It wasn’t until Thursday morning in St. Paul, MN when I was making final preparations for the Saturday zine fest in Chicago, IL that I realized how excited I was. I was up until midnight the night before printing the last zines. I felt excited. I felt something. I was alive.
I thought about how hard we had worked and for how long to put on the first exhibition of our books and zines. I cooked ahead all week to prepare food for the trip (homemade granola, rice pudding, coleslaw, German potato salad, baked beans, sausages, and meat salad made with roast beef and served with root vegetable chips).
Exhibition Day was held from 11 am to 6 pm on Saturday, May 18 at Plumbers Union Hall in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood by Union Park. The venue was one of the biggest and most beautiful dance halls I have ever seen. The hardwood floor was perfect and there was even a stage. I don’t know what those plumbers use it for, but they should be dancing! I imagined 500 – 1000 dancers dancing the night away there.
Chicago Zine Fest 2019 Exhibitors: http://chicagozinefest.org/2019-exhibitors/
We had a great spot in the middle, spot F21, with a lot of really nice people around. Some people presented alone, but most had a buddy. Everybody needs a buddy, and I am grateful for mine. Can you find Michael sitting at our table in the picture below?
On the morning of the fest I woke up in Chicago wondering why the “Instructions for Helping to Improve the Human Condition” seemed to be the least popular of all so far. But things were different at the fest.
Chicago Zine Fest was a great, safe space to share our work with others by selling zines as well as trading zines with other zinemakers. Trading zines with someone takes the money out of the transaction and allows you to feel an excitement so rare, so fresh, so fundamental. Joy.
There was a steady flow of interested and interesting readers and lovers of art, despite heavy afternoon rain. It was impressive. People came from near and far to compose this event. There was a fascinating mix of attendees and exhibitors from all the Americas. These people dared to think outside of the box. They made statements with hats (think sequins or antlers) and t-shirts and hair colors (blue, purple, green, orange) and tablecloths. My favorite t-shirt said, “Celebrate Neurodiversity.” Another one said, “You can move a mountain, but not a large dog.” The day flew by.
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) was the most popular topic we have covered, followed by the “Instructions for Helping to Improve the Human Condition!” Sexy pictures were also popular along with “Scitainment.” Someone said I was a goddess. Another said they saw my zine at Quimby’s Bookstore (see https://myspiritualconnection.org/2019/01/18/new-zine-available-at-quimbys-bookstore/ and, on the website that has mature content, https://myspiritualassociation.com/2018/08/18/quimbys-bookstore/)! Another told me that my ideas about science, spirituality, and nature are way ahead of my time. A couple of people asked if we were Mary and Michael.
Before we knew it, the fest ended, and we headed straight to the great lake. We were able to park the car near Diversey Harbor.
I wanted to go out dancing, but I was too tired.
I felt good on the way home, like we are on the right track.
For more about the Chicago Zine fest, see https://myspiritualconnection.org/2019/01/21/chicago-zine-fest-2019/
Lots of Love,