On this blog, I’ve neglected somewhat the 12 South neighborhood. (And yes, my Nashville memories go back to when it was just 12th Avenue South.) It’s one of the most important tourist destinations in Nashville, which means it has a lot of murals and it’s also a hard place to get clean pictures of murals, with all the people and cars. And parking? Uff. But I really should have posted about this one sooner, because it’s one of the better murals in Nashville. It’s not flashy, with a muted palette, but it also looks like nothing else in town. It’s by a prolific local artist I’ve featured many times, Eric Bass, aka¬†Mobe Oner (the name he signs most of his work with, including this). The fox is just beautiful (see the close up in the second slideshow below). Look at the tall tree on the far right. In the summer, and especially in late fall, it will blend with the live trees behind it. This mural also has something of a twin as well, because it’s sponsored by Rivive, a non-profit that looks to raise awareness about and improve river resources in the Nashville area. They also sponsored a mural downtown by Beau Stanton. Both murals are meant to make viewers think about river conservation and about the forces that impinge on rivers. Mobe Oner’s mural is more explicit than the one by Stanton. Here we see not only what the Cumberland River has to offer but also what threatens it. The Cumberland slices through downtown and is the reason Nashville exists. The wildlife depicted absolutely can be found on its shores, very close to downtown, notably in Shelby Bottoms Park. People really do kayak right downtown, and there are boat ramps on the east bank in Cumberland Park. But obviously, the city, with all its industry and people, makes life tough for the river as well. There’s a giant riverside metal recycling plant right downtown, PSC Metals, of which there has long been a discussion about moving it somewhere else, but as yet to no avail. And in the mural, you can see two icons of Nashville – the Batman Building, and construction cranes. The pressures on the river are real, and sometimes it fights back, but it’s certainly a critical Nashville resource, and the more it can be protected, the better.

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Located at 2814 12th Avenue South. Despite the sign, Iyengar Yoga, now called Chestnut Hill Yoga, is no longer in the building. The mural is on the south side of the building, facing Paris Avenue, on which there is street parking. The reality is parking is hard in this neighborhood, given all the tourists. Be kind to the people who actually live here in making your parking choices.