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Thomas C. Jackson

About Tom Jackson


Jackson's studio from 2003 to 2008 in downtown Cedar Rapids

From 2003 to 2008, T. Jackson worked in a 2,500 square foot studio in downtown Cedar Rapids, IA. The third floor space in the 1889 building was originally the upholstery and drapery floor of Craemer's Department Store. In the 1980's it was converted into office space for a realty company. When Jackson moved into the space in early 2003 he had the ceiling in a portion of the space restored to its original 11' height to accommodate large canvases.

In June of 2008 the Cedar River flooded Cedar Rapdids, cresting 19 feet above flood stage. According to Wikipedia, "About 1,300 blocks or 10 square miles, including most of the downtown area, were inundated, with more than 5,000 homes being affected." The building housing Jackson's studio was flooded.Ten days later, when the National Guard began allowing people back into the downtown area, Jackson organized 26 friends, family, and hired movers to move his artworks and studio furniture into his next studio three days later.

Jackson says, "The flood was a very tramatic event. At first I watched the news coverage on TV feeling badly for everyone who was loosing so much in the flood. I was in denial that I was also a flood victim. I imagined that because my studio was on the third floor that I could leave everything in place and the air conditioning that ws on the roof of the building would begin soon and I could get back to work. As information dribbled out, however, I realized that the building would not even have electricity for over half a year. I knew that with the hot, humid Iowa summer just beginning, I had to find my next studio and move everything immediately. Luckily I was able to find my next studio over the weekend. Everything was moved to four separate locations in a single day. It took months of working half a day on art and half a day on sorting, archiving, moving, and storing things to finally get settled in to my new studio in the country."

Additional photos of Jackson's downtown studio: