Around 2003, Dawn Whitelaw discovered the upstairs area of the Factory in Franklin. It was then being used by a furniture retailer who eventually left. Dawn and some other artist friends set out to make it a communal space where they could each have a private area but also pool their resources into a common spot where all those other needs of working artists could be met. A huge work table is the centerpiece of the joint portion of the shop, mostly used for framing. There are shared tools, books, an admin area with desk and computer, storage, and even a photo nook for capturing available inventory to send to interested galleries around the country. Not adverse to rolling up their sleeves, Dawn and friends personally laid an ingenious flooring system made from floating plywood on 2 x 4’s set on their sides. The result is a comfortable “give” that allows full days of standing with minimal hardship on backs and feet. Dawn was originally attracted to this spot by the high ceilings and windows that pour light in from the north. She tries to arrive early, particularly on short winter days to take full advantage of the soft, diffused illumination. Summer days allow longer and later painting sessions. The rooms are airy and efficient. It is obvious from even a short time here, talking with these ladies, that this arrangement works at a high level.
From the artist: “With more than one person using everything, if you can’t find it, you’ve got a problem, and I hate to waste time looking for something!”