One of the most jovial personalities we have gotten to know here at the Griffin is Crista Dix. Four months ago, Crista switched up coasts and took a chance on the unpredictable north shore New England weather so she would have the opportunity to grow and develop the Griffin Museum of Photography beside Paula Tognarelli as our Associate Director.
So we asked her a few questions to get to know her most recent fascinations, projects and obsessions, and here is what we found out.
How do you involve photography in your everyday?
I see photographs everywhere. I trip over my feet a lot. I spend most of my time looking up and out at the world around me. I have a photo project called opens in a new windowBuzz Goes, and I carry a Buzz Lightyear wherever I go. He is my alter ego.
Can you describe one photograph that recently caught your eye?
We are thrilled to have the opens in a new windowPhotoville Fence in Winchester right now, and we have a few installations in front of the museum. The work by Tira Khan, opens in a new windowPattern Repeats, has been my moment of Zen as I go in and out of the museum.
Describe how you first connected with the Griffin.
I have known about the Griffin for 13 years. My first interaction was with the powerhouse that is Paula Tognarelli, our Executive Director. We met as peers, (when I had my gallery, wall space) at a portfolio review. One of my represented artists, Aline Smithson, was offered an exhibition at the Griffin, and that began my connection to this amazing institution. I started as the Associate Director in March of this year, having big shoes to fill following in the footsteps of opens in a new windowIaritza Menjivar.
How long have you been part of the Griffin team? Please describe your role at the Griffin
I arrived to one week of a very busy open museum, then the last 4 months I have been working in a very quiet space, looking forward to hearing the hum of an open public museum once again.
It is my job to support our indefatigable leader, Paula, in whatever she needs to get her job done and to make sure the operations of the museum run smoothly.
What is one of your favorite exhibitions shown by the Griffin.
While I am partial to Aline Smithson’s Mid-Career retrospective, opens in a new windowSelf & Others, there are many shows I have loved. opens in a new windowZindagi, opens in a new windowBullet Points, opens in a new windowGrey Matters, opens in a new windowHorace & Agnes….I could go on. And on. And on.
What has been the most eye-opening part of our time of physical distancing?
I have spent my life surrounded by people. Artists, clients, friends, family. I’m actually really private about my life. I love my time to myself, craved it when I didn’t have time to escape and be quiet. Now three months into this new normal, I find I really miss the ability to have daily interactions.
What is your favorite place to escape to in nature…mountains? beach? woods? and why?
My favorite escape is to the desert, where I can see endless sky, red rock and feel alive. Monument Valley is part of my soul. When I have red dirt everywhere on me and my belongings, I know I am home. I also love to explore, and Japan and India are always on the top of my list.
What is one book, song, or other visual obsession you have at the moment?
As someone obsessed by politics, this has been an interesting period of time. There are so many books to read about our fractured political system.
I get my groove on on the way into work. Old school, funk and soul. Chaka Khan, Alicia Keyes, Lauren Hill, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Mary J. Blige, Janet, Aretha, throw in some Janelle Monae, Esperanza Spaulding, Queen B, Bill Withers and Anderson Paak, …and visually, I am obsessed with the view out my apartment window.
If you could be in a room with anyone to have a one on one conversation about anything, who would that person be and what would you talk about?
I would want to talk to my grandmothers. I miss their wisdom. I would dance with Bob Fosse, groove with Prince and share a meal and have a profanity laden conversation with Anthony Bourdain. I’d share a glass of chardonnay with Karen Sinsheimer and talk about what we do next.