Miniature gallery showcases art and brings neighbors together


The idea came to Selena Dixon while she was looking out the window after undergoing knee surgery.

DALLAS — After Selena Dixon retired as a geologist, she got really into art. She got so into art, she and her husband, Jim, had nowhere to put it all, running out of wall space and filling two closets.

“Yeah, it accumulates,” Selena Dixon said. “That’s the way it is.”

Then, Selena Dixon underwent knee surgery. While recovering, she spent a lot of time looking out the window. That’s when the idea hit her — a way to use her art outside her home.

“I had a little epiphany and (thought) ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to have a little art gallery outside? Jim, can you build it?’” she said.

Jim Dixon said yes, as long as the deal included a new miter saw for him, he would need it to build the gallery, he said. 

Jim got his saw and Selena got her gallery, perhaps the smallest art gallery in all of North Texas. They call it ‘Old Lake Highlands Petit Galerie.’

It was inspired by those little free libraries. They found blueprints for a little library on Etsy and then modified it to house Selena’s smallest pieces of art.

Her audience is whoever passes by.

Selena would like to add work from other artists, too, but no matter what’s inside, the most notable sight is outside.

“It was kind of an experiment,” Jim Dixon said. “We put it out there and we watched what happened. We watched how people responded to it.”

What they’ve observed are passersby not just looking at art but noticing each other. The gallery has become a gathering place of sorts.

Both Selena and Jim say they’ve gotten to know their neighbors better and their neighbors have gotten to know each other better.

“It’s doing it’s job, which is to promote community,” said Selena.

Petit Galerie will never house the Mona Lisa, but it already has the makings of a masterpiece.