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nashville public art

No art left behind

Lane Motor Museum

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Housed in what for many years was a Sunbeam Bread factory, Lane Motor Museum on Murfreesboro is a privately-owned museum that prides itself on being one of the few motor museums in America primarily focused on European automobiles. Back in 2014, it acquired a Michael Cooper mural, whose professional home is Murals and More. The gentleman pictured is Jeff Lane, founder of the museum. The only blue car in the online version of the museum’s collection that resembles the car in the mural is the 1938 Georges Irat. However, while it’s the wrong color, the details in the mural car seem closer to the green 1955 MG TF 1500, which would make sense, as, according to a video on the museum’s history, that was the first car Lane restored himself. No word on the dog! There is also a set of car-themed stamps above the main entrance that were also painted by Cooper. They are partially blocked from view unless you go out to the road. There are better pictures than mine of the stamps on Cooper’s website.

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Located at 702 Murfreesboro Pike. The museum has parking. The museum is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which might be the best time to visit if you only want to see the murals.

La Elegancia

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For about ten years, La Elegancia has been providing fancy dresses for, as it says, weddings, baptisms, baby showers, presentations, and quinceañeras, the traditional party given for 15-year-old girls in Mexico and many other parts of Latin America. They also have decorations and souvenirs (that’s what “recuerdos” means). And that’s about all I know, as I have never been in and they seem to have no internet presence. That, and of course, that they have a very nice sign. They share the building with two better-known Latino businesses, La Hacienda Taqueria and La Hacienda Market and Bakery. On the La Hacienda side, there is a significant mural facing the parking lot, but I despair of ever finding without cars parked out front.

Located at 2619 Nolensville Pike. There is parking in front of La Elegancia, and next door in front of La Hacienda, as well as parking behind La Hacienda off Grandview Avenue.

Import Flowers, Part 1

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Drive down Murphy Road from the west, and you will come to one of the best-known murals in Nashville, the sunflower mural on Import Flowers. It’s not on 12 South or in the Gulch or Downtown, but it shows up in a lot of articles telling you what murals you need to visit in Nashville. The owner of Import Flowers, John Farrel, says that their parking lot is often half full with cars of people getting their picture taken in front of it – the other half by cars of people coming to battle at a Pokemon hot spot right behind their dumpster. Hopefully, some of those folks buy flowers! The mural is by Mark Palen. Tim Ghianni did a profile of him for The Nashville Scene a few years back, or you can see him talk about his art and career in a video as well. Palen has at least two websites, one displayed on the mural that he may not be updating anymore, and another that seems more current. You can also find him on Instagram. There are a couple of hidden elements, at least. Look real close to find Lisa Simpson, and there’s a word hidden in the flowers. This Scene article will help you find it. There is another mural on the other side done by local youth artists some years ago – I’m working on researching their identities, and I’ll post about it when I find them.

Located at 3636 Murphy Road. The mural faces 37th Avenue North. Import Flowers has parking, as mentioned. Buy some flowers and enjoy the art!

Sharp dressed man with roses

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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!

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