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nashville public art

No art left behind

Author

theroncorse

I am a history professor at Tennessee State University specializing in Latin American History. I live in East Nashville.

Eastland graffiti

EastlandDuff

It is becoming more and more evident that Nashville business owners understand the importance of art as part of their self-presentation. The Eastland is yet another of the many upscale apartment and condo buildings that have been sprouting like weeds in the current Nashville real estate market. It’s all crisp modern lines, muted whites and greys, but then you turn into the little tunnel that links the parking lot to the road and you encounter this vivid splash of color, courtesy of Troy Duff. There are the obvious neighborhood nods, like “615” and “37206.” It’s also a sign. Look closely under the arrow, and you’ll see “The Eastland.” It isn’t signed, but following a hunch that it was his work, I found it on Duff’s Instagram page. That post is dated August 27, 2017, making the piece about a year old.

Located at 1035 West Eastland. There is parking at the apartment building and some limited street parking, as well as an adjacent parking garage.

Impermanent, The Nations

MPSouthFull

And the blog is back! How about a whole lot of art to celebrate? Back in April, there was an art show at an old warehouse in The Nations whose only indication of its past is a damaged sign that seems to have once read “Motor Parts.” The show was carried out by Impermanent, which bills itself as “a collective of artists who are displaying their talents in the world of subversive and immersive art within an uninhibiting environment,” and was done in partnership with Nashville Civic Design Center and The Oasis Real Foundation. The show produced art both inside and out at the warehouse. This blog covers outdoor art, but you can see some of the creations inside in this video. Some of the work on the outside features tags associated with the UH crew. There is one piece signed by Brandon Donahue (look for the “ink blot” image that is the second image in the South Wall slideshow below). On the Impermanent website the orange face above is credited to Sterbo, and based on style, the mouse on the south wall and the mouse and head on the north wall appear to be the work of Adam Hale, while the ice cream colored scene around the orange face fits the style of Kevin Bongang. Presumably, the other artists listed on Impermanent’s Who page were also involved in producing the outdoor art. (I really should have gone to this show – I’d be better informed. It must have been laundry night!) Go check it out soon. An abandoned warehouse in the go-go-go real estate market of The Nations won’t last long.

East Wall, left to right.

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South Wall, left to right.

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West Wall, full, then left to right.

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North Wall, left to right

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Located at 1211 57th Avenue North. Street parking is available.

The blog pauses

MapofCarib

Your intrepid blogger is taking a bit of a trip, to Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname. So the blog goes on hiatus for a week or so. I’ll be looking for outdoor art while I’m there, of course. You’ll find some of it on my Instagram and Facebook pages. Back soon!

Hide Out

HiCHMain

This is one of the first murals I photographed when I was beginning to think about this blog (though I’ve misplaced those pictures, this one is new). There is so much art out there, sometimes I don’t get to stuff for a while. This piece is by the artist behind Deathspan Studios and is on the back side of High Class Hillbilly. HCH is a vintage clothing store owned by singer-songwriter Nikki Lane, and it was on her Instagram account I was able to track down who the artist was. It dates from September 2015 and is sort of hidden, but you can see it from Gallatin Pike if you take your eyes off the road. There’s also a couple of interesting signs on a nearby wall, one for HCH and the other for Beautiful Tan & Hair Design. If you look real close at the Beautiful sign you’ll see a faint hand applying nail polish to the “a.”

HCHSigns

Located at 4604 Gallatin Pike. The main mural is on the back side of the building facing south, while the signs are on the south wall that is closest to Gallatin Pike. There is plenty of parking in front and behind the building. Get your nails done, grab a vintage jacket, and enjoy the art!

 

Garage colors

HuntsGarageMain

I don’t usually do new work, but this is fairly new. The building appears to be part of Hunt’s Garage in The Nations. That’s what the gentleman working there seemed to indicate when he came out and joked that taking pictures of the mural would cost me $20. While the mural is unsigned, the same ma told me that the artist who did this also painted an old trailer (of the big rig kind) for him. Well, that trailer (see below) has the “Rasmo” tag on it, which is a tag commonly found on UH crew installations. So call this a UH crew project, or at least UH adjacent. That’s where I’ll put it on the Artists page until I hear otherwise.

Located on 52nd Avenue, between Lousiana and Pennsylvania Avenue. The trailer sits at the three-way corner of 52nd, Centinneal Blvd, and Pennsylvania.  Street parking is available.

The Mermaid House

MermaidHouse

I live down the street from this house, and pass it almost every day. I’ve wanted to put it on the blog pretty much from day one (it first appeared around the time I started the blog in 2016), but I never knew who made it. And then I found it on a local artist’s website while researching another post. Problem solved – except, I forgot who the artist was. I searched every local artist’s site I could think of – and nothing. Tonight I was planning on posting about another of the Norf Wall murals, which turned out to be by Brandon Donahue, who, like me, is a TSU professor. So I checked out his website – and there was the mermaid. Well, Professor Donahue’s Norf Wall mural (which is education-themed) will have to wait. At present, the house appears to be unoccupied and is being renovated by Bootstrap Architecture and Construction. One would hope that they or a future owner would leave the mermaid in place, but now may be the time to get your picture made with it. I may be wrong about the house being unoccupied, so I can only recommend taking pictures from the sidewalk.

Located at 1205 Forrest Ave. Street parking is available. This is a private home, occupied or not, so be respectful.

Abracadabra

HPMain

This is a tale of two murals and two stores. The Hokus Pokus mural by Music City Murals on Gallatin advertises the vape store of the same name. The MCM guys must be really proud of it, as they use it as the cover art on their Facebook page. Hokus Pokus has also used the design in a billboard farther south on Gallatin. Before this mural, however, there used to be a graffiti art mural here with the “Betor” tag, he of Betor Forever. I thought I had my own photograph of it, but I can’t find it, so I’ve posted a Google street view shot below. But wait, there’s more! Sage and Serpent is a tattoo parlor in the same building, and below I include their interesting sign and an image that is posted on the back of the building. I don’t know who did either, but I would hazard a guess it’s one or both of the two artists who own Sage and Serpent.

HPold

Located at 4118 Gallatin Pike. The main mural is on the north side of the building, while the Sage and Serpent sign is on the front and the image of a hand is on the back side. There is plenty of parking in front and back of the building.

 

There once was a garden

EGFullLeft

It’s not news that Nashville has an affordable housing problem. And as I noted in my second-anniversary post, there is a relationship between gentrification and the explosion of public art in Nashville. It’s quite unlikely that the former owners of Howe Garden Apartments, which had modest rents, would have paid for Eastside Murals to put a mural on the laundry and fitness center building. But once it became Eastwood Greene Apartment Homes under new ownership, and the rents more than doubled, a mural became more likely. I’m by no means faulting the guys at Eastside Murals for taking a paying gig. They aren’t the problem. Somehow Nashville has to come to grips with this issue. We need art, and we need places artists can afford to live.

EGFillDirect

EGFullRight

Located at 1921 Greenwood Ave. The laundry/fitness center building is found on a lawn in the center of the complex, close to Greenwood Ave. The mural is on the east side of the building, and there is parking on the west side. Take a tour and enjoy the art!

Fire and Safety (Part 2)

Fire&SafetyFull

Last October, I wrote about a Thoughts Manifested mural on the north side of the Industrial Fire and Safety Inc. building on Ash and I mentioned that there was an unfinished mural on the west side. Well, the TM crew finally finished the east side recently. Visible from the Division Street Extension Bridge, this mural pays tribute to a number of important musicians with Nashville ties, including The Highwaymen (Waylon Jennings, Johhny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson), Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and Leon Russell. Do I really need to provide links for these people? I think you know who they are! Sadly, since going up, the Dylan mural has deteriorated significantly. In the before and after below you can see quite clearly that paint is peeling off block by block.  TM has repaired/replaced damaged murals before, so maybe they will fix this one.

Part 1

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Located at 608 Ash Street. The new Division Street extension complicates access somewhat. The mural above faces into a parking lot and alley on the north side of the building, on the opposite side from Ash. It’s easily accessed through the parking lot entrance on Ewing Ave between Middleton St and Fogg St, or down the alley that forks off of 6th Ave a little south of Lafayette Ave. Parking here is easy.

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