Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Tribute to Dixie Erickson, Norman Artist

Dixie – A Faithful Friend
January 6, 1936- January 7, 2011 
By Betty Wood
How does one condense 20+ years of life and friendship? Dixie and I were in graduate school at OU at the same time. In 1992, we had our final Master’s thesis exhibit, along with three others. We then shared a studio for over 20 years with Corazon Watkins and other artists.

Dixie would go there daily to The Studio at 102B, to create her art- - a dedicated, gifted artist. She was one of the most talented, yet modest art I know- - often winning prizes and ribbons for her work. It takes a lot of courage to be an artist- - Dixie had that courage.

Dixie Erickson, Upstairs, Downstairs,Oil on Canvas, 48"x36"
Her life-long dedication to the arts is evidenced in her immersion, for many years, as an Artist-in Residence for the Oklahoma State Arts Council and Norman Arts Council. She also taught drawing and art history at the collegiate level at Rose State and Oklahoma City Community College.  As if this were not enough, she always continued her artistic pursuits. She shared her talent and knowledge with so many individuals through the years.

In 2000, a group of artists formed the 529 Group. Dixie designed a logo for us as well as our philosophy for exhibiting together.  She has remained as the leader of the organization since inception.  Due to her dedication, 529, as a group, has exhibited in numerous regional venues. 529 will miss her leadership. 

There are so many stories to be shared, but one that comes to mind is when she and I almost froze in downtown Norman on Main Street. We wer assisting a group of at-risk students form the Firehouse Art Center in painting a mural for a bank on an outside window.  Don’t think I have ever been so cold! This was just one of several artistic situations with which she and I would get involved.

On a personal level, there were years of conversations about life, family and art. We attended countless openings and art exhibits in which we participated or had an interest. Her husband, Neil, would patiently drive us to many of these events. In general, we encouraged each other’s life or art and interests—whatever it happened to be at the time.  
Dixie Erickson, Need Care,Photocopy, lace, embroidery, oil, 24"x24" 

She was an intellectual whose quiet, gentle nature always was nurturing and encouraging others in their pursuits. It’s difficult to put into words the meaning of her friendship to me and all the many lives she touched.

She will be sorely missed. God needed a wonderful artist, so Dixie, keep painting, you’re so good at it. 

See more of Dixie's artwork here.

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