Kris Nethercutt and his assistant Rowan Dunn work to attach a large pitchfork to the 20-foot tall sculpture "Luther." 

Brentwood is a growing community, but the city's newest resident is a little bigger and a little stiffer than most.

In fact, he's a 20-foot-tall metal sculpture of a farmer that will soon be seen by motorists traveling on Franklin Road.

The sculpture will be a new feature on Brentwood businessman and philanthropist Cal Turner Jr.'s Green Pastures Farm property. It is known to many for the annual nativity painting that appears on a pavilion every winter, a piece of art that Turner said is like his family's Christmas card to the community.

Soon the metal farmer created over the course of two years from reclaimed and repurposed steel and iron will become another fixture of the landscape along with the sculpture of a farm dog that Franklin artist Kris Nethercutt will soon create.

The metal farmer is dressed in a plaid shirt, overalls, boots and hat, with a pitchfork and a piece of straw in his mouth, of course. About 40% of the piece is made with repurposed scrap metal. 

“A lot of it is trial and error, you can't be afraid to start over and then start over again. And start over again. If it doesn't turn out the way you want it or it isn't your best...all you got to do is hang with it,” Nethercutt said. “Every inch of it was challenging...there's been nothing easy and nothing less challenging. The final challenge will be to disassemble him move him and set him back up one more time, so it isn't over yet.”

Nethercutt is a self-described “metalmorphosist." When he’s not making custom metal curtain rods, he's rummaging through his shop and adjoining yard of scrap metal, making art from old farm equipment, car parts or whatever else he can find to inspire him to bring life back to rusted relics of the past. 


Kris Nethercutt and his assistant Rowan Dunn work to attach a large pitchfork to the 20-foot tall sculpture "Luther." 

“I frequent the scrap yard. And it saddens me to see what people throw away that can be reused. Reusing is better than recycling,” Nethercutt said. “I’m known in the neighborhood as that guy that fixes bicycles, and occasionally as crazy projects in the driveway.”

“I certainly admire Kris Nethercutt for his hard work, and it's amazing to me that something that creates an image can be made of old scrap pieces of metal that anybody else would throw away," Cal Turner Jr. said.

Nethercutt is a 45-year Franklin resident whose work is most likely known by many Williamson County residents who have been to The Factory at Franklin where his sculpture “Rusty” welcomes visitors.

"The satisfaction I get from seeing it in place is indescribable," Nethercutt said.


Artist Kris Nethercutt and his assistant and friend Rowan Dunn stand in Nethercutt's backyard which is full of scrap metal that he repurposes into his unique creations.

"Art is in my blood," Nethercutt continued. "My mother was a retired art teacher. And it's a passion of mine. I've done many, many, many smaller pieces not so famous as rusty. But this, this is just a phenomenal opportunity to get to do what I love to do most. And that's create."

Rowan Dunn, a primarily self-taught machinist, has been helping Nethercutt with the project and other work after the two met and became friends.

“I love how much of it is tongue-in-cheek,” Dunn said. “Kris has an incredible eye for taking mundane things and turning them into something that's interesting. Like [the statue's] ears being a tractor seat, he looked at that and went, oh, if I cut this perfect shape that would look like in ear, or he's got the little magnetic bug in his ear. Someone put a bug in his ear.”


Cal Turner Jr. and artist Kris Nethercutt are framed between the legs of Nethercutt's 20-foot tall sculpture "Luther" as they look at the piece. 

Cal Turner Jr.'s grandfather, Luther Turner, was the co-founder of J.L. Turner and Son, which eventually became Dollar General.

Cal Turner Jr. said that he wanted to honor his grandfather, who became the man of the house at the age of 11 following his own father’s death and led him on a path of hard work and success from farmer to businessman.

“He had three younger siblings, a widowed mother and a heavily-mortgaged farm, and it was up to him to make life work for his family,” Turner said. “He was a dear man, and he was my buddy from the time I was very little.”

Now Turner is elevating a declaring his love and respect for his family heritage in this new way that he hopes will bring passerby's a little joy as well.

“I hope everyone who drives by him will get an inner-chuckle from seeing Luther.”

Learn more about "Luther" and the work that's gone into him below.