Tayloe Piggott, owner of Tayloe Piggott Gallery, was always drawn to Jackson’s quietness. She found it a reflection of her art.
“Art to me is the quietness that comes over you when you connect with a painting or the feeling you have when you hear a beautiful piece of music,” Piggott says. “Time somehow manages to stand still.”
Originally from Roanoke, Virginia, Piggott initially studied interior architecture before switching her field of study to veterinary science. On a cross-country trip with three cats and one dog, she temporarily stopped in Jackson to spend the winter. Twenty-seven years after that “temporary” stop, she’s still here.
She joined an art framing business which soon turned into a gallery exhibiting a short list of local artists. The space quickly evolved as she began reaching out to personal favorites like American contemporary painters Caio Fonseca and Squeak Carnwath.
Today, Piggott represents approximately 30 contemporary artists. Her gallery focuses on postwar and contemporary paintings, sculptures, drawings, and limited edition prints from both established and emerging artists, as well as fine jewelry.
She sees the gallery’s architecture as her blank canvas. The space is raw and the architecture is simple so it doesn’t detract from the art. When she leaves the gallery, she wants to imagine the pieces of art having a dialogue with one another. When she curates, she thinks about the overall story the collection can tell, how individual pieces “talk” to one another, and how the art interacts with the gallery space itself.
“What feelings are evoked from the front door?” she asks. “Around the corner? What impact does the lighting have? What does the work look like in the morning?”
Piggott believes everyone is born an artist. Even if a person doesn’t make a living doing creative work, that person still has an innate ability to create things. She says those things can be what most people traditionally think of as art—a painting, a book, or a film—but they don’t have to be.
“They could be your air guitar solo in the car or the scarf you knit for your nephew,” she says. “So, I would say I’ve always been an artist. And you are, too.”