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nashville public art

No art left behind

300

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This is post number 300. For this post, I’m updating on the art I know is now gone. The photo above is an Emily Miller piece once found at the corner of Main and McFerrin. Much of Miller’s work is deliberately temporary, drawn on paper and glued to outdoor walls. Her pieces are more durable than you might think, however, and in fact, this one was deliberately removed when the building was repainted. That’s the fate of most of the works listed here – they have been painted over. Others are gone because the building they stood on is gone.

The blog itself is getting a little better all the time. Statistics wise, since I started it in July 2016, 5450 people have visited the blog for a total of 11,006 page views. Modest, but it has been growing. From a couple hundred views a month when I got started, 800 and 900 has become common, it looks like the blog is about to close in on the second month in a row and third overall for more than 1000 views. The empire grows slowly.

All art is temporary, outdoor art in particular. A list, probably incomplete, of art I have chronicled that is gone or substantially erased. (I will be updating these posts in the coming weeks):

Ask not who the wrecking ball calls for (one building destroyed, another painted over)

The Vape USA Gallery (painted over)

The doomed graffiti wars of Madison Mills (painted over)

Unsafe at any speed (painted over)

Ch-ch-ch-changes! (removed – the Miller piece above)

The Carquest Gallery, Part 1The Carquest Gallery, Part 2 (partially painted over)

Where you at?! (painted over)

Color me gone – soon (building destroyed)

The ghost of craft beers past (painted over)

A flower grows in East Nashville (painted over; replaced with new mural)

Going, going gone (painted over)

Sorry you missed the show (painted over)

Children’s Art on Jefferson Street (removed)

Super visible, very temporary, hard to reach (replaced with a billboard)

Woodland creatures, Part 1 (severely deteriorated, and then removed)

The Zoop Gallery on 8th South (removed and/or deteriorated, replaced)

The ruins of 21st and Linden (lost to construction)

Oz Arts Inside/Out, Part 2 (removed)

On imagined seas (painted over, replaced with new mural)

Big Blue (painted over, replaced with new sign)

Frutas! (partially painted over, replaced with new mural)

Wanda (painted over, replaced with new mural)

A window on Nashville

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The 12 South neighbourhood hosts a lot of art. It’s one of the denser neighbourhoods for outdoor art in Nashville. And among its collection is this piece by one of our town’s most prolific muralists, Troy Duff. (Who I need to create a category for.) Duff frequently uses graffiti tropes in his work, and this is no exception, with a shout out to 12 South pride in a graffiti font. Doing the Nashville skyline is easy. People may not remember what the rest of the skyline looks like, but put the Batman Building in there, and everyone knows what town you are talking about! The window in the middle changes up the skyline, reflecting buildings from across the street. The building choice is interesting. It’s the site of 4Patriots, a company that provides long-term storage food for preppers. By long-term storage, I mean food meant to last 25 years. Hey, it’s good to be prepared, right?

Located at 1201 Elmwood Avenue. The mural faces east and is visible from 12th Avenue South, on the 2300 block. The parking lot in front of it is for the 12S branch of Taqueria del Sol and Trim. There is free parking on some of the side streets, and even a few spaces on the north end of the 12 South district. There are also paid lots in the district. Make it part of your !2 South crawl and enjoy the art!

Bottoms up!

JakalopeMural

Jackalope Brewing Company got its start in Nashville in 2011. It got its mural in 2013. And a few weeks ago I got a picture of the mural without cars in front of it! It turns out the secret to getting car-free pictures of murals associated with bars and breweries is to show up early in the morning. I have seen this mural many times, as I am a regular at meetings of Science Club Nashville, which meets at Jackalope’s every second Tuesday (usually) at 6:00 to hear local scientists talk about their work. It’s a lot of fun – I recommend the talks and the beer. The mural is a Bryan Deese project. I didn’t realize that at first and had to do some research to figure it out because the mural is unlike a lot of his other work. Check out his other projects I’ve blogged about – you can find him on the categories tab.

Located at 701 8th Avenue South. The mural is on the north side of the building. There is very limited parking at the brewery, but some of the last remaining free parking downtown is on the nearby streets – good luck! There’s also a paid lot nearby on 9th Avenue. Come enjoy a beer, and on certain nights some science, and enjoy the art!

Northside Auto Clean Up

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North Nashville is changing, as is the entire city. This particular mural, with its records of parts of Nashville already long gone, may not be around much longer itself. Northside Auto Clean Up, located at the north end of DB Todd Jr Blvd, is for sale, and the business appears to be shut down, which means this mural goes in the endangered art category. The artist seems to be the same one who did the murals just down the street that I featured in Down at the corner. The style is quite similar, and like one of those murals, this mural references itself! You can see it in the upper right, where the car wash itself is included in the street scene. There are references to bygone North Nashville history. Center left is a sign that reads El Dorado Motel. All that’s left of the El Dorado today is the sign. And the factories are probably supposed to be the old Werthan Mills, which have long since been converted to condos. For more recent history, check out this Nashville Scene video in which Northside proprietor Pinky talks about the time when Snoop Dogg and Young Buck visited the shop.

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Located at 1914 Dr DB Todd Jr Blvd. The mural is on the south side of the building, which is located just south of where DB Todd curves to the northwest and becomes Clarksville Highway. There is for the moment plenty of parking at Northside Auto Clean Up, as it seems the business is closed.

Staying power

301RosaParks

I don’t post all the graffiti I see. A lot of it isn’t interesting enough. This skull is modestly interesting, but what gets it a blog post and a pin on the map is visibility. This has to be one of the most visible pieces of “wild,” uncommissioned graffiti art in town, outside of the tags on some of the interstate underpasses and highway billboards. It ranks presumably below the “MOIST” on the Riverfront Condominiums brick tower that can be seen from the Jefferson Street bridge for the number of people who see it each day, but given its prominent location on the Rosa Parks Boulevard underpass that whisks people from the north side to Church Street into the heart of downtown, a lot of people see it every day. Certainly, anyone using the TSU downtown campus parking lot sees it frequently. And it does have staying power. It’s been there at least a year. It would seem the Lofts owners are not deeply interested in removing it. If they do, I would recommend replacing it with commissioned art. Otherwise, something less interesting is likely to take its place.

Located at 301 Rosa Parks Avenue. Though at first glance this seems to be painted on a retaining wall, it would actually seem to be part of the Lofts at the Reserve complex. The mural actually faces Rosa Parks Boulevard, one block west from Rosa Parks Avenue. It is best viewed either from YMCA Way in front of the TSU parking lot, or, if you are adventurous, you can walk down the underpass road (Rosa Parks Boulevard) from Church Street. There is metered parking on YMCA Way.

A neighborhood fence

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Not all great art is from professional artists. Some of it comes from the kids in the neighborhood. This Eastwood home sports a brightly colored fence of work from clearly enthusiastic young artists. It includes a chalkboard labeled “commUNITY.” When I passed by, there was a little box of chalk beneath it so a passerby might add some art of their own. I think my favorite panel is the flag, but they are all great. There are two panels of flowers separate from the main group that you’ll find in the slideshow below.

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Located at 301 Scott Avenue, at the corner with Benjamin Street. There is plenty of free street parking in this neighborhood. This is a private home, so please be respectful.

 

White line

RedkiteBike

Not all art is complex. Sometimes something simple is all that’s required. This visual shorthand for “bicycle,” found at Redkite Bicycle Studio, is direct and to the point. This is a place about bikes. Buy them, repair them, soup them up, get advice and encouragement on your next ride, your lifetime of rides. On that last point, there’s the blog and the podcast. These folks are serious about bikes.

Located at 1605 Gale Lane. That’s off of Belmont Boulevard, going west, just north of I-440. The mural is found on the east side of the building, facing towards Belmont. There’s a small lot at Redkite, and street parking on Gale and across the street on Oakland Avenue.

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