Sm{art}: Keetra Dean Dixon

Keetra Dean Dixon’s work never fails to put a smile on my face.

In a world that is ripe with cynicism, it’s nice to know that designers and artists like Dixon try to break those cynical patterns. The fact that she has become successful in the commercial field because, not in spite, of her personal vision and aesthetic is a testament to her talents; positivity and a view of the world that is unpredictable yet consistent in its uniqueness. Her mission of inspiring wonder and awe in the daily routine is a breath of fresh air.

Wonders Kept: Souvenirs of the Unexpected, Dixon’s MFA piece at Cranbrook, is still one of my favorites. Innocuous looking photobooths were placed in random public spaces.


The booth
holds no denotation of it’s unique qualities. Users enter the booth,
pose for two shots and exit as usual. During the developing process,
the photos are “analyzed” and customized with forecasts consisting of
patterns, symbols and messages – the resulting portrait presents an
unexpected interference over a traditional photobooth image.”

Next to the booth would be a “key” of all the patterns and symbols for participants to decipher from their photos. 





Dixon’s work fuses DIY (her mother was a crafter, father a metalsmith)
with formal training of Bauhaus Gestalt theory – an analytical
approach to design with an objective to move towards. Dixon developed
many of her core objectives during her masters studies at the Cranbrook
Academy of Art, a place reknowned for its open studio and experimental
environment. Running the multimedia gamut, her projects range from
crafted blood pillows to massive interactive video installations.

Her work has been recognized on several fronts including a place in the permanent design collection at the SFMOMA, the choice for STEP magazine’s Emerging Talent ‘09, and the honorable ranking of ADC Young Gun ‘08. Dixon’s first solo exhibit took place November 2009 in London’s Kessel Kramer Gallery KKOutlet.


Cordial Invitations





The Great Slumber: Blood Puddle PIllows



Little Public Plaques




Half Wishing, Half Lying



Hall of Fragments (with Rockwell Group)

You should definitely go here to see this installation in action.





“It’s about asking people to embody those unexpected moments and respond in a positive light.” ~ KDD


Some fun facts about Keetra Dean Dixon (thanks SiouxWIRE):

She prefers the trashier version of a grilled cheese sandwich.

She used to live in an Igloo and fight bears on a daily basis for survival.

Born and raised Alaskan (see above).

Falls on the veggie side of things, but that never squelches her competitive nature.

She’ll punch you (HARD) in the face if you say she can’t live without electricity for a week.

She feels that cars move too slow and days move too quick.

If she ever went to prison she would design the best tats for people.

Outshoot at the gun range every time so keep her on your side for the zombie invasion.

 For more information:


From K to J - Keetra Dean Dixon and partner JK Keller

Quick interview with Keetra Dean Dixon for ADC Young Guns ‘08:

by Belin Liu
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2 Comments Have Been Posted


Terrific stuff!

Did I miss it or do I have to figure it out?

Thanks for introducing me to KDD's art. It's really neat. What were the objectives of KDD's art that she elaborated during her masters? I am curious.

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