Art on the Rocks
A couple weeks ago, while driving to the University of Memphis, I saw a sign for the Dixon Art Gallery‘s “Art on the Rocks” event featuring garden-inspired cocktails, local eats, and live music in the Dixon Art Gallery’s beautiful outdoor gardens. I made a mental note to find out more but with the adjustment to new faculty life, the event slipped my mind… UNTIL I saw lifestyle designer Andrea Fenise’s post about “Art on the Rocks.” And just in time too.
After learning more about the event and the Dixon’s Young at Art membership category, I decided to purchase my Young at Art membership, which included admission to “Art on the Rocks.” One of my goals in returning to Memphis is to approach Memphis as if it were a new city (which in many ways it is) and get more involved in local businesses, civic organizations, and cultural events.
This past Friday I persisted through the rain and made my way to the Dixon Gallery & Gardens. Y’all I almost didn’t make it. I was watching the rain outside of my office window and the puddles of water quickly gathering across the campus. But, since my ticket was already paid for and since I would essentially pass by the Dixon on my way home anyways, I made my way on over. I’m glad I did.
First of all, believe it or not, this was my first time at the Dixon. The gardens were absolutely beautiful and with all of the lights and local vendors set up throughout, it was quite magical.
After getting my souvenir “Art on the Rocks” glass, I made my way to the to my first drink of the evening, a beautiful rum punch. Next I had a delicious caramel apple cider. I could easily see this brew becoming a fall favorite.
Then, I grabbed a chocolate cupcake from Frost Bake Shop. These were one of the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had. I don’t give that type of compliment lightly. The cake was full of flavor and unbelievably aerated. I had to go back and try the vanilla cupcake. When I did, I got the inside scoop on the flavor profile of the chocolate cupcake – they use cocoa powder and espresso, which explains the full round flavor of the cupcake and the extra kick layered in the background. I will definitely be stopping by their store in the Laurelwood Shopping Center (they also have a Collierville location).
Finally, I made my way to the other side of the gardens where local restaurants, caterers, and more beverage tents lined the sidewalk. I tried a few more cocktails and browsed the food vendors. As a faux-vegetarian there were no meat-free options (other than the cupcakes). There were options, don’t get me wrong, and if I were partaking in meat, I would be very pleased with the variety and portion sizes. For example, there were bratwurst, pulled-pork sliders, burgers, and chicken and grits shooters. However, since I had had a beef slider at lunch (faux-vegetarian, remember) I was at my meat consumption limit.
All in all, it was a beautiful evening at the Dixon Gardens. I’m looking forward to the next event and taking advantage of my Young at Art membership.