Franklin neighborhood opens up a COVID-19 Art Crawl

Posted at 8:26 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 17:15:54-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn (WTVF) — With the state under a stay at home order, many groups that promote the arts have had to shut their doors. Two young women in Franklin are proving, even that can be enjoyed at home.

"I like to do a lot of nature scenes," said Laurel Phelps.

The Phelps sisters realized they had old art projects just gathering dust around the house and a new audience that might enjoy a change in scenery.

"We noticed that a ton of people in the neighborhood have been bike riding, running, walking out with their families," said Lindsay Phelps.

So they decided to open up what they're calling Gallery 401. It's a play off their address. When they started the project, their across the street neighbor had his doubts. "It’s amazing what you can come up with and keep yourself entertained," chuckled Ron Wilson. "They were probably getting stir-crazy. "

But even he can't question the result. "I’ve never seen so many people walking and biking," said Wilson.

Despite social distancing, the infection rate of the art gallery really accelerated in the Maplewood subdivision. What started in one yard has now spread into more than 20.

Artists of all ages and abilities are revealing their hidden talents. For Meredith and CJ, two seniors at Centennial High School, it's a chance to right a wrong.

"I don’t really have any place to display it so it’s really cool to be able to do that," said Meredith Shaw.

They should be in the final weeks of their senior year, but with COVID-19 keeping them home, they thought their works would never see the light of day.

"This year we were going to do a display from our art classes and we really didn’t get to do that so this was a fun thing to do," said Shaw.

Instead, it's giving their neighbors a chance to soak it all in. "A sign of hope in a time where it’s obviously very stressful for everyone," said Natalie Anderson, one of the neighbors who participated in the crawl.

For the curators, it makes one thing very clear -- creativity and community isn't just important, it's a necessity.

"I’ve talked to people I’ve never talked to before, and that’s kind of nice to establish that sense of community, even if we can’t physically be together all the time," said Lindsay Phelps.

All participants in the Maplewood Art Crawl must keep six feet away other participants to help with social distancing. If you'd like to see the art for yourself, the neighborhood is right off the intersection of Sugartree Lane and Murfreesboro Road in Franklin.