By Jean Gordon Cook
(JACKSON, Miss.) – Jackson State University President Carolyn W. Meyers and Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. led a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 30 for Gallery 1 at One University Place, which is the first business to open in the JSU-initiated real estate development.
“This changes not only the landscape of the university, but the landscape of West Jackson,” Johnson said at the start of the ceremony.
The gallery displays work by local and national artists and pieces from JSU’s permanent collection. The gallery also sells handmade items from Uganda and will hold lectures and cultural events for the campus and community.
“We’ll be showcasing alumni as well as artists from all over the state and region,” said gallery director Kimberly Jacobs, a JSU fine arts graduate. “We will also have programming that will incorporate the students.”
The opening exhibit includes pieces from the JSU permanent collection and works by digital painter Ormond White of Canton, painter Eric Jones of Vicksburg, fine artist/graphic designer Lonnie Robinson of Jackson and painter Ted Ellis of Houston, Texas.
“Art means so much to so many,” Meyers said during the ceremony. “Its beauty can be enjoyed for generations.”
Gallery 1 is the first of four businesses set to open in One University Place over the next two months. Other retailers include the Penguin restaurant, EnVision Eye Care and Royal Bleau Women’s Boutique.
Located steps away from the JSU campus, One University Place is the largest private real estate development west Jackson has seen in 30 years. The $18 million building includes 78 luxury apartments above 22,000 square feet of prime retail space.
“One University Place is a major part of the west Jackson renaissance,” said Kimberly Hilliard, director of JSU’s Center for University-Based Development, which has been instrumental in launching the real estate venture.
Gallery 1 is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Small Business Administration. Jackson State University and the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership of Mississippi sponsored the Aug. 30 ceremony.
Gallery 1 is located on the ground floor of One University Place, 1100 John R. Lynch St. in Jackson. The gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 601-874-7993.