See and Be Seen: The Franklin Art Scene Enters Its Third Year
by Stephanie Stewart-Howard
The Franklin Art Scene, the monthly First Friday art crawl giving Williamson County bragging rights about the gifted artisans it’s producing, commences its third year this month. For Davidsonians who haven’t made the short drive yet, the experience is well worth it. There’s a different flavor, surely, than what downtown Nashville offers, but the quality remains exceptional.
According to Jay Sheridan of the Downtown Franklin Association, there are now more than 40 participating locations, branching beyond Main Street over to the Second Avenue Antiques District, including the Franklin Antique Mall as well as gorgeous Gallery 202, and over to the western stretches of Columbia Avenue, where remarkable glassblower Jose Santisteban has his studio (and if you haven’t had one of his classes, you’ve missed something).
The O’More campus also hosts artists, and visitors can buy a $5 trolley ticket to cover travel for the event if they don’t want to walk in heels or heat.
Kelly Harwood, artist and owner at the extraordinary Gallery 202, speaks of the event’s inception: “We initially had a meeting which included Michael Damico, Autumn Bethea, myself, and several downtown-Franklin business owners to develop a way to focus on the local arts community.” The art walk concept allowed them to build enthusiasm for the area and got eyes on the work of artists—and, most importantly, got people buying original work.
Co-founder Michael Damico nails the whole point: “I want to encourage everyone to own at least one original piece of art no matter how big, small, or expensive. Original art another fellow human created from the depths of their mind is far more enriching and evokes a deeper feeling than any prefabricated, mass-produced decoration you will ever own.”
What the Franklin Art Scene continues to do best is make original works of all sorts readily available in front of buyers’ eyes amid the lively beat of an art crawl. Quite aside from a glass of wine, hors d’oeuvres, and conviviality, the creative work of some damn fine artists can now go home with you with greater ease—a win in a county once known for retail-chain everything, now building a true cadre of originals.
For more information about the Franklin Art Scene visit