Student Show Upcoming at Galería Dickson

Donna Dickinson and students

By Sally Kondziolka

Come up and visit the upcoming Third Annual Student Show and you can pick up some lovely and striking original works at great prices from the students! The Dicksons have only this one show each year. They keep a low profile in San Miguel, as a rule, in contrast to the excellence of their art work. Here, too, is the chance to also see the work of these gifted professionals in addition to those whom they mentor and support. The art speaks for itself. Both Tom and Donna were included as part of Margaret Paul’s recently published book, Conversations with Artists in San Miguel de Allende.

Third Annual Students’ Art Show
Fri, Jan 30, 5-8pm
Show Fri, Sat, Sun, 11am-5pm
Dickson Gallery
Plaza Principal
San Francisco 1, 2nd floor
152 8216 or 154 4291

Donna teaches classes and workshops in a number of mediums and also teaches plein-air as well as studio classes. Her students range from 5 to 85 years old. Both native Canadians, Donna and Tom moved here to San Miguel in early 2006 where they first opened a gallery and Donna began classes. Scenes of San Miguel and other parts of Mexico are their specialty.

Teaching since the early 1980s, Donna has seen many hundreds of students and knows the predictable problems that they will encounter.

Together with the basics of color, composition, and techniques of handling the various mediums, Donna provides in-class demonstrations. Students can choose a photo or still life as a starting point. Donna’s style of teaching emphasizes the student’s strengths and works to develop these further. She works to instill sensitivity to the subtleties in a painting as well as technical ability.

I met both Tom and Donna back in the winter of 2005, on Playa Los Cerritos in Baja California Sur, south of Todos Santos on the Pacific Coast. At the time, I had just begun painting, and having had no guidance or mentoring, essentially I had to make things up as I went along. When I met them (likewise camped in an RV on the beach), they were about to head back to Canada within a few days. If I recall correctly, Donna was coming down with a cold that day but she generously agreed to come by and give me a few suggestions on my watercolors. At that point, mine were rather basic beginner’s efforts, but I remember she focused on what I’d done correctly and encouraged me to continue. I was quite grateful for any sort of feedback! The fact that it was supportive and not negative kept me going all these years. When my husband and I traveled here in 2010 and discovered they were now living in San Miguel, I finally became a regular student of Donna’s.

The Dicksons’ studio gallery is located at San Francisco 1, across from Intercam, and one enters through Plaza Principal, the artesanía shops at ground level. Going up the stairs to the right brings you right to their sunny 2nd floor location, with a great view overlooking the Jardín. For general information about classes, visit


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