Dallas Morning News, Metro Section, page 3B

August 16, 2007

Gallery Gets ‘Down to Earth’

Exhibit will benefit Autism Treatment Center

12:00 AM CDT on Thursday, August 16, 2007

By ALLISON WISK / The Dallas Morning News





Caroline Crockett, in front of Michael T. Longhofer's 'Chrysler Kisses Colors,' is exhibiting artists' interpretations of landscapes and cityscapes at her Cerulean Gallery in a show called 'Down to Earth.'


At University Park's Cerulean Gallery, proprietor Caroline Crockett is perpetually looking for a good cause to support through her revolving exhibitions.  Having helped the Dallas-Haiti Project and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the past, Ms. Crockett chose the Autism Treatment Center as the beneficiary for her latest show, "Down to Earth."

The exhibit centers on four artists' interpretations of landscapes and cityscapes, in styles ranging from the traditional to renderings drawing on mood and memory.

While the show demonstrates the artists' understanding of their environment, it benefits a cause that helps those living with autism acclimate to their own surroundings.

A portion of the proceeds from the show will go to the nonprofit center, which has a facility in Dallas and celebrated 30 years in operation in 2006. The center is a full-scale facility, offering cognitive, physical, occupational and behavioral therapies alongside group homes, outpatient treatment and outreach projects.

Allison Lehman Brown, the autism center's special events coordinator, is a longtime advocate for people living with the spectrum disorder. Ms. Brown's relationship with the gallery started through her sister, Virginia Marum, who is among the four artists featured in the show.

For Ms. Brown, volunteerism started at an early age.

"We were home-schooled, and we started going to some events with our mother, who had a longtime relationship with ATC," said Ms. Brown.

Ms. Brown and her sister happened upon the gallery as Ms. Marum returned to Dallas in January from California, .

"I fell in love with the space and the gallery," Ms. Marum said. "I kept going to openings and I took my sister along. One time we were talking with Caroline and we decided we needed to do something more with [Autism Treatment Center]."

With Ms. Marum scheduled to take part in "Down to Earth," Ms. Crockett decided to pose the question to the other artists, asking them to give a portion of their proceeds to the center.

Ms. Crockett also donated a piece from her Wallpaper series to generate overhead at a silent auction at the exhibit's opening on July 20.

Ms. Marum contributed a series of collages to the exhibit that had her working outside her comfort zone. Her work does not utilize the plein air style that typifies landscapes, but focuses on impressions and feelings gathered from places in California and Dallas.

The autism center is in the midst of a capital campaign to generate funds to replace its facility in San Antonio, which is nearly 30 years old.

Ms. Brown believes that grass-roots efforts like Ms. Crockett's will serve an important need.

"It doesn't have to be a huge gala or a golf tournament," she said. "Everyone can help out."

Ms. Brown hopes that Cerulean Gallery's involvement will stimulate more interest throughout the community. She says another Dallas gallery has already contacted her to do a similar event.

For the time being, Ms. Crockett's participation has left a legacy that she will not soon forget.

"I appreciate her hard work and her gallery wanting to give back," she said. "This is opening the door. I hope that someone will see something like this and see that it just doesn't stop at that one night."