As founding tenants in The Factory, Stonebridge Art Gallery has been a Franklin staple for 20 years and now a fresh set of eyes is ensuring Stonebridge will be a local favorite for a few more decades. Ownership changed hands this summer to Middle Tennesseans Don and Colleen Metzger. Don’s entrepreneurial streak had him looking to leave the corporate world to own a small business where he’d be able continue a tradition. He was looking for small business that had been a good steward to its customers, a good steward to the business itself and he also wanted a meaningful connection with the former owner. Colleen, an art educator at Overbrook School, has her Master of Fine Arts and is an established artist is her own right. Stonebridge was perfect. In their 940 square foot gallery they have about 50 paintings hung, clad in their custom framing. The remainder of their inventory is set about the gallery in stacks, by size, on top of large, spacious tables for the customer to leaf through. The unframed canvas is set in such a way that you can touch and move and play with sets of paintings or compare favorites giving you a very hands-on feel. And the second you find one of interest, Don will be quick to hold it up for you and ensure you will be getting the best lighting or trying to assist you in capturing the light your home will have. You’ll notice the back portion of the gallery is a small work-space for framing. The Italian and Spanish woods Don uses are striking in their own right and you can take a peek at what’s being worked on real-time.
Stonebridge Art Gallery is looking to continue to serve the most discerning art collectors as well as bridging art purchases for those who may have thought it was out of their realm or reach. Making high quality original art accessible to anyone who loves and appreciates art brings great satisfaction to Don and Colleen. A soon-to-be haven and best-kept secret for interior designers, the art is on trend without being trendy. Housing a little bit of everything from landscapes that long-time customers enjoy to the addition of new abstracts, the gallery feels a bit like an art fair meets estate sale. You know you are going to find a gem at an incredible price. Unpretentious and approachable Don wants to bring pieces to people that they want. Colleen has her Master of Fine Arts and is an established artist and art educator of 20+ years. Colleen spent many years frequenting museums and galleries all over the world while leading groups of students and art lovers for boutique and custom art tours in Barcelona, Bilbao, Berlin, London, Tuscany, and Venice. Colleen loves sharing her lifelong passion of art with her students and community at Overbrook School in Nashville. When Don and Colleen found Stonebridge, they knew it was a perfect marriage of their interests and experiences.
Your eye may be caught by Several pieces of blue and white colored work in the gallery created by Colleen. This type of art known as Cyanotype is a historical method of art using sun, time and
water to, in essence, capture a photograph. These camera-less photographs capture the subjects in dramatic blues. The most fascinating aspect of these photos is the sentimentality that can be added to these works. Colleen, who will do commissioned pieces, adds layers of meaning unheard of in other works of art. Cyanotype makes an ideal way to preserve the memory of a baptism outfit, wedding veil, or other heirloom items. As an additional layer, the water from the baptism or the environmental elements, such as sun, wind, flowers, or other meaningful objects from a life event can be incorporated into the overal design, capturing a timeless, meaningful, and one of a kind piece. As an additional layer, the water, possibly from the baptism or sun at the wedding ceremony site create their own footprint on the piece.
Don has been known to pour over multiple thousands of paintings only to bring home around 80 for the gallery. Listening to comments and feedback from customers on the gallery floor Don will often keep in mind size, color and style wishes. One project Colleen is 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 in her stunning cyanotypes! Stonebridge Art Gallery really is your local gem when it comes to art; global, local and custom framing.
Purchasing original art can seem like a self-indulgent act; you are picking out something perceived to be expensive and strictly for your own taste. The fact is that art purchases are a wise decision. In a world where practically everything is mass produced having a one-of-a kind automatically lends an air of value. In addition, some original pieces of art will appreciate in value and can be worth more, even after years of hanging in your house, than when you first purchased the piece. There is a lot of emotion tied into art. Not only the tone it can set for the room and those in the room, it can help you process and identify emotion. With a piece that has sentimentality to the artist, location or time the piece was purchased, it can provide comfort.