John and Fairleigh Jackson open in-office foyer to local artists, geared toward Celtic Media Centre employees
By Christie Matherne
Art can appeal to broad markets as well as it can to niches, but it takes a specific set of eyes to see a national market within a foyer.
John and Fairleigh Jackson apparently have those eyes.
In 2010, the pair founded Jackson Gallery. This past Thursday, the walls of a Celtic Media Centre foyer saw the gallery’s opening reception, which featured artwork from six local artists – Robbie Jones, Brad Jenson, Brian Baiamonte, Demond Mastsuo, Kathy Scherer, and Vickie Suplee.
However, if you’ve ever been to Celtic Media Centre, you know that the entire complex is “authorized personnel only” – if you don’t have business inside one of the studios, you are not allowed through the gates. So why put an art gallery in a place that bars public access?
“It’s really for the people who are on that lot working,” said Fairleigh Cook Jackson, who is also the campaign director at the Community Fund for the Arts. “John’s company – Launch Media – is in Celtic, and we started noticing that people who were visiting for films and such were not really going out into the community to see artwork. So they had this foyer space available and they agreed to let us use it for a gallery space.”
While it’s a lovely gesture to bring local art to an office foyer, Jackson saw a bigger opportunity for the local artists who display on the walls of Jackson Gallery.
“There are several different things that we hope happen as a result of putting artwork in there,” she explained. “The first thing is that somebody buys a piece of local artwork and brings it back to wherever they’re from, and we can celebrate that. The second thing is that they see how much talent we have in Baton Rouge, and then they’ll want to leave the lot to go out and see more artwork in our city. The third thing is that they may find pieces that they might want to use in their films.”
The gallery will rotate artwork quarterly, or once every three months. While not for the general public, Jackson Gallery does allow entry by appointment.
For more information about the gallery, the art, and/or John and Fairleigh Jackson, visit www.facebook.com/jacksongallerybr