Craig Morgan is a man of many talents. He can boast about being an Army Vet, a platinum selling country music artist, a TV host, and an avid outdoorsman. But now, the “That’s What I Love About Sunday” singer can add gallery owner to his name.
The singer-songwriter has opened The Gallery at Morgan Farms, in his hometown of Dickson, Tenn., at the corner of Main Street and College Street. Morgan welcomed family and friends earlier this week, for an invite-only party to preview the his latest venture.
Morgan explained that the idea for the gallery came from the painful loss of his 19-year-old son, Jerry, who died from a boating accident last year. The gallery would become a project that the whole family could work on together to keep going after such a traumatic loss.
“As you know we lost our son this last year. That was a tough time for us, we still struggle everyday,” Morgan said choking back tears. “One of the things that we did, and I knew we needed to do, was to focus on something collectively as a family—along with our God. Our God and our friends and family have really helped us get through this. One of the things we did as a family was focus on something and that something was this business. For me, the woodwork was kind of my therapy. I’d go sit in my shop and cry and I’d end up making a bunch of junk that I wanted to sell at a really high price,” Morgan joked.
Many of the products sold at the gallery will be created by Morgan from re-purposed and recycled materials. In fact, everything in the gallery will be made by someone in the Morgan family—Craig, his sons, his daughter, stepmother, sister or wife will be contributing to the store.
“This is our attempt at a business, a brick and mortar business,” Morgan said. “We have never done this. We want to be a big part of this community and we have been, our family has been and always will be. We want to try and continue with that. I’m not selling a bowl, I’m not selling a candle holder. You can buy those at any store out here. The difference is, everything I sell has a story.”
For instance, one type of candle holder featured at the gallery was made from the Morgan’s Christmas Tree. The Grand Ole Opry star fashioned the larger candle holders out of spindles from the chair rails upstairs in the building that now hosts the gallery. Wooden spoons were made from the handrails and wood for the bowls and cutting boards came from the floor of the attic.
Morgan will constantly be creating new items to feature in the gallery. But not to worry, the 53-year-old has just found another way to make the best of his time when he’s out on the road.
“Everything will always change. As I’m out on the road, and I do this a lot, I find a piece of wood and I go, ‘Man that’s cool. That looks like something I can build.’ But now I’ve got a trailer that we are pulling behind [the bus]. It’s got a saw mill in it. I’ll be working on stuff all the time.”
The gallery will also feature a few items not made by Craig’s family but some of Craig’s artist friends, including Billy Dean who will have his own spices at the gallery—”Learned it all from my dad, Jimmy Dean,” Dean joked. Eric Paslay, who makes stuff out of old junk from recycled materials has created a light made from an old radio and a car horn. Zac Brown, who has a knife company, will hand make some knives for the gallery as well.
As a bonus, each item comes with a handwritten note from Craig’s wife, Karen, with a description of each item. On a bowl Morgan carved from wood, the card read “This bowl was made from a tree off of Jim Ed Brown’s property. He and his family planted the tree many years before and when it died, and they had to cut it down. Kim, his daughter, called Craig.”
As Morgan Farms gets set to open to the public, Morgan will not have to give up his day job. The Tennessee native will be performing his signature hits, including ” Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “International Harvester” “and Wake Up Loving You” for fans and hosting “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors” on the Outdoor Channel, as the items he crafts on the road and at home continue to tell the story that is Craig Morgan.
Photos by Lisa Konicki