BEST ART GALLERY - 2000
While Franklin Art Works--located in the restored New Franklin Theater--is a work in progress, since its November opening director Tim Peterson has made this space a major player on the local art scene. How has he done this in such a short time? It helps that this renovated movie palace has a light and spacious interior, and handsome architectural touches. But it's the mission of Franklin Art Works that has distinguished the gallery. To date, Peterson has concentrated on edgy and unusual work by local solo artists, a notion that most other galleries in town seem to have forgotten. The gallery's first show featured selections by Minnesota sculptor Robert Fischer. Its second, David Rathman's bitingly funny Fact and Figures, offered 29 watercolor-and-ink compositions that drew inspiration from high school educational posters. It's hard to imagine what other gallery in town would have presented this work in such volume. Peterson, a veteran curator with credentials from Walker Art Center and the Lannan Foundation in Los Angeles, is wired to a national trend: the alternative art space, whose mission is to present the best available local art that no one else seems willing, or perhaps fiscally able, to present. The future should bring plenty of reasons to keep poking our heads round the Phillips-neighborhood venue to see how this experiment progresses.