SMU alumnus opens art gallery in Snider Plaza

By Elizabeth Weddell, Contributing Writer,
March 02, 2006

Strolling down Hillcrest, a stone’s throw from SMU, shoppers might see Caroline Pickton splashing bright paint onto a canvas in the window of her new art gallery, Cerulean.

The SMU alumnus opens the gallery March 9, far away from Dallas’ Design District, in University Park’s Snider Plaza. Pickton, a young Dallas native, hopes the Snider Plaza location will attract the hidden art lover in everyone.

“I’ve had my eye on Snider Plaza for a while – I want people who aren’t necessarily out to find a gallery to come in,” she said. The gallery, located in the space Robin Hood’s Designer Resale used to occupy, is currently under construction and is the first of its kind in the area.

Through construction workers and dust, she showed details like the old hardwood floors and the metal railing on the second floor. “I’m keeping the floors to retain the old charm, but I want to get something more ornate for the railing,” said Pickton. Construction workers are working diligently to finish the gallery before the opening, which takes place over two nights to accommodate the hundreds of people invited.

“My family and friends, my family’s friends, the artists’ families and friends, faculty and staff from Meadows, and reporters are all invited [to the grand opening],” she said.

The exhibit “Out of the Blue” features works from Pickton, Katherine Klise-Welch, Meadows alumni Camilla Cowan, Robin Hazard-Bishop and Peter Ligon, and current Meadows students Susan Barnett and Natalie Northrup. Pickton keeps a keen eye on what goes on in Meadows, hoping to give young art students the opportunity to exhibit in a gallery. The opening exhibit focuses mainly on paintings, but the gallery will also exhibit sculpture, photography, drawings, printmaking, assemblage and sculpture.

For most of the artists in the exhibit, this is their first show. Northrup, a senior painting major, is thrilled at the opportunity Pickton gives young students.

“The more people that can have access to galleries, the better. I’m very excited about having my drawings in the show,” said Northrup.

No small undertaking, Pickton said opening her own art gallery “has always been in the back of my mind, and everything fell into place as far as timing went.” Confident in her business skill, Pickton has never fit the stereotype of the carefree artist. She began at SMU as an advertising major, incorporating management with creativity; however, she graduated with her degree in the fine arts.

For the last three years, Pickton has been working for an art consultation firm located in the Design District, which commissions art for large-scale projects like hotels, hospitals and corporations, giving Pickton insight into management.

Pickton’s timing fell into the hands of chance; when the firm decided to move locations, the space became free in Snider Plaza at the same time, and Pickton plunged into entrepreneurship.

SMU alumnus opens art gallery in Snider Plaza