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Memories of battle

BattleRealty

When does a simple sign become public art? Well, that’s a judgment call, of course. Here, I use a few criteria. Is it cool looking? Would it make a nice portrait/selfie if you were standing in front of it? Is it a well-established neighborhood fixture? The Battle Realtors sign meets all three. It appears prominently on the wall of a large, historic brick home at the top of the hill where Jefferson sails over 40/65. It’s absolutely unmissable. And it’s certainly a survivor. I’m not sure if it dates back to 1984, but I know it’s been there for at least 15 years. Its future is uncertain. Donald Battle, the proprietor, passed away in 2014, and it’s not clear what the status of the business is. The website has been allowed to expire, and there’s no other evidence of activity, on the internet at least. Call this endangered art. Get your selfie soon.

Located at 1033 12th Avenue North, at the corner with Jefferson Street, on the west side of the bridge over I-40 and I-65. The sign is very visible from Jefferson. There’s a mini-car wash directly in front of it. Parking can be found just to the west of the car wash.

Must have been a cool party

Retrograde

This is an ad for a party. A party you probably missed. Though the video makes it look like it was fun. The party was put on by Concept 56, a Jägermeister sponsored (hence the deer) program which “puts together a team of 5 talented creatives, aged 21 and up, to go through a process of 6 months during which they design and produce the event of a lifetime.” Otherwise known as a party. The party took place October 8 of last year, so how long this art stays up is anyone’s guess. I’ll call it endangered art. There are pictures of the event and the performers on Concept56’s Instagram page, even one of the mural being painted. This piece is unusual in being painted on three roll-up doors. It is possible one or more might be rolled up when you visit.

Located at 822 Third Avenue South, home of ST8MNT, “a boutique Nashville brand agency,” and across from 3rd and Lindsley. After hours and on the weekends when nearby businesses are closed there’s plenty of parking, though maybe not as much when there’s a show at 3rd and Lindsley. Get your brand boutiqued and enjoy the art!

Legends

Legends

There is plenty of public art that takes some work to find. This is not an example of that. Located prominently at the western end of Lower Broad, this mural of some of the best-known country and Nashville musicians, put in last December, is hard to miss. Given that it’s essentially an advertisement for the Legends Corner bar, that’s kind of the point. It’s no doubt a major backdrop for selfies and portraits. The artist is Tim Davis, a painter, muralist and wall finisher whose business is based in Mt. Juliet. Based on the gallery of murals on his website, most of his work is actually indoors, with this being an obvious exception. Unlike most outdoor murals, this one is a set of panels attached to the wall. And take a look at it on Google Street view – Google’s algorithms have hilariously blurred many of the faces.

Located at 428 Broadway. The mural actually faces 5th Avenue North, on the west side of the building. This is downtown, in the heart of the tourist zone. Plenty of parking if you walk a ways, none of it free. You’re better off taking a taxi or rideshare. Make it part of your next bachelorette party, and enjoy the art!

Sorry you missed the show

Concerrt Promotion

I’m normally a little wary about featuring concert ad murals. They get painted over quick. But this one is for a show back in March, it’s still there, the building seems only part occupied, and it’s a very nice mural, so who knows how long it will last? Still, we have to call this temporary art. BJ The Chicago Kid, Xavier Omär, and Kamau gave a rockin’ show on March 20th – or so I imagine! The artist is Bryan Deese, who has done a number of murals around town. He signs this piece with his website address, but that leads to a blog not updated since 2014. Try his Instagram account for more up to date information about his work. And if you go visit this one and it’s gone, you can still see a Bryan Deese mural across the street.

Located at 2622 Jefferson Street. The mural is on the west side of the building. There is plenty of parking at 2622 and nearby businesses. If the church on the west side is out of session, there is lots of parking there.

A bottle of red, a bottle of white

MamaMia

The building that lies at the northwest corner of Harding and Trousdale has various restaurants. There’s Donut Place and Sub House, Bei Jing Chinese, and Back to Cuba Cafe. But this mural visible from Harding on the south side of the building advertises a restaurant in a different building, Mamma Mia’s, which lies just north.  Oddly, there are no words, no indication what this mural is advertising, but it is clearly a copy of the image found on Momma Mia’s sign. I suppose you are just supposed to guess that Italian food is somewhere nearby, and you must seek it out.

Located at 735 Harding Place/4961 Trousdale Drive. The mural is on the south side of the building, facing Harding. This a small strip mall, with plenty of parking here and nearby businesses. Mamma Mia’s is next door at 4671 Trousdale Drive. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

Mmm, pizza!

Italia

There are signs, and there are better signs. Italia Pizza and Pasta, known to everyone just as “Italia,” recently acquired an impossible to miss mural advertising its scrumptious pizza. Seriously, you have to look hard to find bad reviews of this place. Most people love it (and I say for good reason). Once housed in the old Dairy Dip (now occupied by the Urban Cowboy Public House), Italia has been at 16th and Woodland for several years now. Maybe success has paved the way to art, but it’s also true that right across the street is Lockeland Table, one of the very best restaurants in town, in Tennesse for that matter, and which also serves pizza. In fact, they are very different places and both very much worth a try if you haven’t yet. Italia has tables but is more of a take-out place, while you should get reservations for Lockeland. The mural is signed “MCM/Music City Murals Tomasek.” We’ve seen Tomasek before – that’s the nom de paintbrush of Anthony Billups, and as noted before, at least one other artist in town uses the brand name “Music City Murals.

Located at 1600 Woodland, at the corner of 16th. There’s parking in back and some street parking. Order up a pizza or maybe some lasagna (or both!) and enjoy the art!

The revolution will not be streamed on Facebook

MakeMusic

Some murals are prime selfie bait. Probably the best-known ones in Nashville are the “I Believe in Nashville” murals (various locations) and the wings in the Gulch. This one may not reach that level, but its size, message, and location (12 South, at Epice) seem designed for portraits. Indeed, when I went to photograph it and the mural across the alley from it, I had to wait for a photo shoot in progress to wrap up. The mural is signed @RelaxMaxApparel. Relax Max Apparel is a clothing line created by Allan Geiger, a Nashville-based artist. The design of the mural also shows up on some of his clothes. Given that Relax Max is Geiger’s “one man show” (see the article above), he presumably made the mural. The model in the photo shoot might have been one of Relax Max’s models, but this is Nashville, so she might also have been someone shooting pictures for the cover of her next EP. Or both – again, this is Nashville.

Located at 2902 12th Avenue South, on the north facing wall of Epice. This is 12 South, so park as best you can. The smell from Epice was powerful when I shot this. If you have never tried Epice (and why not?) make a reservation right now, and get your selfie after you fill up on wonderful Lebanese food.

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