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Explore the Arts Scene in Franklin County, Tennessee

While you may find yourself in Franklin County this summer to take advantage of everything Tims Ford Lake and the state park have to offer, there's plenty to do in Winchester and it surrounds when you're not out on the water. From paintings to architecture, the local Franklin County arts scene creates an equally vibrant tapestry.

Photo: Margie Gallagher for Franklin County Arts Guild

Franklin County includes Cowan, Winchester and Sewanee, and the Franklin County Arts Guild—an organization comprising local artists and supportive members who promote fine arts and crafts in the region—focuses on advancing and providing arts education and awareness for the youth and the general public throughout the county. It also seeks venues for local artists to exhibit and sell their work. The organization created the Artisan Depot Gallery to help fulfill that mission.

Artisan Depot and Gift Shop

The Artisan Depot and Gift Shop provides permanent and rotating exhibits that showcase the talent and varying styles of local artists. Artisan Depot provides various services, including free community art shows open to artists of any age, experience and media, as well as Meet and Greet Reception events every third Friday of the month.

Photo: Artisan Depot Gallery & Gift Shop

“We maintain a reclaimed space and an Open Air Art Gallery ... that was planted to attract and support pollinators," says fiber artist Pat Richards, a member of the Franklin County Arts Guild. "It also contains a wall-sized garden mural and art sculptures that have practical as well as artistic value. The garden has recently been certified as a Monarch Waystation.”

Artisan Depot is open Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from 12 to 5pm and Saturday 11am to 5pm. Artisan Depot also offers workshops presented by experienced artists and features an art garden.

Photo: Artisan Depot Gallery & Gift Shop

Franklin County's architecture

Just up from Cowan is Sewanee, home to the historic University of the South, which was founded in 1857. A scenic drive will take you to the Gothic university grounds that have been named among the most beautiful college campuses in the United States by Travel + Leisure.

Cowan also sits just minutes away from Winchester. Appreciate the historic buildings in Winchester’s downtown where Art Deco-style architecture dominates the area.

Photo: Odinn Media

The history of Franklin County Courthouse dates back to 1814 when it was first constructed. The current building was built 1937 and claims the designation of PWA Moderne architectural style, and Art Deco style. The Oldham Theater, also an Art-Deco style building, first opened its doors in 1950. The theater invites cinema and arts enthusiasts to enjoy its ambiance.

More arts in Franklin County

Franklin County has several murals that add pops of color among Winchester's historic downtown square. One of them, titled "Dear Hearts and Gentle People," is named for the eponymous song, which native Dinah Shore sang and associated with the people of her hometown, inspired the mural. She was born in Winchester in 1916. The mural enhances an alleyway between the Winchester Livery Event Space and the Kiwanis Amphitheater.

Photo: Odinn Media

For more things to do in Franklin County, check out the local restaurants, activities, and shops.


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