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nashville public art

No art left behind

Hey, hey, hey!

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Near the corner of Douglas and Jones Avenues, there is a market with a sign that very clearly says “Lucky 7 Discount Grocery.” However, it is apparently also known as Pharaoh’s Market. That’s what Google calls it and we know Google is always right, right? Either way, it has this impressive Fat Albert mural to liven up its parking lot. The purple tag on the left says “Fat Albert,” while the yellow/tan/blue tag seems to read ASAKA, presumably the handle of the artist or one of the artists who produced this. The south wall of the store also has a large graffiti installation, but a wall blocks access and the used car dealership with the fenced yard next door seems permanently closed, so you can only see the south wall from a distance. That car in the picture? It’s also in a 2015 Google street view shot.

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Located at 1303 Jones Avenue. The accessible mural is on the north side of the building, where there is plenty of parking. Load up on sundries and enjoy the art!

Dogs, beer, signs

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There are a lot of dog lovers in East Nashville. You see people out walking their dogs all the time, everywhere. So it only makes sense for East Nashville Beer Works to create a dog-friendly area to get some of that dog-lover money. You can’t have them coming in the front door though since ENBW sells food. Hence a special entrance with a special sign, this one by David W. of Manecoon Design Company. ENBW made that a little bit hard to track down – they don’t credit artists on their website, Facebook page, or Twitter account, but you can find artists’ names on their Instagram account. And I say “artists” because they also have a couple of nice signs that were done by Bryce Damuth, who bills himself as both an artist and a comedian. See his work below.

Located at 320 East Trinity Lane. The white sign is on the east side of the building, everything else is on the west side. ENBW has a fair amount of parking. Bring Rover, grab some beer, and enjoy the art!

Down on the farm

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When people think Nashville, they think the glitz of Lower Broad, the hipness of 12 South or maybe the interstate traffic jams of all over. But Nashville is merged with Davidson Country, and there are plenty of rural areas, with actual farms, just a few miles from downtown, particularly in the north-central and northwestern parts of the country. Part of this is geography, where a winding river cuts off places far from a bridge, and a steep climb as you go north and west also restricts development. Farm country doesn’t produce a whole lot of outdoor art, but it’s not completely barren. I think this sign on the barn at Evergreen Farm on Brick Church Pike definitely qualifies. I thought about just isolating the sign in the main picture, but the real effect is with the full tableau. I couldn’t find a website for the farm as a farm, but apparently, there is a cabin you can rent.

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Located at 4412 Brick Church Pike. There is no street parking on Brick Church, but less than 100 feet away is the intersection with Jackson Road, and it is possible to park there. This is a private home, so be respectful. And wave at the horses!

Low key bee

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The population of bees, which has been in decline of late, is maybe coming around. Of course, if they were all as big as this one, that might not be a good thing! The Nashville artist who goes by jamersonsgc produced this bee for Eddie’s Cee Bee Food Store on Lafayette, a natural design as bees are part of Cee Bee’s logos. Jamerson, who uses the tag #LowKeyArt, also apparently designs clothing, among other things. I actually had to step out in the middle of Lafayette Street to get this shot. The things I do for art! It appears to be dated 2018, and I’m pretty sure I was on Lafayette earlier this year and didn’t see it, so it’s probably pretty new. And hey, there’s the Batman Building!

Located at 109 Lafayette Street. The mural faces Lafayette. Cee Bee is a grocery store and has plenty of parking. Load up on sundries and enjoy the art!

Welcome to Donelson

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There is something a “mural district” in Donelson. Within about a block of each other, there are now four murals (and one lost mural), three of which are by the same artist. While the mural featured In Concert in Donelson! is by Randy L. Purcell, the new murals on the Greater Nashville Insurance Group are by Kristy Oakley of Where the Art Is, as is the mural featured in Paint the town. This building used to house a Nationwide Insurance agency, but with a new identity, it’s no surprise that the “frame” mural below has replaced the Nationwide branded mural that was once there and is featured in On your side. Like the mural in Paint the town, the main mural features local landmarks, such as the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge and Two Rivers Park. There are pictures of the mural being made on both Oakley’s Facebook page and the Greater Nashville Insurance’s page. The flower box was built by GNIG director David McIndoo.

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Located at 2630 Old Lebanon Rd. The large “Donelson” mural is on the west side of the building and the smaller “frame” mural is on the east. There is plenty of parking at this building and nearby businesses. Plan for possible emergencies and enjoy the art!

A very sturdy 4th

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I don’t know who built this wooden flag at the Nashville office of Summit Roofing. Probably some of the fine folks featured on their Facebook page. But I bet it’s designed to hold up in all kinds of weather (as it should). These are roofers, after all. Happy 4th of July everyone!

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Located at 655 North Main Street (aka Dickerson Pike) in Goodlettsville, a few blocks north of the intersection with Riverside Parkway. The flag is on the north side of the building. Summit has some parking, but it might be better to park at the Phillips 66 next door.

Camels and jellyfish, naturally

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I don’t usually take photos from this far away, but I would have a very stretched out photo if I’d gotten closer. This Murals and More work by Michael Cooper is kind of gargantuan. And of course with murals, there’s not a lot you can do to adjust the canvas. The canvas here is the south-facing wall of Camel Express Car Wash. This is, of course, the long tunnel that the cars pass through, and if the client wants the whole wall done, this is the shape of the mural you will get. And it’s no doubt a good investment. Anyone headed north on Dickerson Pike is going to get a clear view from a good ways off, just after they pass under I-65 and Briley Parkway. Cooper deploys his usual trompe l’oeil technique in a particularly colorful way here. I’m not sure I’d want my car to actually go through the process displayed, however! Camel Express features some “making of” photos (dated in mid-March, 2018) on their Facebook photo page (there are more than the ones I linked). One thing you can see is that while Cooper’s name is on the mural, he had other people working with him.

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Located at 3430 Doverside Drive. This is off the southern entrance road that leads to the Lowes and Wallmart that are just north of Briley Parkway on Dickerson Pike. Your best bet for parking is probably the Murphy Express next door. There is a sidewalk on Doverside, so you could walk from the Wallmart parking lot, or just scramble down the hill. Get your car spiffed up and enjoy the art!

 

Two years

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The mural from the single most popular post on this blog. It continues to get hits every day. Read about it in The Kind Way

It’s been two years since the first post went up on this blog. In that time, I’ve built a small following and learned a fair amount about the outdoor art scene in Nashville/Davidson County. The most obvious thing I’ve learned about is the relationship between local independent businesses and outdoor art. Corporate businesses, with very few exceptions, do not support local artists or allow their branding to be altered with local art. That’s why the area around Rivergate Mall has very little outdoor art, and Nolensville Pike has so much. If your neighborhood has a Panda Express, you won’t find much art. If it has a lot of immigrant grocery stores and local auto repair centers, you’re likely to get art.

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Part of the mural responsible for the second most popular post on this blog. Ronald “Ronnie” Bobal, aka Betor, had a lot of friends. See Betor Forever

Another observation is that art breeds art. You see this in the distinction between Nolensville and Murfreesboro Pikes. Both have a similar mix of independent businesses with a good sized immigrant community, but outdoor art just hasn’t quite caught on on Murfreesboro.

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Art you won’t find in any “Best Instagram Murals in Nashville” article. Art on immigrant businesses is a key part of the aesthetic landscape in Nashville. See In Old Mexico

And of course, there is a relationship between tourism and art. A Buzzfeed article by Anne Helen Petersen did a good job of linking the bachelorette phenomenon with the growth in murals. All those folks posting pictures of themselves in front of murals, tagging the location on Instagram and Facebook, well, it’s a lot of free advertising. The explosion of murals in the 12 South neighborhood is in part a response to this phenomenon. And certainly, the art found there and elsewhere in town has gotten a lot of attention, including promotions to tourists and homebuyers. Most of the attention is focused on tourist-heavy areas like 12 South, Downtown, the Gulch, while work in the outer boroughs and non-mural art doesn’t get as much love, art that doesn’t drive as much tourism and isn’t as well known but is very much part of our local art scene.

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Local art that is under threat from gentrification and unlikely to be featured in tourist magazines. See Northside Auto Clean Up

Most of those articles probably get more traffic than this blog, but traffic is moving in the right direction – up. I have more than double the number of monthly page views than I had in 2017, at about 1200 to 1600 a month, though for this month, June 2018, the number is almost 2300. Small, but growing. Google Analytics tells me that my largest readership group is women aged eighteen to thirty-four, which is the principle demographic making up the bachelorette parties, so perhaps I’m part of the problem! (Or the blessing, if your job depends on them.)

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The mural from my third most popular post. That the now-closed Cloud IX Hookah Bar had its share of crime stories probably explains that. This art has since been defaced. See Mysteries of Cloud IX

So yes go to 12 South and Five Points and The Gulch, but take a look at my map and explore a little (just check the link for each point to see if I’ve updated it as being “lost art”). There’s a lot out there, and more all the time. I’ll keep working to document it all.

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One of my favorite works that you are unlikely to find on Instagram. See A bird in the bush

Nectar of the gods

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That’s what one of my professors in graduate school called Dr. Pepper. He is Texan, like me. Sure, we moved to Georgia when I was six, but I never lost the taste for Dr. Pepper. I drink the diet stuff now, and yes, I lost a lot of weight. Because I was drinking a LOT of Dr. Pepper. Wait, this is an art blog! This Dr. Pepper branded tank (presumably not a tank of Dr. Pepper) is at  Tony’s Foodland, a grocery store in Joelton, on Clarksville Pike. Joelton is a very different part of Davidson County from what most people think of as Nashville. It’s much more rural, with actual farms, and houses with huge rural lots. But it’s as much a part of Metro Nashville-Davidson as Lower Broad, which is something that makes Nashville truly great. The Facebook page for Tony’s Foodland has only one picture of the tank with its current livery, which is dated July 13 of last year. I don’t think it’s much older than that, as I drove up there around that time and don’t remember seeing it.

Located at 5529 Clarksville Pike. This is just north of Old Hickory Boulevard. The tank is on the northwest side of the store. There is plenty of parking because it’s a grocery store. Grab a couple liters of Dr. Pepper and enjoy the art!

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