PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Tucker
Trained as a painter, Mary Addison Hackett also practices in photography, video and other time-based projects.
Mary Addison's first experience with desert was on family vacation – three of them – from her hometown of Nashville to the Grand Canyon, Tucson, Mexico and other natural desert wonders along the way. Even then, Mary Addison had a camera and to document her trips.
Though impressed with the natural and cultural aspects of these desert trips, Mary Addison doesn’t recall having any aspirations of moving to the desert.
Mary Addison’s next desert encounter came in the late 90’s while working for a post-production house out of Chicago. A project with a director in Santa Monica, brought Mary Addison west and during some downtime, she made a trip to Joshua Tree and admits the place made no particular impression on her at that time. Later, after being married in Palm Springs, and having by this time moved to Los Angeles, she remembers weekend getaways at the 29 Palms Inn and other camping trips using the coin operated showers at Coyote Corner.
Mary Addison made the move to Joshua Tree after five years back in Nashville caring for her aging mother, sorting through three generations of belongings and selling her childhood home. The political climate had changed. Feeling uncomfortable in Nashville, coming back west, nearer her artistic Los Angeles peer group felt like the right thing to do.
Researching and communicating with a realtor via the web, Mary Addison found a home and made the move.
In this episode, she describes a text she received her second week in the desert, from a friend in Atlanta, suggesting Mary Addison immediately –that very moment – drive to an event at the Joshua Tree dry lake bed for what turned out to be a High Desert Test Sites event. Mary Addison also attended an Artist Tea at Joshua Tree National Park (which she now directs) and the opening of the Joshua Treenial – a trifecta of events at which Mary Addison began to establish roots in the artistic community.
Mary Addison believes the desert has elevated her consciousness around being a more responsible human, doing her best to reduce her footprint by taking her trash to the dump, rather than opting for trash pick up and using wood she chops herself to heat her home.
Unsure if the desert is her last stop, Mary Addison says she wanted a rural living experience and right now, the desert is affording her that opportunity.
Mary Addison has exhibited domestically and internationally, is a film editor, arts educator and freelance arts writer.
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