was discharged from the hospital at noon on Saturday, complication-free, I went to the show and found everything in good shape. And so the rest of the show proceeded smoothly.

I want to note that I started out on this art show path with little idea of how things were going to work out. There were lots of unanswered questions, lots of risk taking, and a few sleepless nights. Sherpa and I are both lucky, because we discovered we love doing art shows. But the best benefit of being on the art fair circuit was one I had not expected.

It was meeting and becoming friends with the amazing artists at the various shows. It was getting to know the people who capably run the shows and handle emergencies in stride.

To all of you, thank you. I am so very proud to be a show circuit artist associated with such fine and caring people.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. This weekend she very briefly considered whether the life of an artist was the life for her. She answered with a resounding YES – what other life could be so fulfilling and meaningful.

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. I’m sorry you were hurt Bo, but glad that it wasn’t serious and also gad that you found out what those other artists are made of!

  2. Quote: what other life could be so fulfilling and meaningful.

    We should all feel like this!

  3. Gandalf says:

    sounds like an interesting experience, but in a rather odd sort of way. 🙂 Glad you weren’t seriously hurt.

  4. Goodness! That was quite an adventure. So glad to hear the outcome was positive — both with your health and in the discovering the kindness of the artists.

  5. Oh my, Bo! What a scary thing to have happen! Glad you were OK, and of course, Sherpa could only do what does best, which is to be a fabulous assistant and husband!

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