nashville public art

No art left behind



Mmm, pizza!


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


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.

Maybe you’d like some art?


At the site of the former Chief’s Family Diner on Buchanan Street, a new restaurant has opened, Mai-Bee’s Southern Cuisine. But this is not a food blog, (most of the time!) so what gets it noticed here is the mural, courtesy of Murals and More, the business home of artist Michael Cooper. Mai-Bee’s is a family owned, family run operation, and the mural and the restaurant honor the memory of the family matriarch. It’s new, and little bare bones, but definitely worth a try. And you get more art bang for your buck, because And her hair was an unfolded flower is right next door! The Buchanan Street corridor is beginning to see a number of new business. How it handles possibilities of gentrification remains to be seen.

Located at 1200 Buchanan Street. The mural faces 12th Avenue North. There is some parking at Mai-Bee’s and street parking is available. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

I’d like to teach the world to sing

On the north side of the Star Market on Dickerson, across the parking lot from Piggly Wiggly, there are two murals that I think are probably from the same artist, though there’s no signature as far as I can tell. The Coke piece made me immediately thing of that song from that Coca-Cola ad long ago, given the subject of the mural that’s just a few feet away from it. The Coke ad also seems to have been damaged as the result of a repair to the wall.

Located at 903 Dickerson Pike, on the north side of Star Market. They face a parking lot, so, lots of parking.

A tale of two murals

The M&M Discount Liquor and Wine building on Gallatin is malleable. A quick perusal of Google street view reveals some of its iterations. But what I think most interesting are the two very different current murals. Here we have a brash, very visible advertisement for New Amsterdam Vodka, with its easily understood vocabulary of iconic buildings (and art!) from downtown Nashville. But around back…..Below you see a much more abstract mural, one hidden from view, easily missed even by customers of M&M or the auto parts store next door. A curious thing — but hardly the only hidden art in town.

Located at 2828 Gallatin Pike, on the south and east walls of the building. Plenty of parking.

Proudly serving Nashville!

On the back side of the Delta Express convenience store on West End, right up against the on-ramp from 440, is this colorful installation. It seems perhaps to be a Mountain Dew ad, for a logo for the soda is at the far north end of the wall. While quite visible to anyone headed east on West End or taking that on-ramp, it’s fenced off from any closer inspection. The paint has begun to peel — not quite enough to qualify as endangered art, but it needs some work or the damage will be visible even from a distance before long. No obvious signature.

Located on the back (west) wall of the Delta Express at 3410 West End Avenue. Adequate parking at the store, but as noted, only visible from a distance through a fence.

The Vape USA Gallery

Besides auto places, other kinds of establishments are frequently sites of public art — convenience stores, tattoo parlors, barber shops, and new to the list, vape stores. The Vape USA store just south of Grassmere on Nolenseville Pike (not to be confused with the Vape USA store a couple miles north on Nolenseville) is a good example. Not sure about signatures. Most of the text seems to refer to vaping products, though “P1107” is a mystery to me.

Located at 3807 Nolenseville Pike, a few hundred yards south of the entrance to the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. Plenty of parking. Not a vaper myself, so I can’t vouch for the merchandise!

Blog at

Up ↑