“Miracle on First Street.” That is what owner Pamela Dixon and a group of artists (ten so far) are calling the opening of the new contemporary arts gallery at 621 First Street. Responding to her invitation to get together and plan an artist co-op gallery, a handful of local artist began meeting a few weeks ago to brainstorm the possibilities. The result is Gallery 621, a collaborative effort inspired by Dixon’s vision for a quality space to exhibit some of the many gifted artists in Benicia and elsewhere in the Bay Area.

Dixon, a long time resident, artist and business woman in Benicia, aware of so many artists living in town, finally hatched her vision to create a gallery that will showcase work of painters, photographers, sculptors, printers and mixed media artists. Though the pool of talent will include artists from other Bay Area communities, many of the core group will be local. In some ways, says Dixon, “this is a dream come true.”

In the past Benicia was a destination for art and antique lovers. But it seemed that with the housing boom, mortgage companies and real estate offices became the primary attraction along FIrst Street. Then with the housing bust, the downtown art scene has seemed forlorn and homeless. Now, together with the Plein Air Gallery at 307 First Street and the Arts Benicia Gallery, Gallery 621 can help bolster Benicia’s fine arts legacy and give us an arts identity facelift that will give people even more reason to visit our charming little town. This Marks a new beginning. Others will follow with creative ideas and entice new businesses to downtown, lending an additional shot in the arm.