Franklin Art Scene Celebrates September; Has Featured 40-plus Sites, More Than 300 Artists

In 2011, a core group of local artistic influencers gathered to discuss the launch of an art crawl in downtown Franklin, Tenn. On Friday, Sept. 6, the local community will celebrate those visionaries’ work as the Franklin Art Scene hosts its second-anniversary event in Historic Downtown Franklin.

Organizers say that they believe more than 1,500 patrons came out for the free event in August, indicating steady growth for the art crawl over the past 24 months.  The event boasts more than 30 participating locations each month, with locations dispersed in and around downtown—including the Second South District and Bridge Street, as well as Columbia Avenue.

“The Art Scene was initiated two years ago to promote local talent and build community relationships, and we are very pleased with its success,” said Kelly Harwood of Gallery 202, on of the event organizers. “We’ve been able to feature more than 40 sites and 300 artists in Historic Downtown Franklin over the past two years.

“It’s been a great partnership between a lot of downtown businesses, the Downtown Franklin Association and the Arts Council of Williamson County. People seem to really enjoy their first Fridays out on the town.”

As part of the milestone evening, most of the galleries and working studios will serve complimentary food and drink, and some will offer live music. Trolleys circulate among all the stops, and $5 buys an unlimited wristband to jump on and off at will from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In addition to an online map and QR code, a Franklin Art Scene smartphone application is now available on Google Play. The download gives users up-to-date information on the upcoming art crawl and its locations.

The Sept. 6 locations are slated to offer a sweeping variety of magnificent work ranges from mixed-media pieces and handcrafted jewelry to turned wood to original paintings. Below are some highlights of the two-year anniversary:

  • O’More College of Design on S. Margin Street will showcase work by two of its interior designers who recently won a national scholarship: Students Brandon Lackey and Misti Fahr were two of 12 winners awarded the prestigious Angelo Donghia Foundation Scholarship for 2013. On display will be each student’s award-winning work.
  • T. Nesbitt Co. on Second Avenue North is featuring Franklin native Donna Brevard, who will be sharing illustrations from Donna O’Neil’s children’s book, Frankie and Pencil’s Adventure. Brevard will also show her nature-inspired prints and original works in oil.
  • Regions Bank on First Avenue South is a new stop on the art crawl that will host an “Art Soup” exhibition of four artists—Dr. Marian Haynes, Susan Rowland, Jamie Moon, and Dana Reynolds—who work through different mediums. There will be two live art projects going on during the event, and live music from The John Hancock Band.
  • Local artists Grant Garmezy and Emily McGrew will display work at Jack Yacoubian Jewelers on Third Avenue South during the September art crawl. High-school classmates from Nashville, this will be the pair’s first two-person exhibition in Tennessee. The event will showcase Garmezy’s glass sculptures of organisms and animals sculpted from memory, as well as McGrew’s oil paintings of the Texas and Tennessee landscape that rely largely on direct observation.
  • Gallery 202, the ever-popular stop on Second Avenue South, will focus not on just one artist, but several for the second anniversary. Featured artists will include acclaimed artists Daniel Smith, Michelle Conques, Cari Humphry and Melvin Toledo. In addition, the gallery will provide live music.
  • Outdoor Classic Structures, across from Gallery 202, will feature work by three artists: Chandra Adkins (wax artist), Jennefer Guthrie (pottery artist), Gary Johnson (photographer).
  • Down the street from Gallery 202, Arbor Antique Mall will host Randy Purcell, a local artist who works with bee’s wax, and Robert Cortner, who crafts artistic metal.  In addition, antique storeowner Micki Goetsch will host live music.
  • Also on Second Avenue South, Franklin Antique Mall will display work by Marilyn Farnsworth Wendling, a local painter that creates sweeping Tennessee and New England landscapes and waterscapes.
  • The Heirloom Shop on Main Street is hosting Mike Martino, a middle Tennessee-based artist who has been working in printmaking more than 25 years. Mike is the owner of Blue Fig Editions, where he has mastered traditional and contemporary printing techniques to create his own style of original hand pulled prints.
  • Bob Parks Realty office just across Main Street will feature work by Cumberland University instructor Peg Fredi. Fredi will put together a neon show of hanging and freestanding pieces.
  • Across from Bob Parks, Vue Optique will feature Vince Wallace of Silver Hill Images. The Nashville-based photographer captures everything from seascapes and street scenes to architectural beauties.
  • At Town’s End General Store on West Main Street, Mark Alan Porter will be showing his woodworking talent. Previously a landscape architect, Porter now uses artisan techniques to create wood pieces for the home.
  • Two doors down, Stites & Harbison is featuring local artists Sam Whitson and Joseph Bibb. Whitson, a retired colonel in the United States Army, has an excellent eye for detail that is immediately apparent in his drawings, and illustrations will include several local homes. The law firm will also have musical entertainment by the Burnside Trio.
  • Boutique MMM on the Public Square will showcase designs by Linda McLaughlin, a craft jewelry designer. She uses various methods to create the glass pieces, including metal-smithing, forging, chain maille, kiln fusing, chemical fusion, cold working, Patte de Verre, sandblasting, etching, carving, lampworking, Kuem-Boo, and mosaics.

For more information on the event or to download maps and applications, visit www.franklinartscene.com.