top of page

Get to Know Us

The Franklin Square Gallery is in the heart of the art scene in historic Southport, North Carolina, a rewarding and wonderful place to visit.  With over one hundred artists displaying their paintings and pottery, you are sure to find the art you are searching for and enjoy meeting our artists!


 WE’RE LOCAL.  The member artists come from throughout southeastern North and South Carolina, from Wilmington to Pinehurst, and south to Myrtle Beach, bringing with them many different styles and techniques.  


WE’RE A SHOWCASE FOR TALENT.  Artists with diverse backgrounds and a wide range of styles have their work on display.  We have paintings in all mediums, i.e. oil, acrylic, watercolor, graphite and mixed media.  There are also original art prints, cards and notecards available.   Our miniature paintings section is not to be missed. The potters come from many local studios, bringing functional pieces like bowls, platters, and vases, and also purely decorative and unique ceramic art.  Gift items include jewelry, small dishes, napkin rings, and one-of-a-kind mugs. 


WE’RE A COOPERATIVE.   All the artists work together to run the gallery.  The man who greets you at the door probably has his paintings on display in the next room.  The woman at the cash register may have just finished setting up the most recent pottery show.  We maintain this historic building, manage the finances, and join committees to landscape, run special shows, and write ads, because we are privileged to operate this unique venue. 


WE’RE NON-PROFIT.  At its inception the organization was charged with fostering art in the community in cooperation with the town of Southport.  The Associated Artists host shows for community organizations, like the local quilters, garden clubs, and photographers, and the High School Show is an annual crowd pleaser.  The gallery has a figure-drawing class and watercolor class at nominal fees.   The First Friday Gallery Walks often feature community events like the Wooden Boat Show. 


VISIT US TODAY.  You will find us in a charming, historic building nestled under the live oak trees behind Franklin Square Park three blocks from Southport’s waterfront. 

Our address is 130 E. West Street, off Howe Street. 

We are open from 10 to 5, Tuesday through Saturday!


Franklin Square Gallery

A Little History . . . 

The Associated Artists of Southport was formed in 1972 by a group of artists who believed that it was time for Southport to have an artists’ group to highlight the great art being created in our area.

Bette Leggett, Toni Oliver, Thelma Bennett, and
June Gottlieb initially joined with Lewis Hardee to create the Associated Artists of Southport (AAS).  Artist Betty Sias joined the group shortly thereafter and the group began their efforts to establish AAS as a center for art and artistic programs in Brunswick County.

AAS met in a number of locations and hosted their first shows soon thereafter. They petitioned the City of Southport for permission to use city owned space for meetings. The city approved the use of one building for a temporary period and then in 1976 they approved the use of the building that is now Franklin Square Gallery for the production of a summer musical and for use by the art association.
By 1979 the city had approved the use of
Franklin Square Gallery by AAS as an art gallery.

Talented and hard-working men and women have led our association from humble beginnings to create the finest gallery in southeastern North Carolina and an artists’ association that presents workshops, art exhibitions, lecture series, and community support for events including Kids Day, Empty Bowls (a recurring event to provide support for people with food insecurity), and many others.

So many have contributed to the success of the association that it would be impossible to name them all. Our amazing members went on to renovate the building from a nearly abandoned building into a beautiful showcase for artwork and classes. Much of the work was done by volunteers and it required years of effort
and fundraising to make it happen.

Today our painters, potters, sculptors, teachers, and volunteers create beautiful works of art while also serving as members of numerous committees that maintain our historic building, offer educational programs, conduct community events, maintain our web and social media presence, manage the affairs of our association and conduct art shows that attract hundreds of artists from
throughout our region.

Thank you to Rich O'Donnell for the history and photos! 

bottom of page