Meet the Dixon staff – Erica!

Name:Erica McCarrens

Position:Children’s Program Coordinator

College/University: Memphis College of Art

How long have you worked at the Dixon? 2 years (1 year full time staff)

The best thing about living in Memphis is……Everyone knows everyone. Everybody is somebody.

What famous artist (deceased or living) would you want to be for one day and why?

Louise Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun. She lived such a fancy life as an artist during the Rococo period. Despite her busy schedule of painting fabulous portraits of Marie Antoinette and other royals, she seemed very devoted to her daughter. (Which is something I can really relate to.)

How old were you on your first visit to a museum (art, science history)? How did it shape your interest in museums?

At 4 years old I went to the Art institute of Chicago. They had an interactive exhibit, and all I remember of that was colorful blocks. But I wanted to go back again and again.

Do you have any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?

I have two dogs, Trotsky and Elsa. Trotsky is not very bright, and Elsa never misses a chance to make fun of him.

What is your favorite piece in Jean-Louis Forain: La Comédie parisienne?

I feel like The Toff and I have a bond. I’ve drawn him at least 50 times for various reasons. But my most favorite is a little painting in the Orgill Gallery, Dancer in her Dressing Room. The color and lighting are breathtaking. It’s amazing that such a little painting can hold so much beauty.

What do you like most about working at the Dixon?

The fact that my mantra from childhood “when I grow up, I’m going to work in an Art Museum!” has actually come true. Of course it doesn’t hurt that I absolutely love all the kiddos and their fantastic caregivers that come to the museum. Oh! Oh! And my coworkers are the smartest, most wonderful people ever.