Jackson Dinsdale Art Center

The Jackson Dinsdale Art Center at Hastings College
Jackson Dinsdale Art Center: A Dream Fulfilled

Construction is progressing rapidly on the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center! For updates, view this page.

Thanks to a $5 million legacy leadership gift from a talented student-artist, Hastings College broke ground April 24, 2015, on the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center, a spacious, state-of-the-art facility worthy of our outstanding students and alumni.

This extraordinary gift, announced by Jackson’s parents, Kim and Tom Dinsdale of Grand Island, Nebraska, launches an exciting future for the arts at Hastings College while fulfilling the dreams of a visionary young man who advocated for improved art facilities before his untimely death in 2014.

Located at the corner of 12th Street and Elm Avenue, the 25,000-square-foot Jackson Dinsdale Art Center will be an architecturally innovative showplace for the arts and a superb teaching and learning environment for students. The College expects to open the building for fall semester classes in 2016.

To complete this $8.5 million project, Hastings College needs the support of individual donors, businesses and foundations. A number of opportunities exist to name a studio, classroom or other notable area within the facility.

Designed by TACKarchitects of Omaha to reflect the creativity and energy of the artists working inside, the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center will offer spacious studios and classrooms to benefit art majors and all students who take art classes as part of Hastings College’s liberal arts curriculum.

Community programming, an art gallery and public seating for glass demonstrations will attract K-12 students and visitors who wish to participate in and experience the visual arts first-hand.

Your gift will help tremendously in completing this project and advancing the reputation of Hastings College and the city of Hastings as centers of art and culture on the plains.

Groundbreaking for the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center, or JDAC, was held April 24, 2015. You may view a video of the ceremony here.

See the video for more information on this project:


About Jackson Dinsdale

When Don Jackson became President of Hastings College in February 2013, one of the first visitors to his office was a quietly assertive young man who saw a need and was determined to address it. Jackson Dinsdale, then a junior majoring in studio art, told the president, “Our art building is in bad shape. We need more room for glass blowing and sculpture and bigger studios for painting and other areas.” The President, impressed by Jackson’s resolve, assured him that renovating the Art Department was a priority.

Later that year, at Jackson’s urging, his mother Kim West Dinsdale and other directors of the West Foundation in Wichita Falls, Texas made a generous grant to the Art Department. Plans were suddenly underway to raise additional funds to renovate the existing Art Center and add new studios for glass and sculpture, areas of particular interest to Jackson who was flourishing under the mentorship of Professor Tom Kreager.

Then, on May 3, 2014, Jackson passed away unexpectedly. Out of a profound sense of loss came a desire to celebrate Jackson and complete those projects that were most important to him. His fellow art students banded together and finished Jackson’s metal  sculpture of an axis deer, which was placed at the Dinsdale family farm. Dozens of friends and family gave memorial gifts to the Art Department in Jackson’s name. And, his parents, Kim and Tom Dinsdale, announced the $5 million legacy leadership gift from Jackson that is allowing Hastings College to build an entirely new art facility named the Jackson Dinsdale Art Center.

Born August 20, 1992, in Grand Island, Nebraska, Jackson graduated in 2010 from Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri. In 2011, he enrolled at Hastings College as a studio art major with plans to become a police officer. That same year he became the youngest person ever to establish a donor-advised fund at the Grand Island Community Foundation. Jackson’s fund has supported the Nebraska National Guard Veterans Service Office’s emergency relief fund and the Grand Island Police Department’s service dog program. In addition to his philanthropic gifts, Jackson enjoyed volunteering his time at the Central Nebraska Humane Society.

Jackson is survived by his father and mother; his brother Michael Dinsdale of Scottsdale, Arizona; his grandmother Gretchen Dinsdale of Grand Island; his step-grandmother Gela West of Leakey, Texas; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; and his lifelong friend, Kyle Beaman, a senior at Hastings College.