Franklin’s Public Arts Commission ready to release artist applications for public pieces

Franklin’s Public Arts Commission ready to release artist applications for public pieces

PHOTO: “Large Hadron Collider,” a work of art on the previous O’More College of Art and Design campus, was created by Nashville architect Edward Belbusti, and could become the first piece of public art installed in Franklin./Brooke Wanser


Artists in Williamson County will soon have another way to showcase their work.

The recently formed Franklin Public Art Commission voted to approve a draft artist’s application to exhibit work in Franklin parks and public spaces during Tuesday afternoon’s meeting.

Artists must describe their project’s concept, aesthetic vision, materials, processes, and durability, according to the application.

They must also provide a timeline, site suggestion and installation plan, and the project’s budget and funding. The art should not promote a product or business.

The application also includes a list of ineligible art, like mass-produced works, reproductions of original works of art, and distasteful pieces.

If the proposal is accepted, the arts commission will forward the recommendation to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, who have final approval on art installation.

Commission members agreed that native artists are ideal, including other counties in the nearby Middle Tennessee region.

“I like the idea of local artists, but I also live in Davidson County,” said Kelly Harwood, the owner of Gallery 202.

Chin also suggested the group look into grants, though Nan Zierdan, the president of the Arts Council of Williamson County, noted that most art grants are project-based.

Earlier this year, commission members researched and identified several Franklin parks and locations which would be appropriate for public art.

  • Jim Warren Park
  • Bicentennial Park, Rest Haven Cemetery, City Cemetery
  • Del Rio Park
  • Fieldstone Park
  • The Park at Harlinsdale Farm
  • Eastern Flank Battlefield Park
  • Pinkerton Park
  • Old Liberty Pike Neighborhood Park
  • Liberty Park
  • Southeast Municipal Complex Park (currently being designed)

Though the art committee focuses on public properties, Ellie Westman Chin, the chair of the commission and president and CEO of Visit Franklin, TN, said private locations would also be of interest.

Shari Fox, the former president of Franklin’s O’More College, now the director of the O’More School of Design at Belmont University, suggested “Large Hadron Collider,” a piece of art on the school’s front lawn, for the first public installation.

Since O’More will move to Belmont University’s Nashville campus in the fall, the piece will soon be homeless.

Fox said the artist, Nashville architect Edward Belbusti, created the piece, and would be willing to donate it to the city, even repainting it from the current bright pink hue. The commission agreed Belbustie should submit an application.

The applications will be available on the City of Franklin’s website this week.

For more information about the Public Arts Commission, and to download an application, visit the commission’s website here.

The commission will meet next on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, at 2 p.m.

About The Author

Brooke Wanser is the associate editor for the Franklin Home Page, and can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @BWanser_writes or @FranklinHomepg.

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