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In Profile

by Sarah Schmerler

“Risk” isn’t a word that Crista Dix uses much – though many would say she’s taken a few. The West Coast dealer (who maintains two galleries, one in Santa Barbara, the other in Seattle) has bet her career on representing contemporary photographic artists – particularly those whose imagery is both psychologically confrontational and under known. These include Indian-born Priya Kambli, who layers intricate patterns of rice grains over personal photographs of her Hindi family; and Charles Grogg, who once stitched the photographic image of a broken egg shell together by hand, as if to fix in image what can’t ever be mended in real life. “If people believe in their craft, is it risky?” opines Dix. “I never think of it as risk. I believe in these artists and what they do. I love when an image makes you uneasy; when it makes you think, every day, every time you walk by it. And if it makes us learn something about it, or ourselves, or others – that’s great.”

Dix, 51, a self-described “introvert who loves to talk to people” was born in Torrance, California, and raised in Newport Beach. Her dad was a rocket scientist who regularly worked the Apollo launches, and her mom was a mystery writer obsessed with disasters, natural and otherwise. “To this day, if I can find a problem I will run towards it,” says Dix. Childhood was spent with a love of the great outdoors, current events, and not least of all, regional theater, which Dix starred in from the age of nine – an interest that would follow through much of her adult life. She started at UCLA intending to major in theater, but soon transferred schools and disciplines: she moved to San Francisco State and became a geology major. After graduation, she worked as a ranger for the Parks Service, a job that provided her with her first encounter with a Minolta X-700. Dix became an avid, and accomplished, fine-art documentary photographer.

Budget cuts in the Parks Department in 1996, forced her to decamp for Seattle, where she eventually landed at the city’s photo mega-store Glazer’s, and quickly had a photographic epiphany. “The first day that I worked at the camera store, I was meeting people I had only seen in books,” she says. “That’s when I realized that I was no Carleton Watkins, that everything I had done to that point was directing me to open a gallery.” Over the next six years Dix traveled to photography galleries and museums across the country on her salesperson salary, formulating a business model. In 2005, she opened wall space gallery in Seattle. She built up a stable of living artists from around the country, as well as two thriving online presences – one called simply “Online” featuring thematically cohesive virtual solo shows by artists not currently hanging in the gallery; the other called “Collectible” offering works at or below $500. “In 2009 I knew, with the Internet, that we didn’t have to be tethered to any one location, so I opened up in Santa Barbara. Once I could navigate two spaces, I figured I’d take a breath, but of course I never take a breath. My friends call me the ‘moving target.’ Once I achieve a goal, I just move the goalpost.”



May - June 2015
Crista Dix

March - April 2015
Esa Epstein

January - February 2015
Joseph Bellows


November - December 2014
Miyako Yoshinaga

September - October 2014
Terry Etherton

July - August 2014
Corinne Tapia

May - June 2014
Laurence Miller

March - April 2014
Rachel Smith

January - February 2014
Peter Fetterman


November - December 2013
Margy Dudley

September - October 2013
Howard Greenberg

July - August 2013
Keith de Lellis

May - June 2013
Paul Kopeikin

March - April 2013
L. Parker Stephenson

January - February 2013
Scott Nichols


November - December 2012
Martin Weinstein

September - October 2012
Steven Kasher

July - August 2012
Joseph Carroll

May - June 2012
Robert Anderson

March - April 2012
Andrea Meislin

January - February 2012
Etheleen Staley and Takouhy (“Taki”) Wise


November - December 2011
Bryce Wolkowitz

September - October 2011
Julie Saul

July - August 2011
Mary Virginia Swanson

May - June 2011
Gus Kayafas

March - April 2011
Peter MacGill

January - February 2011
David Moore


November - December 2010
Bonni Benrubi

September - October 2010
Rick Wester

July - August 2010
Jay and Rose Deutsch

May - June 2010
Robert Mann

March - April 2010
Catherine Edelman

January - February 2010
Pamela Schoenberg


January - February 2009
Karen Jenkins-Johnson

March - April 2009
Deborah Bell

May - June 2009
Jeffrey Fraenkel

July - August 2009
Mark Pinsukanjana, Bryan Yedinak

September - October 2009
Yancey Richardson

November - December 2009
Hans P. Kraus, Jr.


March - April 2008
Nailya Alexander

May - June 2008
Stephen Bulger

July - August 2008
Sidney Monroe

September - October 2008
Amy Miller

November - December 2008
Sasha Wolf


November - December 2007
Bruce Silverstein

September - October 2007
Candace Dwan

July - August 2007
Ariel Shanberg

March - April 2007
Ellen Harris

January - February 2007
Paul Amador


January - February 2006
Martin McNamara

March - April 2006
Michael Foley

May - June 2006
Dan Cooney

July - August 2006
Wilson Scanlan

September - October 2006
Daniel Power

November - December 2006
Sharon Tanenbaum


January - February 2005
Tom Gitterman

March - April 2005
Yossi Milo

May - June 2005
Arlette Kayafas

September - October 2005
Brian Clamp

November - December 2005
Sarah Hasted


September - October 2004
Ariel Meyerowitz

November - December 2004
Anna Walker Skillman