past Halloween weekend, Rachel
Dickson of the Dickson Gallery
of Fine Art dressed as a blind
referee, leading a small parade
through the streets of downtown
Jackson to encourage passerby
to participate in a 'Pub Crawl'
with other Jacksonians in a
sampling of the area's budding
a way, Dickson's been doing
this for years, refereeing relations
between city officials and hopeful
entrepreneurs in an effort to
bring more business and consequently
more life to the downtown area.
Dickson Gallery definitely has
a positive impact on the growth
of the arts in our community."
recently celebrated the 1-year
anniversary of her gallery with
an open house, which offered
rare chances to meet some of
the featured artists and included
live music provided by Dr. Sax
and violinists Audrey and Claire
are going great," Dickson
said. "We started out a
little slow, which is a given
in any new business, but we
turned the corner and the community
of Jackson as embraced the gallery.
We wouldn't be where
we are without the support of
Leatha Frost and Mary Spellings
were on hand to discuss their
art and the influence of Dickson
and her gallery on the community.
think this kind of gallery is
a very needed thing and I'm
glad she's here," said
Spellings, who has nearly a
dozen paintings adorning the
walls of the Dickson Gallery.
time of the open house, nearly
every inch of wallspace was
filled, a testament to the volume
of artistic representation in
the city of Jackson and surrounding
cities. But from a business
standpoint, the gallery's growth
has been exponential. The gallery
held $60,000 worth of art when
it opened in 2004. That figure
has since ballooned to $115,000.
got all the art I can handle
at this point," Dickson
said. "We've got art here
from all over West Tennessee
now, but I've been getting more
and more comments from people
about the level of artistic
talent in Jackson. We've tapped
into a river of talent that
has been flowing here all the
time, it was just a matter of
finding it, even though it turned
out to be a mix of me finding
them and them finding me."
went looking for a suitable
spot for her gallery in 2001,
settling on a location three
years later. She says she never
would have guessed that the
arts would be in such demand
I had been asked 5 years ago
if Jackson was ready for an
arts scene, I would have laughed
out loud, but one has emerged,"
shares the downtown area with
two other art galleries, including
friendly competitor Marguerite's
Fine Art Gallery. Marguerite's
executive director Alicia McEarl
was positive about her relationship
with Dickson and the role of
Dickson in the development of
the downtown area.
working with her at the Downtown
Merchants Association meetings,
she's the one who takes charge
and does all the legwork, coordinating
all the other businesses downtown,"
very obvious when you talk to
her that she's passionate about
the arts. We motivate each other,
and that's a good thing."
more information, call the Dickson
Gallery at (731) 423-9708 or
visit it on the Web at www.dicksongallery.com