Simpson County Guild Of Artists and Craftsmen, also known as The Gallery On The Square is a non-profit organization formed in 1992. Our mission is to serve our community through promoting arts and arts education and to provide opportunities and support in the arts. We are committed to providing a place where art can be learned, admired and experienced. Our staff, volunteers and board of directors continue to work dilligently to bring quality inspiring and enriching programs to our community.
- “The Gallery on the Square….is a jewel in our community.” (Simpson County Board of Education Dr. Jim Flynn)
- “The Gallery is a vital part of our community and a jewel in our downtown.” (Franklin City Planner Kenton Powell)
- “…the panel commended the organization (The Gallery) for doing an incredible amount of work with a modest budget.” (The Kentucky Arts Council)
In 1992 a group of local artists purchased the historic Shugart and Willis Drug Store building on the square in Franklin. They proceeded to restore the building to its original beauty. They laid on scaffolding to restore the completely intact tin ceiling and scraped layers of linoleum off the floors to restore the original hardwood. They sat on the awning to scrape paint and restore the stunning leaded glass in the front of the store, allowing it to let in beautiful afternoon rays of sun. In 1995 the Simpson County Guild of Artists reached out to The Franklin-Simpson Community Arts Council who generously stepped in to help. The Gallery functioned on a completely volunteer basis until the early 2000’s when the first director was hired. Today, the Gallery staff, volunteers and board of directors continue their work in maintaining our beautiful space and providing arts opportunities and programming.
The Gallery on the Square has become a draw to Franklin and has grown in it’s regional identity. We are found on KY tourism maps, Ky Crafted Directory, American Craft Week map. We are proud to draw artists from throughout Kentucky and Tennessee from Louisville to Lexington to Memphis. With these artists we are expanding our audience. With our close proximity to I65 en route to Nashville, TN and Louisville, KY we regularly host guests from around the country and the world. Our artists have work that has found a home in places as far away as Australia, France and the UK.
The Simpson County Guild of Artists and the Gallery on the Square is dedicated to collaborating with the rest of our community to support other non-profits and infuse and provide art and its appreciation to other organizations. Here are just some of the examples of our regular collaborations:
- Habitat for Humanity – “Home is Where the Art Is”
- Franklin Simpson Community Arts Council – Hosting Opening Night Receptions and Coordinating Events
- Franklin/Simpson Schools – Annual Young Artist Show, Student of the Month, Workshops, Tours
- Civic Associations: Chamber of Commerce, Merchants Association, F.S. Renaissance, Tourism
- Cherry Blossom Art Festival
- Community Education and County Extension Office
- SOKY Earth Day Festival – Trash Sculpture Contest
- Annual Scholarship, Internships and Training
- Art Exhibit at the Brickyard Cafe
Community Creation, Classes and Clubs
The Gallery has long been a place to meet, create and build community. We host concerts, weddings and celebrations. Our Coffee Spot area welcomes thinking, reading, chatting and free WiFi. We have a variety of groups who meet here: knitters, dulcimer players, painters, the Pinterest Club and the Fine Print Book Club.
Where to find us:
The Gallery is located 45 miles north of Nashville TN just off of I-65.
Download a map (pdf) or scroll down to view an interactive Google Map.
You may also be interested in tourism in Franklin.