Jackson Street Gallery outpost opening at The Mulberry Vicksburg

Published 9:02 am Monday, June 27, 2022

The Mulberry Vicksburg will soon be home to Jackson Street Gallery, an outpost of Paula Jackson’s Ridgeland gallery of the same name.

Jackson is no rookie when it comes to art gallery operation, as she has been working in art galleries for 20 years. During that time, she said she’s developed relationships with artists that are critical for the success of such an endeavor.

The art Jackson chose for the new gallery represents a wide variety of styles.

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“I personally don’t like to go into a gallery where everything looks alike,” she said. “And that’s one comment I get in my gallery all the time: ‘It was so nice to see different styles.’”

Jackson said the reason she decided to pursue a career in art gallery operation is simple.

“I love the artists. I love the customers. I love art,” she said. “I love the talent that the artists have. I just appreciate it so much.”

Currently, all the artists represented at The Mulberry’s gallery are from Mississippi. However, Jackson said she is open to including artists’ work from surrounding states.

The Mulberry, formerly home to Margaritaville Hotel and Resort, has been in the process of renovation for the past year. Owned by Canton-based Certified Hospitality Management, LLC, the property has been renovated to include 52 apartments and 41 hotel rooms. The entire lobby has been remodeled, and the same is planned for the pool area.

The lobby ends at a pair of double doors which open up into the gallery. A wide corridor is broken up in the center by a large rotunda with plenty of natural light. Every wall is adorned with art.

“We brought about 110 paintings over here last week,” Jackson said on Thursday.

Lenore Barkley is one of the artists whose work will be shown at the gallery. Now retired, Barkley worked at the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau for 28 years and has lived in Vicksburg for 49 years.

Her pieces shown at the Mulberry are three-dimensional arrays of eggshells that have been carefully broken in half and cleaned. The concave surfaces are delicately and vibrantly painted. She said she has been heavily influenced by the Japanese concept of ‘Kintsugi’, the process by which broken pottery is repaired with lacquer that is then dusted with a precious metal like gold. The repair highlights the damage and beautifies it rather than concealing it.

Barkley currently has some work displayed in Jackson’s Ridgeland gallery and has known her for a number of years.

“When I heard about this project, I dusted off my tourism brain and tried to help them promote it,” Barkley said. “To let Vicksburg know what they’ve done, what investment they’ve made.”

The grand opening for the gallery does not yet have a definitive date; however, Jackson said she is expecting it to be sometime in the coming weeks.

Jackson has been married to her husband Sandy for 44 years now. He helps with a wide variety of tasks associated with running the gallery.

Sandy said he is confident that visitors to the gallery will appreciate what Paula has to offer.

“She has some unique abilities,” he said. “(She) can bring joy and some happiness to folks that they take and place on their wall, that they get to look at every day. It’s very special.”