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nashville public art

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Bare Bones Butcher

Cow mural street art sign Nashville

Some months before Bare Bones Butcher opened, it seemed likely a butcher was going into the new building at 51st and Illinois in The Nations. Either that or maybe a Mexican folk art store. Their quite visible sign (by their own account) is a product of I Saw The Sign, Meghan Wood’s hand-lettered sign and mural company. Their work is all over town and you’ve no doubt shopped at one of their clients, or at least driven on the interstate near the football stadium. While their work is generally more understated than that of many of our local muralists, by helping a number of local businesses up their graphics game, I Saw The Sign has become an important contributor to Nashville’s “look.”

Located at 906 51st Avenue North. There is parking on the backside of the building and on nearby side streets. Get you some fresh cuts and enjoy the art!

First One

Sign mural street art Nashville

Who doesn’t love a great sign? First One Market on East Old Hickory Boulevard has a wonderfully chaotic sign, welcoming friends, extolling revolution, letting you know who’s boss (well, someone is boss, it’s not really clear) and assuring you that this is the place you can get your phone charged. Is the fist raised in protest holding a cup with a straw, or a walkie-talkie? I’m not sure, but I am sure it qualifies as art. I discovered this, by the way, when I decided to drive the entirety of Old Hickory Boulevard, minus of course the part that lies beneath the waters of Percy Priest Lake. Take a day and give it a try. It’s a great way to really get a grasp on the diversity of Nashville and Davidson County.

Located at 660 East Old Hickory Boulevard. The mural/sign is on the east side of the building. There is plenty of parking. Load up on cheap tobacco and beer and enjoy the art!

Anchor in the Storm

Anchor sculpture public art Nashville

Of all the works sponsored by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, this is one of the more unusual. It becomes more understandable once you read about it on Metro Art’s website. This piece, “Anchor in the Storm” (2013), by Betty and Lee Benson, commemorates a moment when a quarry saved the local neighborhood. During the 2010 flood, 700 billion gallons of floodwater poured into the Reostone Quarry (located on Robertson Avenue just a few blocks from the sculpture), water that would have otherwise innundated the nearby neighborhoods of Charlotte Park, The Nations, and Crowley Wood. The rock, from the quarry, was carved and donated by the quarry’s owners,  Rogers Group. The log structure is a raft, representing the neighborhoods saved by the quarry. Of course, I imagine it mostly serves as some interesting whimsey for small children to climb on. (The mural on the water tank behind is by Eric Henn. Read about it in This one is BIG!)

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Located at 6105 Morrow Road, i.e. West Park. The sculpture is just a few feet from Morrow Rd, in the northeast corner of the park. There is plenty of parking at the park, and there is nearby street parking.

 

Panda sky

Panda Betor Mural

This mural appeared in the alley behind Make Nashville some months ago and is visible from the 900 block of Main Street (well, until some developer builds condos on top of Gym 5’s parking lot). But until very recently, there were a group of trailers parked in front of it stacked with what appeared to be some kind of traffic dividers, making for lousy pictures. When I realized those trailers were finally gone, I rushed immediately to get a new picture. I found that there was, in fact, a lot of new art in this alley. The wall of graffiti tags featured in Back in the alley has been replaced with a whole new set of graffiti tags, and there is a trippy new mural on the back of Gym 5 – all of which I will feature here soon. This mural above is unsigned, but the block of colors with a lion’s face poking out appears to say “Panda,” which is a tag I associate with the UH crew. There is also another Betor memorial. Betor was the tag of the artist Ronnie Bobal, who died in 2016. There is a major memorial to Betor on Gallatin Road, and his name is found in a number of murals around town. (This is the same wall that once had an interesting flower on it.)

Located at 947 Woodland Street. The mural can only be reached through the alley, which runs from McFerrin to South 10th Street. It is plausible to park in the loading dock best to the mural. Otherwise, there is street parking on McFerrin.

Little’s of Germantown

Little's mural Nashville Street art

Nashville lies far from any ocean, but there are these things called airplanes, and since 1955 Little’s Fish Company in the heart of Germantown has been providing fresh fish to the people of Nashville. As a long-standing family business in this historic neighborhood, it’s only appropriate that Historic Germantown Nashville (the local neighborhood association) would choose it as the canvas when they received a $5,100 Creative Placemaking grant from the Tennesee Art Commission. Five small murals cover filled-in windows. Starting at the left, Michelle Farro’s piece depicts the historic Church of the Assumption, founded by German Catholics in 1859. Next, a Diamond Studio (Yvette Renée & Mark Cowden) piece depicts the annual neighborhood Octoberfest. The third piece, which depicts a Germantown street leading to the State Capitol, is signed by Jake and Hana Elliott, who are also known as WHAT. Creative Group. Sometimes obscured by a bush is the next piece by Shea Moore (you’ll need to scroll down), who is both a painter and a makeup artist. Her piece depicts various people of Germantown. Last is a piece by Audie Adams, who is part of the Thoughts Manifested crew. His piece depicts the founder of Little’s and acknowledges the building’s origins as an office of the Salvation Army.

This blog post would have been a much harder slog to research without this article from the late, lamented Nashville Arts by Peter Chawaga.

Located at 1234 6th Avenue North. The murals face Monroe Street, on the north side of the building. Street parking is available. Load up on fresh fish and enjoy the art!

Off the Wall (Part 13)

Donate Life mural street art Nashville

The Off The Wall project ultimately produced fourteen murals (and a large sign) on the 3000 block of Charlotte Ave and the 400 block od 28th Ave North. This is the thirteenth one on this blog. Almost done! This mural was actually one of the earlier ones to appear. It’s by Eastside Murals, who are prolific and have been on this blog several times. This particular mural promotes Donate Life Tennessee, an organ and tissue donor registry.  As they note on their website, twenty people die every day waiting for transplants (that is apparently a number for the whole United States). You can register here if you choose. Learn more about the Off the Wall Project in Part 1 or on their website.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12

Located at 3020 Charlotte Avenue. This mural actually faces 28th Avenue North. Your best bet for parking is perhaps across the street at Cross Fit Nashville or street parking on 31st Avenue north of Charlotte.

The Fountain of Juice

Juice mural street art Nashville

On rapidly developing 51st Ave North in the heart of The Nations, you have to work to stand out. The Fountain of Juice is hard to miss with this mural by North Carolina artist Alyson Record. The Fountain of Juice makes and sells, guess what, juices, and uses raw fruits and vegetables grown organically from local sources. The mural thus is a representation of the raw materials Fountain of Juice uses to make its products. It’s reminiscent of a similar mural that’s just a few blocks away on the side of Miel. It too features the locally grown produce used in their menu and features mushrooms and flowers as well. It is somewhat blocked in this picture, but the mural is signed @ajoy.art, which leads to Record’s Instagram page, where you can find a story showing the process of producing the mural.

Located at 901 51st Avenue North. There is some parking in the back of the building, and street parking on Michigan and Illinois Avenues, north and south of the building. The mural is on the north side of the building. Get you some health juice and enjoy the art!

Hidden skyline

Skyline mural Nashville street art

I had been aware of this mural for several months, as it’s on my route home for work. At first, I didn’t write about it because I thought it might be unfinished. But as a few months passed, I figured it must be done. Then the problem was taking a picture. The lot in front of it was overgrown, partially obscuring it. Then the lot was cleared, but a bulldozer and big pile of dirt blocked the view. Finally, the lot was cleared a week or so ago, and I got the photographs I needed. I planned to write about it soon. But just yesterday I saw an Instagram post from Mobe Oner showing that he and some fellow artists had painted a serious of graffiti-style murals over this one. You can see just a few bits of the old one sticking out. Otherwise, this skyline is probably visible only here, and perhaps on the phone of whoever made it. (It’s unsigned.) This blog is in part an archive. Several pieces I’ve written about no longer exist, and this is the third or fourth time I’ve written about art that was already gone. I’m glad I got these photos! The scene is a bit of a fantasy. The view would be from across the river near the Seigenthaler pedestrian bridge, and no such line of trees is there.

Skyline Detail

Located at the corner of Herman Street and 19th Avenue North, on the east side. Street parking is available. There is a lot of art on this group of buildings. The fate of the new murals, which I’ll blog about fairly soon, is uncertain, depending on the development future of this lot. They may get blocked from view.

Carniceria y Taqueria Don Juán

Juan mural street art Nashville

If you follow the art on Hispanic businesses, the art on Caniceria y Taqueria Don Juán fits the general model well. We see a street scene of Old Mexico, along with a brightly painted menu. It’s a little unusual for the menu to be up against a fake wall with trompe l’oeil elements, but what really makes this stand out is the signature. Underneath the flowers on the white house (see slideshow below), instead of a signature, it says “artist contact,” followed by a phone number. Well, I dug through my archives, and the phone number corresponds to Ruben Torres. I have no idea why he did not sign this piece directly. There is also a painted menu and some other work on the other side of the building. See the slideshow below.

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Located at 2910 Nolensville Pike. The main mural is on the south side of the building. There is some parking at Don Juán, as well a street parking on Collier Avenue.

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