It’s hard to believe, but my husband and I have lived in Franklin for almost 10 years now. After visiting this wonderful town for the first time, I fell in love and knew I wanted to live and raise a family here. Looking back, I realize I had no idea how much I would really love it, and the people I’ve met have played such a big part in that. In 2003, not long after settling in, I was introduced to Franklin native, Will Jordan. We instantly bonded through all of our artistic commonalities. Will is a photographer, a journalist, a musician and one of the most creative people I have ever known. The walls of his home are covered in his photography, and I have found myself many times stopping and admiring all that he has captured. Will is the type of person that can look at anything and see art. He can take an old pair of shoes, a rusted piece of metal, a dirty street…anything… and turn it into something beautiful. To say he has an “eye for art” would be an understatement. He has an unbelievable talent, and I am happy to say that there is now a place you can go and experience it for yourself.
Will has opened a boutique gallery called “Carpe Diem” at 212 South Margin Street in Franklin. The gallery’s location, formerly Scarlett Scales, is a perfect addition to the area that has always been the antique district but is quickly becoming the art district, as well. I’ve been fortunate enough to see the gallery come to life from bare walls to what it is now. Walking through the doors is like getting a glimpse into Will’s mind. It’s an explosion of art and music and love- love for the community of other artists, art enthusiasts and really anyone that’s a part of his life. Will has a big heart, a kind spirit, and many adoring fans who are just as excited as I am about his new venture. The art is an eclectic mix of Will’s experiences over the last 15 years. He doesn’t limit himself to one subject, but he says he prefers promo shots for bands, album covers and individual portraiture. I asked Will what his favorite place to shoot was, but I was pretty sure I already knew the answer. I did. Will goes to Bonnaroo every year and comes back with the most incredible photos. You’ve probably seen some of them hanging in Kimbros Cafe and The Mellow Mushroom in downtown Franklin.
In addition to Will’s art, the “shotgun shack” gallery houses Lee Hall custom furniture, Justin Martin vintage motorcycle helmets and artwork, John Baugh custom leather accessories, Tod Brakebill custom ammo boxes and pic boxes, Beverly Ford Evans abstracts, Greg Bennet guitars and many others. Will has also started Vagabond Clothing Company, which contributes to the “boutique” part of the gallery, along with WeWOOD watches, Tawapa body jewelry, Dragon sunglasses and more. Brandon and Kate Hagan are partnering with Will as owners and will be contributing their art, as well. They all want to support as many local artists as they can and will even be hosting cd release parties for area musicians.
Carpe Diem encompasses so much of what Franklin is about. It’s unique. It’s beautiful. It’s unlike any other. Will Jordan has created a space that allows him to further unleash his talent in our community and inspire others to do the same. Just when I think Franklin can’t get any better, I now have a new reason on my list of why I love this town. Carpe Diem.