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Franklin Art Scene includes new businesses and internationally inspired art

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Franklin Art Scene

Artist Casey Walker specializes in colorful mixed media projects, inspired by the textural aspect of artwork.

This month’s Franklin Art Scene on Friday included new businesses and artists, extending from the heart of downtown all the way down Columbia Avenue.

The featured stop this time around was Vintage, TN — a three-month-old antique store geared towards an eclectic, crafty audience, making the business right at home in the Art Scene.

One of the vendors at the shop was Casey Walker, a mixed media artist, who focuses on incorporating texture into her wall art.

“All of my artwork is very tactile; I do it purposefully so that people can touch it,” she said. “Texture, to me, is a big part of the art experience. I’m the one at the museum that the guards are asking to step a little farther back, so whenever I do my own work, I want a little kid to not have their hand swatted when they want to experience my artwork, because I don’t think artwork is just visual.”

Her colorful collage pieces use masking tape, hand-cut paper and other materials to depict scenes such as a frog jumping off a lily pad, hot air balloons in the sky or a solar system hanging by strings. She said, often, the materials dictate the subject.

“Sometimes it’s just super random,” Walker said. “If I pull a paper out, and I’m like, ‘Oh, this is so pretty, and it reminds me of a sunburst,’ then I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ll do a sun.’ … The green paper — I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, that would be the cutest little frog.’”

Another new business joined in on the fun, as well — Franklin Collective, a combined art and music studio, which offers creative workshops and sells crafts, clothing and artwork from many local brands and artists.

On display Friday were abstract pieces by Steven McKellar and artists among the staff, including gallery owner Samantha Ornellas.

Franklin Art Scene

Franklin Creative offers art workshops, rents out music studios and sells local artwork, crafts and clothing.

A little closer to downtown, Franklin Road Apparel hosted artists drawing inspiration from around the world as guests enjoyed music from Ashton Angelle, Marqus McDermott and Jessica Craven.

One of the artists, Richard Sturtridge, decorated the store with his papier-mâché masks influenced by Indonesian culture.

Franklin Art Scene

Richard Sturtridge creates papier-mâché masks inspired by Indonesian tribal art.

“I was importing antiques from Indonesia for 15 years, and I got to really like the tribal art,” he said.

He said some of his masks are closely reflective of that tribal art while others are the musings of his imagination, sporting cranial spikes or large, bulbous noses. Sturtridge also creates casts of portions of the human body, such as a man’s back or a pregnant belly.

Franklin Art Scene

Anne Smith, Richard Sturtridge, Meg Marano and Bryce Thwaits, left to right, sport some of Sturtridge's masks.

Meanwhile, Amy Elizabeth worked the room, discussing her abstract, southwestern paintings, featuring subjects like bulls and feathers.

“I went to Santa Fe nine years ago and completely fell in love with the whole vibe,” she said. “Nine years later, I’m at a point where I can paint what I want and not necessarily what I need commissioned, and this just came out. … I see images of the jewelry and the beading and the feathers, and I just think it’s beautiful.”

Franklin Art Scene

Amy Elizabeth explains her southwestern artistic style to Art Scene visitors.

Elizabeth said she went to a liberal arts school, and her art classes were the only ones she looked forward to, so she decided to make it a career. She now owns Leiper’s Creek Gallery in Leiper’s Fork and works on her painting as she pleases.

“I’ve learned the business side of it from that, but then I get to go into my studio and create what comes to me all day long with all that energy around me,” she said.

The Franklin Art Scene takes place in select businesses in downtown Franklin the first Friday of every month. For more information, visit

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