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we create kcsourcelink chris dahlquist photography

Kansas City Artist and Entrepreneur Helps You Travel in Time

Kansas City Artist and Entrepreneur Helps You Travel in Time

Chris Dahlquist is an artist and entrepreneur in Kansas City, Missouri. We shared her story in our We Create KC report, an annual “state of entrepreneurship” report that tracks Kansas City’s progress toward becoming America’s most entrepreneurial city.  

Chris does a lot of work in Kansas City to support artist entrepreneurs. She mentors other business-minded creatives in Artist Inc. and helped develop a microloan fund for artists, all while creating her own work, of course.

One of her most recent projects is called #HistoryVendor and allows you to time travel to Kansas City’s River Market as far back as 1865. Watch this video to learn more the project, then keep reading to hear from Chris about why entrepreneurs should think more like artists:  

Travel back in time to the River Market in 1921

Ever wonder what your neighborhood looked like back in the day? Chris Dahlquist Studio, artist & entrepreneur, introduces us to her new installation, #HistoryVendor, in River Market, Kansas City. Learn more about Chris:

Posted by KCSourceLink on Friday, May 26, 2017


Here’s Chris Dahlquist with insight into this project and her process:

How did the #HistoryVendor project come to be?

My twenty year plus visual art practice centers around the intersection of historic photographic process and contemporary technology. This has led me to dip into archived photographs for most of my career.

When we moved to Columbus Park, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Kansas City, the local history became very relevant for me. Being able to better visualize where the history took place made it much more engaging and I began working out ways to bring that experience to the art viewer.

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Tell us more broadly about your work as an artist and an entrepreneur.

My studio practice involves combining my original photographs with alternative materials to further the story of the image. The series that many people are familiar with is the Mile Marker series, where I combine images of spare, quiet landscapes with gold painted steel. Kansas Citians might have seen this work at either the Brookside or Plaza Art Fair.

Because of my desire to make my artwork accessible, for the last 18 years I have participated in similar art fairs throughout the country. This increasing desire to make artwork accessible to all has driven me to seek out more public art opportunities like Art in the Park, which allowed for the creation of History Vendor.  

If you have an art-centric business, check out these resources for microenterprises to keep it growing.

When did you become an entrepreneur?

From my first memories as a child I have made things with my hands and sold them. We didn’t use the word entrepreneur in those days, but I intrinsically knew that to continue making things which I loved, I had to find a way to purchase supplies. It was passion combined with pragmatism. (Luckily for all involved my taste and skill sets progressed beyond the woven potholders and friendship pins of my childhood endeavors.)

There are a ton of organizations in Kansas City for makers and creators, check them out.

What can Kansas City artists do to nurture their entrepreneurial mindset?

I maintain that “artist brain” and “entrepreneur brain” are the same, just deployed in slightly different ways. Storytelling ability, an unique way of viewing the world, the ability to recognize things that others don’t, creative problem solving skills, passion—these are at the core of what an artist is, and not coincidentally the things that can make an entrepreneur successful. So I think a better question might be “What can entrepreneurs do to nurture an artistic mindset”?  

Visit our comprehensive business calendar to see events throughout Kansas City for artists and entrepreneurs.  

Where will the #HistoryVendor project go from here? Will it become a business?

The short answer is that I don’t know yet. It has really sparked people’s imagination and I’ve had inquiries about installing it from close to home and as far away as Massachusetts. I want to be very intentional about the way I move forward with this so it can reach as many people as possible and have the greatest impact so it’s going to take some consideration.

If you have a business idea and want help figuring our your next step, give us a call at 816-235-6500.

How best can folks keep up with you?

If people are interested in following my work they can find me at or and join my email list to follow the progress of both my artwork as a whole and #HistoryVendor in particular. And of course, find me on Facebook at Chris Dahlquist Studio.

Thank you, Chris!

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