Just because Amy Dixon doesn’t say it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.
She’ll be the star of the show on Saturday, Feb. 2. Yes, the star in the midst of a Super Bowl-Mardi Gras whirlwind.
Yes, the weekend will be busy in New Orleans, and Dixon will be in the middle of it, creating a live painting at the 22nd annual Taste of the NFL’s “Party With a Purpose” in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
“Actually, I’ll be starting the painting before I leave home, and I’ll finish it at the event,” she said.
And the subject?
“It’ll be a wine painting,” she said.
A perfect fit for New Orleans’ mix of football and Carnival.
Dixon laughed. Sure, she’ll be in the spotlight, but she plans to have fun.
She’s a Monroe native who earned her bachelor’s degree in art from Newcomb College in New Orleans and lived and painted in Baton Rouge for eight years before moving to Denver, Colo. She’s represented in Baton Rouge by Ann Connelly Fine Art, where she will create a second live painting between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5. The gallery also will host an exhibit of Dixon’s prints.
But that’s after the Super Bowl. Dixon’s weekend actually began on Wednesday, when she flew into New Orleans from Denver for an appearance on New Orleans television station WGNO’s Good Morning New Orleans.
Then comes Saturday, when “Party with a Purpose” kicks off with its mix of top chefs and former NFL stars for a night of haute cuisine. This annual fundraising party benefits the Taste of the NFL which has distributed more than $14 million to food banks nationwide since 1992.
Tickets to this event are among the most coveted during Super Bowl week.
“They’re expecting 3,000 people at the convention center for the event,” Dixon said. “And they’ll auction my painting as part of the benefit.”
Anyone who has seen Dixon’s paintings immediately will recognize her style. She’s noted for her sense of color, impressionistic style and response to the world around her. She’s also received widespread critical acclaim for her work, which many times focuses on food and wine related subjects.
“I’m intrigued by reflections in glass, industrial kitchens and any and all things culinary,” she said.
And speaking of culinary, the motif for this year’s “Party with a Purpose” was inspired by Dixon’s paintings of food and wine, as well as her impressions of such iconic New Orleans restaurants as Commander’s Palace, which will be participating at the party.
Now, Dixon has created live paintings for nonprofit events in Denver, but the “Party with a Purpose” marks the first time she has created such a piece on a national stage.
“The entire event is really going to be impressive,” she said. “They have created a mini French Quarter, which they will call the Artists’ Quarters. I’ll be painting in the little Jackson Square.”
And her three children be watching from the audience. Craig, 23; Katherine, 20; and Chris, 18, traveled to New Orleans with their mom.
“Crag is a graduate of the University of Colorado, and Katherine is a sophomore at the university,” Dixon said. “Chris is a senior in high school. All three are extremely creative, but none are directly focused on art.”
But they will be Saturday when mom begins painting in little Jackson Square, and again on Tuesday when she paints at Ann Connelly Fine Art.
Dixon, by the way, also is locally represented by Entre Nous in Lafayette and Rivers Spencer Interiors in New Orleans. Her work can be found in private collections at several fine restaurants in New York and Boston.
“Everyone loves good food and good wine,” Dixon said. “My hope as an artist is to render the subject in a manner that is not just representational of, say a glass of wine, a tablescape, but with an unexpected eye and emotional response to the ordinary and reaching beyond the subject intuitively with color, form and free expression on the canvas.”
“As I say. ‘laissez les bons temps rouler on the canvas,’” she said.
Which says it all.