The Franklin Public Art Commission met to discuss three potential new murals on Wednesday. 

The Commission approved a new mural on the side of Publix in Berry Farms after rejecting prior plans.

Representatives from Boyle Development Group returned to the Commission with their updated plans for the mural, which included more context surrounding the size and significance of the piece.

The group selected Tarabella Aversa as the muralist for the piece. Aversa will incorporate symbols important to the Berry family in the piece, including Avalon Berry’s horse, Nelly, an image of her mother in her truck, the farm which still stands, and flowers listed in original design plans for the farm.

Total, the piece will span 404 square feet, covering the currently plain white wall along the side of Publix. Boyle Development Group wants the piece to thoroughly reflect the importance of Berry Farms, both its history and modern uses. 

The Commission’s prior denial of the plans prompted the chairman to present to the group Ordinance 2017-29, which outlines the need, role and responsibilities of the Franklin Public Art Commission. Given this ordinance was created only in 2017, the chairman reminded the council that their roles are still in flux. 

That said, the chairman urged the Commission to remember that art is subjective and, therefore, the specifics of the art itself should be left up to the artist. The chairman suggested prior discussions of the Berry Farms mural had delved too deeply into the specifics of the art itself, with the Commission voicing opinions on the beauty of the work as opposed to its appropriateness for Franklin.

Some Commission members lightly pushed back, reminding fellow commissioners of the distinctions between art on public property versus private, arguing the Commission has a duty to ensure beauty in public art.

However, all commissioners eventually concluded to keep these suggestions in mind when receiving plans in the future as the Commission continues to carve out its role in the Franklin community.