Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer
The walls and alleys in Franklin are getting a facelift with the help of local business owner, Matt Taylor. Taylor, who owns the Dusty Pallet on Main Street in Franklin has been teaming up with local businesses to bring a unique and colorful touch to the area.
“I am so honored that businesses like The Art Room trust me to create something beautiful not only for their business but also for the community to enjoy,” said Taylor as he started painting the skyline for a mural that should be completed this week in the alley between The Art Room and Wells Fargo Bank.
Taylor has added his creative vision to the sides of several businesses in town including beautifully colored butterflies on the Rusted Arrow and a whimsical dandelion design for Spa Siobhan. His latest art piece in the alley will feature black bears in front of a picturesque mountain scene.
“The folks at The Art Room told me that they wanted mountains and bears and have trusted me to really just run with it,” Taylor said. “I wanted to incorporate black bears and some cubs and hope to see people stop and have their picture taken here. It is something unique that just makes Franklin a little more special.”
Taylor essentially donated his time and talents for The Art Room mural, just having the business supply the paint. As a business owner on Main Street, Taylor said that the opportunity to contribute to the uniqueness of Franklin is extra special and something he is personally invested in.
“I am really hoping to have this mural finished by this weekend in time for the Scottish Tartans Festival that will be held downtown,” said Taylor. “As long as the weather allows, I think we will be able to do it.”
“I like being able to create things that spark joy and can bring a smile to people,” said Taylor. “I love seeing people pose for pictures in front of the paintings I complete and really hope that more opportunities will arise to paint different scenes around town.”
Taylor was the artist behind the holiday mountain scene that was erected at the Gazebo last Fall. The sunset mountainscape labeled “Franklin, North Carolina” was a priority stop for town visitors and locals alike. Taylor said he has already started brainstorming something special for this year, if the opportunity presents itself.
“I really hope to be able to do another painting this year, assuming the new town manager is agreeable,” he said. “I have lots of ideas that I think would be great.”
Bringing color to the streets of a town isn’t something new for Taylor — he said he has been commissioned to paint murals ranging in size and purpose, with the most memorable piece coming shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attack when he was asked to paint the scene from ground zero on a fire station wall.