When Marcy Nessel recognizes the man walking into her gallery, she greets him with a hug. "Hey Don! I'm so happy you stopped by today," she says.
Gesturing toward some new statues, she asks him, "Aren't these beautiful?"
Don Mitchell is a regular client at Nessel's Fischer Galleries. "He has a fantastic collection of work," Nessel says, remembering the purchases he has made. She goes on to explain the method by which the artist, Rod Moorhead, created the masterpieces she points out.
Fischer Galleries opened almost four years ago to represent Mississippi artists. "It's very much a part of my personal life," she says, adding that art is her passion.
"It's what I do every day."
Nessel, 48, has lived in Jackson for most of her life. She grew up in northeast Jackson and graduated from St. Andrew's Episcopal School. She left to attend Stephens College in Columbia, Md. When she came back in 1983, she attended Millsaps College as an adult student. She has two sons: Spencer, 21, a senior at Millsaps; and Alexander, 23, who graduated from Millsaps in 2010 with a business degree.
A runner, gardener and art connoisseur, Nessel initially attended school for fashion merchandising but fell in love with art along the way. She worked briefly for Bryant Galleries before moving on to work with James Patterson, a photographer and owner of Gallery 119, for 10 years. While working with his galleries on Congress Street and President Street, Nessel learned how to run a gallery.
To open Fischer Galleries in Fondren, Nessel worked with real estate developer Mike Peters and artist William Goodman.
"It was a wonderful combination of things coming together," she says. "The three of us worked to make it happen."
It was also "a combination of knowing a lot of local artists and not only loving them but admiring and having a huge appreciation for their work," she says.
"It seemed like a natural fit."
"A lot of the artists that I represent are the artists I'm extremely passionate about," Nessel says. Ron Lindsey, Matthew Puckett and Richard Kelso are just a few of the artists represented in her personal collection in her Fondren home.
"The artists make the gallery what it is. They pour their souls into their work. Their work is very much a part of who they are. It's their passion to produce it as much as it is mine to show it," Nessel says. "... It's what makes what I do so special and interesting. I have so much respect for each one of them for what they do."
Fischer Galleries is at 3100 N. State St. Call 601-366-8833 or visit fischergalleries.com for more information.