City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

850 Square Feet of Ingenuity

Stonebridge Art Gallery

Article by Brianna Melanson

Photography by Cameron Hinkle

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

With all of the changes that have taken place in Franklin in the last few years, it's refreshing to know one thing has not changed - Stonebridge Art Gallery. The gallery has been a staple at the Factory for 20 years.  Don and Colleen Metzger celebrated their one year anniversary on August 27th as the new owners. Business is going strong through the pandemic which is a testament to the business plan built by previous owners Ron and Cheri Burr. The Metzgers had big shoes to fill, but they have done so flawlessly. It was a smooth transition and loyal customers were pleased to welcome Don and Colleen. Colleen says, “There are a lot of things we’re keeping the same, like the variety and affordability. With my fine arts education, we’re now offering more contemporary art for today’s interior design world.” They are grateful for their continued friendship and wisdom from Ron and Cheri. 

Colleen is an artist with works throughout the country. She recently discovered cyanotype, an alternative method of photography, at a workshop and has been creating them ever since. The complex procedure, involving sunlight, chemicals, and high quality papers, creates an imprint of an object with a blue background. (After all, the 2020 Pantone Color of the Year is Classic Blue!) 

Cyanotype is often a way to capture natural elements such as flowers and herbs. Colleen often forages from the Tennessee landscape, but will also document flowers from her travels. Her stunning blue archives are showcased in the gallery, but she also does custom
commissions. For instance, she can make cyanotypes using baptism outfits or wedding veils. Colleen adds, “One project I’m excited about is helping homeowners or historical gardens and institutions preserve their landscape by creating site specific documentation of the specimens from the garden, using the same sun and water the garden received to grow the flora and fauna to magically capture the essence of the space.” No cyanotype is like the other, making it definitive and special. Don says her section is not nearly as big as she deserves, but they try to fit in as many pieces as possible in their 850 square foot gallery.

The rest of Stonebridge is thoughtfully curated originals from around the world. They have every style from figurative to abstract. They work with a New York art dealer and they buy whatever catches their eye to resell in the gallery. Though it is Colleen’s extensive background as an art educator and traveler that gives them an edge. 

To accommodate for their large inventory, they have two stacks of paintings that have not been stretched. Many customers love the interactive aspect of flipping through and having a “ta-da” moment when they find a piece they love. Don says, “Sometimes we have people who come in and they don’t even know what they like. It’s a discovery process.” They witness people falling in love with pieces they’d been searching and visualizing for a specific space for years. Due to the coronavirus, people are spending more time in their homes, staring at their walls, and are looking to redecorate. Don and Colleen have composed an encouraging and resourceful setting
for anyone looking for original art because they understand how intimidating other galleries can feel.

The gallery’s clients consistently remind them why their business is so important. Don says, “We had a pregnant couple buy some 12 x 24 paintings for their baby’s nursery and I was like ‘this is why I do this.’ That painting is going to be in the house as long as that child is and will probably go with that child once they move out.” One-of-a-kind work will always hold value and emotion.

Their clientele spans to hotels and restaurants. Art can instantly change the mood of a room, gaining attention from more guests. They have multiple pieces from the same artists that are similar enough to be sold together as a set or separately. They imagine their romantic paintings of a pianist and a waiter on the walls of a billiards parlor. Art can transform a space from dull to brilliant.

Once a customer finds their ultimate piece, Don can stretch and frame it for them in his framing studio in the back of the gallery. It is a skill passed down from Ron that he is passionate about and can take into retirement. There is a huge selection of gorgeous wood frames to choose from. They offer custom framing for anything from diplomas to antique paintings. Many people want to upgrade a chunky frame with something more refined. It makes all the difference in a modern home.

Stonebridge Art Gallery features an unpretentious art buying experience. Don and Colleen Metzger invite both amateur and experienced art collectors to stroll among their 150 hand-selected original artworks from around the globe.

Stonebridge Art Gallery

230 Franklin Road, Suite 11C