The “I Am Williamson County” column features individuals in Williamson County who are known and unknown, as staples of our community, doing good, being seen and exuding Williamson County! This month we feature Kelly Harwood. Kelly has owned Gallery 202 in Franklin for thirteen years. He is a passionate artist who has dedicated his life to creating art and making people happy. Kelly is involved in various organizations and is deeply connected to Williamson County through his almost twenty years of work in the Franklin area, where he has built strong relationships with the community.
YW: What is your profession and what led you to choose it?
KH: I have always had a passion for painting and have been creating art my entire life. When my spouse Ira Shivitz asked me years ago, “What do you want to do the rest of your life?” My answer came fast… “Have an art gallery!” He then replied “Let’s look for a space.” We found the Historic ‘Clouston Hall’ circa. 1821 in downtown Franklin at 202 2nd Avenue South. It is in a great location and one block from the main street. It was perfect and would accommodate the array of artists we were looking to represent. We then asked my lifelong friend Jim McReynolds to move up from Alabama and manage it with us. He has helped to add so much to Gallery 202, including sourcing the beautiful antiques which make a perfect fit for the historic house.
YW: What are three words that best describe you?
KH: Hmm... The three words that best describe me? I think it would have to be caring, nice and funny… I do laugh a lot!
YW: Where is your favorite place to go in WC and why?
KH: My favorite spot in Williamson County is Harlinsdale Farm. It is peaceful and spacious with beautiful sunsets!
YW: What keeps you motivated and inspired?
KH: My motivation comes from my passion to create art and the joy I get in return is making people happy when they hang it in their homes. I am a self-taught artist who paints in an array of styles from abstract, palette knife florals to landscape.
YW: What is the one thing you do not go a day without?
KH: This is my favorite question, so far, and the answer is simple… Hugs!
YW: What organizations are you involved with and why?
KH: I am currently not on any boards due to a busy life of painting commissions right now. I have served on the Franklin Public Arts Commission and Heritage Foundation boards. I’ve also done work with the Williamson County Humane Society, A Vintage Affair and The Park at Harlinsdale Farm.
YW: Tell us about Gallery 202 and your involvement.
KH: Our Gallery 202, I like saying ‘our’ because I was reminded by local friends/customers that bring folks here and say this is our art gallery! We love that they love sharing it with others! At Gallery 202, we typically represent around twenty artists, which are mostly local. It has become a staple business in downtown Franklin and Williamson County. Our business hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 5pm and have customer parking behind the gallery. The local guided tours even bring their guests into the gallery, and we are also an event venue. Gallery 202 is a dream come true for me, I live to paint and my studio is open to the public. Besides having my artwork in many private and corporate collections, you can also see my artwork along with other Gallery 202 artists’ works down the street at The Harpeth Hotel and Harpeth Square apartment building.
YW: Finish this statement: “I am Williamson County because…”
KH: I am Williamson County because of my deep roots for almost twenty years working in the Franklin area. The people and community have embraced me with open arms. Whenever I have friends visiting and show them around town, they always say: Wow you know so many people, and I really do. I’m kind of a chatty Cathy…lol! I am very lucky to have so many friends and customers here and our relationship just keeps getting better!