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nashville public art

No art left behind

Sharp dressed man with roses

Wooten

I don’t often do very new work, but as this is a paper image in an outdoor setting, and is by nature ephemeral, so I want to post about it now before it’s gone. It’s a Brian Wooden piece and fits in a style we’ve already seen in works like the one I featured in Striding. Based on his Instagram feed, it’s a fairly new piece (that link is dated August 20) and there are others like it. You can even get a holographic sticker with the same design. If you want your selfie with this one, go soon. The paper is already peeling a bit.

Located on the 800 block of 12th Avenue North. There are railroad tracks behind Marathon Village. This installation in on the south side of the I-40 bridge over those tracks, facing Marathon Village. There is gravel lot right next to this installation.

Off the Wall (Part 11)

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I am almost done with the Off the Wall murals! Before I knew who the artist was, I labeled the folder I kept photos of this one in “Ice Cream,” because the colors and designs make me think of an ice cream shop. The artist is Kyle Brooks, who goes by Black Cat Tips. He’s Atlanta-based, so we’re homebodies of a sort, as I grew up in the Atlanta area. On his website, he talks about his experience making this mural (I thought about calling this post “7 Bananas”) and there’s a video to go with it.  This mural was sponsored by the Buckingham Foundation.

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

Located at 3020 Charlotte Avenue. Your best bet for parking is perhaps across the street at Cross Fit Nashville or street parking on 31st Avenue north of Charlotte.

I see purple

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Back when I blogged about the Mermaid House, the former owner contacted me. She let me know that there were more murals around back. Like the mermaid in front, this mural is the work of Brandon Donahue, who, like myself, is a professor at Tennesee State University. There is also something of a surprise here. For the most part, graffiti taggers are respectful of murals, but not this time. The style of the tag is one I’ve seen around East Nashville. “Editing” is always a possibility with outdoor art. The back fence of the yard of the house next door also has a colorful mural. (See the slideshow below.) It’s not signed and does not appear on Donahue’s website, so I’m not sure who made it. One notable detail on this second mural is the small “Hunter’s” sign. Hunter’s was an auto body shop that had extravagant signage a couple blocks from these houses, signage lost in the site’s recent renovation (though not completely – it does appear some of it is being saved).

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Located in the alley behind at 1205 and 1203 Forrest Ave. Street parking is available. These are private homes, so be respectful.

Village

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Art breeds art. That seems to be very true in the burgeoning outdoor art scene in Nashville. When Darek Bell of Corsair Distillery and Bell and Associates Construction bought the Continental Machinery Movers complex on Centennial Boulevard, he told the Nashville Post of his plans to include art in the development.

To recognize the evolving character of the neighborhood, Bell said he plans to work with local artists to add a large mural on the building’s Centennial Boulevard face. He pointed to the Silo Bend mural, located nearby, as an “instant landmark that garnered national attention” as a model of sorts.

Village Realty is an early client in the building (that story is at this moment behind a paywall), thus the “village” of this very new mural by Eastside Murals. The mural references a number of well known Nashville sights: the Ghost Ballet sculpture (more commonly known as “the thing down at the river that looks like a broken roller coaster”), the sign outside The Nations Bar and Grill, the Betty Boots sign, the Batman Building, the Ryman, and our very own Greek temple, the Parthenon at Centennial Park. This is the first time I have seen the Stix sculpture referenced as a local landmark in a Nashville mural. Maybe people are getting used to it!

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Located at 4717 Centinneal Boulevard. At present, the parking lot is fenced though usually open. The nearest safe street parking is on 49th Avenue North.

Tiger, tiger, burning bright

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Once upon a time, there was a muffler shop at 935 4th Avenue South called Tiger Muffler Center. It is no more. It would appear there is now an auto repair store at that address called Los Partners, though they don’t have much of an online presence. Why they or whoever owns the building decided to erase “muffler center” but leave the rest of the sign is unknown to me – maybe they just like tigers. It does change the meaning of the sign. Instead of telling us “This is the name of the muffler store,” it now says to us “Yes, that’s a tiger. The individual holding a muffler is indeed a tiger.” Ghost signs from lost businesses are of course nothing new, such as the Dutch Maid sign. “Los Partners” is an odd name, given that in Spanish the word for “partner” (as in “business partner”) is “socio.” Signs of an emerging hybrid culture, I suppose. The tiger image, however, must be considered endangered, like its natural counterpart, given that the store it supported is long gone. Check it out while you can.

Located at 935 4th Avenue South. This is a tricky place to park, particularly on a weekday when the businesses on this stretch are all open. The nearest street parking appears to be on 3rd Avenue South.

Bud’s Liquors and Wines

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I was going to call this post “a bottle of red, a bottle of white,”  but I already did that before. This Micheal Cooper mural, he of Murals and More, doesn’t show up in a lot of tourists’ selfies. Not many of them go to Bud’s Liquors and Wines, the liquor store on the back side of the Green Hills Kroger. But placed right at a key intersection where a major commercial district intersects with a wealthy residential area, it gets seen by a lot of people. The date on the mural is “6.09 (redux).” That implies it was remade in 2009. That makes sense. I’m not sure when I first saw it, but “before 2009” feels right. It’s certainly one of the survivors, an early mural that predates the current boom.

Located at 2139 Abbott Martin Rd. The mural faces Hillsboro Circle. Bud’s has parking, and in a pinch, you could park at the Kroger next door. Grab a bottle of your favorite and enjoy the art!

Off the Wall (Part 10) – Jessi Zazu

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One of the last murals to be finished in the Off the Wall project on Charlotte Avenue is this portrait of Jessi Zazu. Zazu was best known as the frontwoman of Those Darlins. It was her death due to cancer in 2017 that led to this mural. Zazu fought a very public battle against her illness. That and her broader legacy as an artist, activist, and a supporter of other artists led friends and family to found Jessi Zazu, Inc. to advance that legacy and the causes important to Zazu. The design of the portrait is by Billy Lilly and features prominently on Jessi Zazu Inc.’s website. They also sell it on a t-shirt. (I have one!) The design was turned into this mural by Emmett Wariner (Zazu’s brother) and Duncan Shea, a member of Music Band who also toured with Those Darlings. The #aintafraid tag references a song of that name that Zazu wrote long before her illness, the title of which became her mantra during her fight against cancer. The mural was sponsored by Novatech.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 11

Located at 3020 Charlotte Avenue. Your best bet for parking is perhaps across the street at Cross Fit Nashville or street parking on 31st Avenue north of Charlotte.

Pastaria

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Pastaria in One City is a branch of a St. Louis restaurant of the same name. Which is why the art outside the building was designed by Atomic Dust, a St. Louis branding agency. The script and figures of children are clearly much the same as from the original 2012 project in St. Lous. When the Nashville branch opened, Atomic Dust relied on 12 Point Sign Works and Brand Imaging Group for much of the local production work. There’s photo in this Atomic Dust blog post about the Nashville Pastaria projet that shows three men installing the mural above, one of whom has a “Brand Imaging Group” t-shirt, so they presumably did the installation. Since doing this work in 2017, Brand Imaging Group has become independent and is now know as Big Visual Group. It’s not clear if the “8” made up of words from a quote by Jane Jacobs is part of the Pastaria branding or not. The quote, which discusses urban design, would seem to fit the mission of One City, but as it also discusses children’s play, either is possible.

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Located at 8 City Boulevard, in the One City center, which is on the east side of the 28th/31st Street Connector, just south of Charlotte Avenue. There is free street parking and free garage parking. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

An old key

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The scope of this blog includes not only murals and sculpture, but also “interesting signs.” And the sign for the old Key Motel definitely counts as interesting. There are at least a couple other of these old survivors on Dickerson, left over from the days before the interstates were built when Dickerson Pike, know also at US Highway 41, was the main route from the north into the city. Currently, the Key Motel is undergoing renovation, hence the fence. While it will reopen as a hotel, the developer is noncommittal as to whether he will keep the name, much less renovate the sign, so the future of this survivor is uncertain. Get your selfies while you still can. The southern side of the sign is actually in better condition, but it’s also partially obscured by vegetation. See below.

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Located at 1414 Dickeson Pike. On the weekends you can park at the school next door. Otherwise, your best bet is the laundry a little farther north.

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