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Art on Fire

Fundraiser for The Dixon

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger  | Photos by Don Perry 

As a weather front ushered in cooler temperatures, the rustle of the leaves in the wooded areas surrounding The Dixon Gallery and Gardens brought the feel of fall to the outdoor gathering for this year’s Art on Fire. Adding to the autumnal feel were gorgeous decorations by designer Kim Jameson. The VIP entry, called the Hot Spot, was down a walkway adorned with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, tucked into rustic containers filled with tall grasses and miniature “firefly” lights. The entry door was festooned with sunflowers and cornstalks that led to an interior hallway and on to the South Lawn. The general admissions entry was through a wooded pathway along the backside of the museum. An arbor covered with cornstalks served as a gateway to the party.

For The Dixon’s fundraising bonfire party, booths of food and beverage purveyors formed an outer perimeter as a crowd mingled on the museum’s South Lawn where tables were set up for dining and conversation. Hay bale “sofas” offered additional conversation areas. Entertainment was dispersed throughout the crowd with fire twirlers and acrobats roving around the grounds. Additionally, aerialists performed on the newly constructed stage at the far end of the lawn. For the first half of the party the Mighty Souls Brass Band provided musical entertainment. They were followed by Grace Askew and her band for the second half of the evening.

“Our 10th annual Art on Fire event lived up to the title of ‘The Hottest Night of the Year’,” said Chantal Drake, Director of Development and Communications at The Dixon. “The Dixon grounds on one of the most beautiful autumn nights in Memphis was definitely the most unique location to ‘see and be seen’ in your best fall attire this year. Our festive fall party included a roaring bonfire, fabulous food, live music, the Hot off the Wall art sale, a silent auction, and much more.”

“I’m really proud to be part of this fundraiser because it support The Dixon’s art education outreach programs,” explained Sarah Lorenz, Special Events Manager at The Dixon. “People are very familiar with our art and our gardens, but less familiar with the art education we offer the community, because that is not something you can readily see. The Dixon supports educators in the Greater Memphis region and reached approximately 30,000 students last year via its school outreach program. Additionally, The Dixon offers art classes to senior groups and individuals with Alzheimer’s, along with their caregivers. And, art therapy programs are designed for at-risk youth and young people and adults with developmental challenges.”   


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