Jackson Good Art proprietor an influential tastemaker for art collectors

The experience of coming into Jackson High-quality Art on Buckhead’s sleepy East Shadownlawn Avenue is for that reason, an totally novel a person. The manicured landscaping and classic house, with its white-painted brick, twin peaked rooflines and Tudor-model black trim, is fairy tale charming.

One of the country's premiere photography galleries, Jackson Fine Art sits in a modest bungalow on a quiet Buckhead street.
Courtesy of Jackson Fine Art

A single of the country’s premiere photography galleries, Jackson Great Artwork sits in a modest bungalow on a tranquil Buckhead street.
Courtesy of Jackson Fantastic Art

Credit rating: Handout

Credit: Handout

Hanging on the walls, photographer Erik Madigan Heck’s romantic, coloration saturated picture of a lady in a scarlet ball robe racing via a formal backyard or his ecstatic shot of a brunette in a grove of forsythia give windows into lush fantasy. But there is a coziness to Jackson Fine Artwork that helps make a customer sense like a photograph costing 5 figures would be completely acceptable to their very own home. To enable visualize it, the gallery has an application that lets future potential buyers to test out its pics on their very own walls.

It’s uncommon to see one more customer at Jackson Wonderful Artwork, so the place can come to feel like a personal viewing room. It is just you and some of the masters of pictures like Harry Callahan, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Gordon Parks along with newer artists such as Holly Andres and Tommy Nease.

"Duncan (Moon)," a 2015 photograph by Tommy Nease.
Courtesy of Jackson Fine Art / Copyright Tommy Nease

“Duncan (Moon),” a 2015 photograph by Tommy Nease.
Courtesy of Jackson Wonderful Art / Copyright Tommy Nease

Credit: Handout

Credit history: Handout

“Even if you can not pay for something in there, they are ready to just take their time with you,” claims interior designer and HGTV star Vern Yip, who has been frequenting the gallery for far more than two many years and has an Atlanta residence stuffed with his photography collection, significantly of it sourced at Jackson.

How did the gallery get that way? In component due to the good foundation laid by Jane Jackson, the namesake, founder and pictures advocate who opened the room in 1990.

But given that Anna Walker Skillman, 51, took around the place with partner and trader Andy Heyman in 2003, the gallery has gained nationwide and global prominence. Numerous attribute the gallery’s good results to the heat and democratic method of the earnest, chatty Walker Skillman, who has invested the area with a feeling of Southern authenticity and approachability. At the identical time, she’s shown savvy organization techniques by adapting to alterations in the business, which has become progressively centered on digital profits and on the internet viewing rooms, particularly due to the fact the onset of COVID.

Interior designer Vern Yip is an avid photography collector. 
Courtesy of David A. Land

Inside designer Vern Yip is an avid photography collector.
Courtesy of David A. Land

Credit score: David A. Land

Credit: David A. Land

As a member of the Affiliation of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD), Jackson Good Artwork has become a common presence at higher profile artwork fairs like Paris Image, AIPAD NY and Art Miami. “It’s a joy to get our hometown represented at incredibly elite fairs,” claims Newell Harbin, director of the Sir Elton John Pictures Collection, who has a extensive partnership with the gallery.

Additional than just an artwork seller, even though, Walker Skillman has turn out to be a thing of a tastemaker in Atlanta’s photography environment with a enthusiast club composed of designers like Yip, curators, bestselling authors and Hollywood actors who rely on her to aid them create their collections.

“Our objective is to teach and supply the best function doable,” says Walker Skillman.

“It’s on a par with galleries that are operating out of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago” suggests Yip. “I don’t know if folks realize that.”

Walker Skillman counts amongst her discoveries the Dutch photographer Ruud van Empel, whose hauntingly wonderful and eerily Photoshopped portraits delight for their uncanniness. She found his perform in the early 2000s, prior to the photographer was properly identified. Many of his items produced their way into quite a few Atlanta collections right up until his prices went by means of the roof.

“Most just lately we have been fired up by the work of an African artist living in Paris, Saïdou Dicko,” says Walker Skillman. He formerly experienced only been revealed in Berlin, Paris and Morocco, notes Jackson gallery director Coco Conroy.

"Prince and Princess, T Feuilles d'or, Ouaga-Paris" (2019) by Saïdou Dicko.
Courtesy of Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta / Copyright Saïdou Dicko.

“Prince and Princess, T Feuilles d’or, Ouaga-Paris” (2019) by Saïdou Dicko.
Courtesy of Jackson Fine Artwork, Atlanta / Copyright Saïdou Dicko.

Credit rating: Handout

Credit history: Handout

An additional buzzy, worldwide artwork earth preferred she introduced to the Southeast, Erik Madigan Heck, is at present on show in the gallery, offered for viewing by appointment only.

“We have usually felt it is critical to have a blend of old and new simply because the older masters give the basis that makes a dialogue around an emerging artist,” claims Walker Skillman.

Among Walker Skillman’s lovers is Emily Giffin, the New York Times bestselling writer of “Something Borrowed.”

“I’ve in no way fulfilled a additional reliable, warm or passionate person, nor have I ever worked with an specialist in a distinct field who can make her subject matter make any difference so accessible,” states Giffin, a longtime images collector.

Anna Walker Skillman (from left), photographer Christy Bush, Jackson Fine Art gallery director Coco Conroy and author Emily Giffin.
Courtesy of Emily Giffin

Anna Walker Skillman (from remaining), photographer Christy Bush, Jackson Good Artwork gallery director Coco Conroy and author Emily Giffin.
Courtesy of Emily Giffin

Credit: Handout

Credit history: Handout

Prone to conversational detours and a love of sharing preferred Television shows (HBO’s “We Are Who We Are”) and natural beauty solutions (Artisan Beauté in Buckhead is a beloved place), Walker Skillman was born and raised in the South and imprints the gallery with what feels like a uniquely regional sensibility, regardless of the gallery’s worldwide status.

A petite lady with a whiff of a Southern accent, Walker Skillman could possibly not appear to be to in good shape the mould of a powerhouse black-clad gallerist. She wears a work uniform of female attire and skirts (she owns far more than 100 Rebecca Taylor attire), and has a retro, vaguely Jazz Age seem a lot more about her own design choices than existing trend.

At house, which she shares with her blended loved ones of 4 youngsters and her new French partner Thibaut Devillard, she displays a assortment of mainly feminine artists this sort of as Sally Mann and Mona Kuhn. Just one wall is lined with superbly idiosyncratic jewel-toned portraits of gals painted by her maternal grandmother, Fanny Chook Jones.

Regardless of her reward for the Southern artwork of storytelling and the ability to build a speedy rapport, Walker Skillman admits to being overcome by her have gallery openings. She tends to hold out in the workplace area in the course of people. “I sense uncomfortable,” she admits.

Skillman in her office at Jackson Fine Art.
Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Skillman in her office at Jackson Good Artwork.
Alyssa Pointer / [email protected]

Credit score: Alyssa Pointer / [email protected]

Credit rating: Alyssa Pointer / [email protected]

She prefers personal, personal interactions with purchasers and viewers, and the benefits of connecting other folks to the electric power of photography.

She recalls a drop working day in 2012 when a bus showed up exterior the gallery.

“We often have school teams come to the gallery,” she says.

This time the bus disgorged a group of Black retirement household people employing walkers and wheelchairs, savoring an impromptu gallery visit.

“We decided to exhibit them a group of shots from the civil rights era which include Gordon Parks, Steve Schapiro and, most importantly, the photograph of the March on Washington by Bruce Davidson.

“Suddenly an elderly guy stood up from his walker seat and exclaimed, ‘I was there!’ He was so psyched and started out pointing and telling all of his friends that he was there. (He) went on to say how he flew planes in WWII and spoke for nearly 10 minutes,” she remembers.

Browsing the photograph, Walker Skillman experimented with to find the man amongst the believed 250,000 men and women who confirmed up that working day in 1963 to hear Martin Luther King Jr. converse.

Later on, a caregiver explained to Walker Skillman the guy experienced Alzheimer’s and hadn’t spoken in a few years.

“It took my breath away,” she says. “At that pretty second, I realized that I was exactly where I was intended to be.”

Art Occasion

Jackson Fantastic Art. “Erik Madigan Heck: The Garden” by way of Feb. 27. Open by appointment only, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Free. 3115 E. Shadowlawn Ave., Atlanta. 404-233-3739, www.jacksonfineart.com