The CAPE Connection

The CAPE Connection: Instructor Gail Sachson

Instructor Gail SachsonLegendary and influential are not hyperbolic terms to describe the indefatigable Gail Sachson. Gail is an influencer with an incredible impact on DFW’s cultural community.

Gail started her career as an elementary school teacher and enrolled in SMU after moving to Dallas,  obtaining a master of fine arts.    She continued to teach art classes to children, introducing them to a wide range of artists and styles and providing them with hands-on opportunities to create their own work based on the subjects they studied. Prompted by interest from the parents of her young students,  Gail created Ask Me About Art, offering classes, gallery trips and workshops for adults.

Coupled with her kindness and generosity, Gail takes great joy and pride in sharing her passion for the arts with others, whether they are new aficionados or seasoned enthusiasts.

Gail has taught  SMU CAPE courses for over 20 years and has savored every minute of it!  Her popular Exploring Culture: Gallery Hopping class features both established and emerging artists, galleries and arts organizations. For each session, Gail updates the course curriculum to include field trips, studio visits and guest appearances from “stars of the art world.” Some of Gail’s favorite arts organizations to visit with CAPE students include SMU’s own Meadows Museum and the annual Dallas Art Fair.

Gail’s programs draw from her expertise and they include opportunities for enrichment and engagement between participants. As an artist and instructor, Gail encourages everyone to share their honest reactions and viewpoints about works of art, especially pieces or subjects that might challenge them. Dallas provides a rich environment for art lovers to interact with a  vast number of amazing venues to explore.  Gail loves researching and preparing for her classes, and her enthusiasm for Dallas and our local arts community is contagious.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gail offered virtual classes to encourage connections with art and artists; her students could still experience engaging interactions with art, from wherever they were.  Gail also brought a special version of her CAPE Gallery Hopping program to residential communities for senior citizens in Dallas and Plano. She engaged in lively conversations with the residents and presented highlights from in-person CAPE  classes.

She has been recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the Business Council for the Arts and received the Arts Leadership Award at the Dallas Historical Society’s History Makers Awards for Excellence event in November 2023.  Gail serves on the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts Advisory Board and is a member of the school’s president’s council.  She also has served as chair of the Dallas Cultural Affairs Commission and many other nonprofit boards benefitting the arts and the Dallas community. In 2018, Gail co-founded Inspire Art Dallas, an organization that supports and encourages art in public places in partnership with the city.

With boundless energy, Gail embraces lifelong learning herself through taking classes, and reading – she is an avid bookworm and member of 4 book clubs.  Gail loves spending vacation time with her husband, children, grandchildren, and dog Izzy, in both Dallas and Colorado.