Portland Playhouse A Christmas Carol Portland Oregon

Photo First: A day with the makers

As the world begins to waken, K.B. Dixon and his camera rediscover the pleasures of an arts & crafts fair.

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY K.B. DIXON


On a bright and sunny Saturday, photographer K.B. Dixon did something he hadn’t done in fifteen or sixteen months: He grabbed his camera and went out to mingle in a crowd. What lured him, besides the weather and sense that the world was waking from its long shutdown, was the gathering of the artists and craftsmakers at the Slabtown Makers Market, a mini-street fair and studio tour at NW Marine Art Works, a warehouse-turned-artists-center in Northwest Portland. The two-day market will also be open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, July 25.

What Dixon discovered was a lot of people rediscovering the pleasure of simply being out and about, admiring row after row of beautiful handmade things, from jewelry to clothing to clayworks to paintings large and small; maybe grabbing a nibble; maybe even buying a thing or three that struck their fancy. For the vendors, it was just as much of a pleasure: showing their works, seeing people, engaging in conversations, maybe selling something.

Dixon’s pleasure came in part from eyeing a scene, framing it and snapping it, and capturing the spirit of the time and place in visual images. Here’s a flavor of the things he saw on Saturday, and that you can see, too, if you venture out on Sunday:

Let there be art: old warehouses have been transformed into artist studios.
Keeping an eye on things: The Saturday crowd wanders among the displays.
A triple tip of the hat to Makers Market craftsmanship.
… and a wide brim to top it off.
A look inside the studio, where the patient work of creativity takes place.
Painter Clement Lee inside his studio at NW Marine Art Works.
It was a day for artworks as big as paintings and as small as jewelry.
Inside the old warehouse, wheels upon wheels upon wheels.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

K.B. Dixon’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and journals. His most recent collection of stories, Artifacts: Irregular Stories (Small, Medium, and Large), was published in Summer 2022. The recipient of an OAC Individual Artist Fellowship Award, he is the winner of both the Next Generation Indie Book Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award. He is the author of seven novels: The Sum of His SyndromesAndrew (A to Z)A Painter’s LifeThe Ingram InterviewThe Photo AlbumNovel Ideas, and Notes as well as the essay collection Too True, Essays on Photography, and the short story collection, My Desk and I. Examples of his photographic work may be found in private collections, juried exhibitions, online galleries, and at K.B. Dixon Images.

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