Woman drawn to open
is the vision of SMU grad, with local artists the core
12:00 AM CDT on Thursday,
August 31, 2006
Caroline Crockett Pickton, owner of the new Cerulean
Gallery in Snider Plaza, is enjoying the best of both
Caroline Crockett Pickton's 'Wallpaper Series:
Cherry Blossoms 4' hangs in the Cerulean
Gallery, which she opened in 'boutiquey' Snider
"I had the dream to run my
own business and the dream of opening my own gallery, so
I could focus on my own painting again and support local
and SMU artists," said Mrs. Crockett Pickton, an SMU
Ms. Crockett Pickton, 28, is a fifth-generation
Dallas-area resident who lives in Plano with her
husband, Erick Pickton.
She grew up in North Dallas.
It wasn't always clear she would go into the arts.
It was at Southern Methodist University's Meadows
School of the Arts that she discovered her passion.
"I didn't know I could paint," she said. "I took
painting with Mary Vernon and fell in love with
"Her artwork was extremely beautiful," said Ms.
Vernon, a professor who still teaches painting and
drawing at SMU. "She is an attentive realist painter."
After graduating from SMU in 2002, Ms. Crockett
Pickton went to work for Art Ability, an art consulting
firm in the Dallas design district that puts together
art packages for companies.
She worked there for three years, eventually becoming
lead art consultant.
It was at Art Ability that she honed her business
"I got to be creative and learn to run a business,"
In November, Ms. Crockett Pickton decided to open the
She felt that the Park Cities needed a
contemporary-art gallery. She chose to be in popular
Snider Plaza in University Park.
"This shopping center is so charming and so boutiquey,"
she said. "And it's not far from SMU."
Through the Cerulean Gallery, Ms. Crockett Pickton
has reached out to local artists and fellow SMU grads.
"There is so much talent in this area," she said. "I
remember when I was a student, I really wanted to get
into a gallery.
"It's very difficult. I wanted to give [SMU students]
Friends and family supported her venture, and the
Cerulean Gallery opened officially on March 9.
Her opening exhibition was called "Out of the Blue,"
and six of the seven participating artists were SMU
Robin Hazard-Bishop, a landscape artist from Hot
Springs, Ark., and an SMU alumna, found out about the
Cerulean Gallery through Ms. Vernon.
"Caroline's just awesome. She is so on the ball and
excited about the gallery and excited about the artists
she shows," Ms. Hazard-Bishop said.
"If you come from a background in art, you understand
where the artist is coming from and what they're doing."
The gallery is doing well, said Ms. Crockett Pickton.
She meets with artists regularly and shows a new exhibit
every five weeks.
Her newest is called "Spectrum."
The Cerulean Gallery also continues to reach out to
Ms. Crockett Pickton has donated her gallery space to
charitable organizations such as the Dallas Haiti
Project and the Creative Arts Center.
She also plans to show art from Highland Park High
and SMU students.
Casey Reivich is a Dallas-based freelance writer.