Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ART: Kelly Harwood and Gallery 202 (Winter Issue)

With all the fabulous events held at his gallery and around town, this “gal about town” was bound to run into Kelly Harwood, eventually!  We finally met this summer, while he was modeling for a “What to Wear” for the Heritage Ball.  Now that I know him, I see what a treasure he is to Franklin!

Kelly is the owner of Gallery 202 and an amazing artist.  He has many different artistic styles and enjoys pallet knife florals the most, which he is asked to do quite often in his “in house” studio in the gallery.  If he gets a chance to hang any on the walls, it isn’t long before someone is taking them out the front door.  He also really enjoys painting landscapes, wild life, and abstracts.  He’s a frequent flyer all over the world, and he loves taking photographs and painting from them.  When you think wildlife, mallards and bobcats may come to mind.  However, Kelly’s repertoire of creatures includes many of the sea turtles he paints, while visiting his home in Maui.

Even though he’s a world traveler, Kelly says his favorite place to be is in Franklin.  If you ever go to his gallery, and you should, you will see why.  It is breath taking.  Historic Clouston Hall, Circa 1821, was purchased by Kelly over 2 years ago to be turned into the beautiful gallery that it is today.  A cannon ball burn on the floor and blood stains on the wall are referred to as Civil War “battle scars” and attribute to the gallery’s statement of “History Embracing Art”.  Occupied many years by the late artist and Franklin legend, Bunn Gray, it is only fitting that the landmark would become a home for the works of so many local artists.   Kelly says that the community has totally embraced the gallery.  It’s a part of several tours, and Kelly credits Margie Thessin for so many of the people from all over the globe who come to appreciate and purchase the wonderful art.   The gallery is also a main attraction on the Downtown Franklin Art Crawl the first Friday of every month.

Kelly is originally from Gadsden, Alabama, as is his friend of 26 years, Jim McReynolds.  Kelly says he begged Jim to move to Franklin to work with him in the gallery.  Jim did, and he is now the manager, in addition to many other roles.  Kelly also says that Jim is a “closet artist”, but I have not been privileged to see any of his work.  I won’t give up, though!

I see Gallery 202 and Kelly Harwood as being “very Franklin” with all the charm and creativity that, that entails.  It’s really all about local artists here and the friendships he has made.  Some of the other artists displayed are Julie Harvey, Tiffany Foss and Barbara Coons.  Barbara is one of my favorite artists in the gallery because of her use of guitars and maps.  Very clever!

In my most recent visit to the gallery, Kelly asked if I had sung there because the acoustics are outstanding.  While I am known to sometimes break out into song, I had not yet done it at the 202.  He said that I must so we went to the piano room, and I let out a little Adele.  He was right.  The historic hall not only embraces the art but music, as well.  Now that’s my kind of place!

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