nashville public art

No art left behind

Breaking the rules


I have pointed out many times on this blog that chain businesses are the worst places to look for public art. But for every rule about human behavior, there are always exceptions. Holler & Dash presents itself as something of a neo-Southern small chain with a neighborly feel that emphasizes local produce. It may well be all that, but it is also owned by Cracker Barrel. So not only is this a chain, it’s also corporate. But the branding of this corporate chain is not centralized, which allows for local artists to get involved. The mural here is by Meghan Wood of I Saw the Sign. I learned that from Holler & Dash’s Instagram account because of course I did. Maybe local branding will become more of a trend for corporate America.

Located at 2407 8th Avenue South. I’m a little uncertain about the parking situation, as there was still some construction going on when I visited. I believe there is parking in the back, and for the time being, parking is available at the abandoned gas station next door but in go-go Nashville that won’t last. Enjoy some corporate grub trying to be local and enjoy the art!

BBQ music


Barbeque joints (along with their cousins the hot chicken spots) and music venues are all places where you have a good chance to find art. A lot of that has to with the fact that they are often local businesses, which are much more likely to sport outdoor art than corporate ventures. So it makes sense to find a music label advertised on the side of a BBQ restaurant. G’z BBQ and Catering (their Facebook page might be a better guide than their website) sports a hard-to-miss promotion for Muddy Roots Records, well known for its eponymous festival. The pig isn’t just a hint of the food inside, it’s also a long-standing symbol of Muddy Roots, and is found in a legacy mural just down the road I featured in The pig abides. The same artists involved in that one, Jason Galaz and Milton Chavez, did this one as well. Once again we find an example of the Batman Building used as shorthand for the downtown skyline, with the added touch of the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.


Located at 925 Gallatin Avenue, near the corner with Granada Avenue. The mural is located on the south side of the building, easily visible to anyone driving north on Gallatin. There is a fair amount of parking at G’z BBQ, so get you some grub and enjoy the art!

Woof woof!


Sometime more than a year ago (this blog is nothing if not on the spot!), this whimsical piece appeared on the fence of the parking lot that adjoins the apartment building at Fatherland and South 10th. As it boldly proclaims, this is an Eastside Murals project, the business name of Ian Lawrence and Sterling Goller-Brown. The apartment building is by all appearances a low-income rental, something that used to be common in East Nashville but is much less so today. Hopefully, both it and the mural have a long future, as we need lots of both art and affordable housing.

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Located at 300 10th Street South. The mural lies right off the entrance to the alley that runs parallel to and between Fatherland and Boscobel. There is street parking on Fatherland, though you might have to walk a ways. Make it part of your Five Points crawl and enjoy the art!

Heroes (Norf Wall gallery, part 11)


Someday I will finish the Norf Wall gallery project. I had thought to just do one big post on everything that’s left, but I think I’ll save that for the ones I don’t know the artist and which have things stacked in front so the pictures aren’t great. This is not one of those. It’s signed “TA” and is obviously the work of Thaxton Waters, who first appeared in this blog in A Soul Break. The main panel includes images of Mahatma Gandhi, the Dali Lama, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. The last one really looks like Etta James to me, who would not be out of place given her role in bridging white and black culture.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

Located about half about half a block south of where 18th Ave North dead ends into Herman Street, and under Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Boulevard. Parking is very easy here. The tire company that occupies this space seems to be fine with people exploring to view the art. See the map post for Part 1.

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Flour Girls


This is an easy one to write about, but there’s a twist. There’s a web page that goes into detail as to the origins of this mural in central Goodlettsville. Imagine Goodlettsville, a community association, partnered in 2014 with artists at the Nossi College of Art to produce this mural that graces the Flourgirls Cafe building. Mark B. Flemming, Nossi’s Illustration Coordinator, was the chief artist, with significant help from students Lance Askins and Chelsa Jeanne. So what’s the twist? Well, note the lack of a link for Imagine Goodlettsville. Their website is defunct, and there’s no sign that the group is still active. That’s a shame, because it seems this was supposed to be part of a “mural program,” but it doesn’t seem much else was produced besides this one. And the Flourgirls are a mystery, too. They left this building in 2015. The last entry on their Facebook page (October 17, 2015) says that they will open their new Madison location in a week – and then nothing. There’s no evidence the Madison location ever opened. The Goodlettsville building remains empty, though it still has a “Flourgirls” sign. The future of this piece is uncertain, with the original sponsors gone, the building inactive. A crack evident in older pictures (see the first link above) has worsened and had to be patched. This bright splash of color has to be thought of as endangered art.

Located at 201 South Main Street (Dickerson Pike) in Goodlettsville. The mural faces south, in front of a dirt and gravel lot where you can park.

Long lost


This is a story about lost origins. The art is there, but its story is a mystery. There’s a neighborhood a little ways south of Rivergate Mall, on the west side of Gallatin Pike, that is unusual. It was clearly built as a residential neighborhood, but many of the houses have been converted into shops and offices, like parts of Berry Hill. Google Maps calls its Echo Meadows. And here we find the Goodlettsville branch of Sewing Machines Etc (there is also one in Knoxville). Besides selling and repairing sewing machines, Sewing Machines Etc has fabric and other sewing supplies and teaches sewing classes as well. What does any of this have to do with the mural of a fist grasping drawing and painting instruments? Nothing, as it predates the sewing store. Inquires inside reveal only that there was some kind of store that sold paint here in the past. Online tax records are no help either. The work is signed by Lee Long, which doesn’t lead anywhere. The sewing place opened in 2015, so the mural is older than that. It’s right across a driveway from some thick bushes, hence the angled shots. The current owners don’t seem inclined to remove it, and so it sits, testament to a forgotten store, and a hard to find artist.


Located at 808 Meadow Lark Lane. There is parking in front and back of the store. Take a class or two and enjoy the art!

That’s the point


The expanding outdoor art scene in Nashville is more than just murals and the occasional sculpture. Increasing numbers of businesses are discovering the importance of upping their sign game. Particularly when you’re located in a fairly drab industrial area where all the buildings look the same, a bold sign can really make you stand out. Meghan Wood of I Saw the Sign has been building a business based on that idea. That giant “EAST” that you must have seen by now is her work, as is the art featured in Swayze lives! Her handiwork is seen here on the 720 at the Point building. “Fessey” is the name of the road out front and the business park 720 is in. The building is owned by Anchor Investments, which explains the second I Saw the Sign piece below. There is an event and workspace inside (see the 720 link) and at least two businesses call the building home: Aloompa, which makes custom apps for mobile devices, and Bed Roc, which provides technology consulting services, even for evil galactic empires. Whether the Bed Roc signs (see below) are Wood’s work is unclear – they don’t appear on her client showcase.


Located at 720 Fessey Park Roak. Fessey Park is southeast of the Fairgrounds, near the interstate. The main sign faces east, the “legacy” sign faces the road (south), while the Bed Roc metal sign is on the southwest corner and their painted sign is on the north side of the building, away from the road. This is an industrial area with easy parking. Amp up your tech game and enjoy the art!

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