Ah, the obtrusive fencing. Not every work of art comes with clean sight lines. This mural is found at the Germantown Pub, where you can also find the mural featured in Now I know my ABCs!. That mural is on a long board overlooking the parking lot on the south side of the building, while this mural is on the northern end of the building. It’s a Music City Murals project, business home of the artists Anthony Billups and Dean Tomasek. It is part of a promotional campaign by Four Roses Bourbon. That’s what the #HandCraftTheMoment is about. More and more businesses are figuring out that promoting art that someone might use as a backdrop for their next selfie is a good use of advertising dollars. There’s also a rose painted on the ground a few feet in front of the mural, shown below.
Located at 708 Monroe Street. The mural actually faces Rosa L. Parks Boulevard. There’s plenty of parking at Germantown Pub, so grab some grub and enjoy the art!
I have wanted to write about this particular mural for some time. It’s prominently visible if you are driving north on upper Nolensville Pike, it’s a weird mix of cheesy and minimalist, and it seemed to have been around a long while. What’s not to love? Sadly, there always seemed to be at least one car parked in front of it. So when I saw it car-free, I knew I had to get my shot quick. Sadly for this mural, the reason I found it car-free may also spell its doom. The furniture and appliance store whose goods it advertises has moved. Sam’s Mattress Furniture Warehouse doesn’t have much of an internet presence (other than a couple of bad Yelp reviews), but a sign on the door lists three new addresses, two for furniture and mattresses, one for appliances, all closer to downtown on Nolensville. The murals are as I guessed, survivors. All are signed by Mark E. Witte, a name I have not been able to track down. Witte seems to have worked fast giving each of them a separate specific date in April 2009. But they are out of order. Going left to right, they are dated April 26, 27, 28, 25 and 30. So he did the sofas first, then went back to the washing machine and worked his way back down the wall. Started on a Saturday, finished on a Thursday for a productive week. But with Sam’s closed, the fate of this mural seems uncertain.
Located at 3312 Nolensville Pike. It faces south, towards Chilton Street. It is possible to park across the street on Chilton, and there is of course parking at Sam’s until developers get a hold of it.
Barbeque joints (along with their cousins the hot chicken spots) and music venues are all places where you have a good chance to find art. A lot of that has to with the fact that they are often local businesses, which are much more likely to sport outdoor art than corporate ventures. So it makes sense to find a music label advertised on the side of a BBQ restaurant. G’z BBQ and Catering (their Facebook page might be a better guide than their website) sports a hard-to-miss promotion for Muddy Roots Records, well known for its eponymous festival. The pig isn’t just a hint of the food inside, it’s also a long-standing symbol of Muddy Roots, and is found in a legacy mural just down the road I featured in The pig abides. The same artists involved in that one, Jason Galaz and Milton Chavez, did this one as well. Once again we find an example of the Batman Building used as shorthand for the downtown skyline, with the added touch of the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge.
Located at 925 Gallatin Avenue, near the corner with Granada Avenue. The mural is located on the south side of the building, easily visible to anyone driving north on Gallatin. There is a fair amount of parking at G’z BBQ, so get you some grub and enjoy the art!
This is post number 300. For this post, I’m updating on the art I know is now gone. The photo above is an Emily Miller piece once found at the corner of Main and McFerrin. Much of Miller’s work is deliberately temporary, drawn on paper and glued to outdoor walls. Her pieces are more durable than you might think, however, and in fact, this one was deliberately removed when the building was repainted. That’s the fate of most of the works listed here – they have been painted over. Others are gone because the building they stood on is gone.
The blog itself is getting a little better all the time. Statistics wise, since I started it in July 2016, 5450 people have visited the blog for a total of 11,006 page views. Modest, but it has been growing. From a couple hundred views a month when I got started, 800 and 900 has become common, it looks like the blog is about to close in on the second month in a row and third overall for more than 1000 views. The empire grows slowly.
All art is temporary, outdoor art in particular. A list, probably incomplete, of art I have chronicled that is gone or substantially erased. (I will be updating these posts in the coming weeks):
Sometimes I am slow to post about art I see frequently, thinking that I’ll have plenty of chances later. The 4 Way Market in Lockeland Springs is just such a place. For years there were these goofy images on the front, including a humorously bad image of an American Express card. Remember the story about the botched restoration of a painting of Jesus? The American Express Centurion that once graced 4 Way’s facade was about on that level. You can see a little of what I mean here and on their Yelp page. But back in September, before I ever blogged about it, 4 Way got a splashy new overhaul, and the older work was lost. But there sure is a lot more color now. Even the once sad flower box has gotten a bright, colorful overhaul (see below). I asked the owner who did the work. All he could remember was, “Some guy I found in Alabama.” Well done, Alabama guy. (If anyone knows more, leave a comment.)
Located at 1401 Fatherland Street, at the corner with 14th Avenue. There is plenty of parking at 4 Way, so grab some sundries and enjoy the art!
I’ve been meaning to update Have a beer! A really big beer! for some time, as a new mural was added (above) facing the original, and either I missed the one on the back wall the first time, or it got added later. In any event, the one above is quite appropriate, because unless you get there before close on Wednesday (November 15, 2017), you will have, in fact, missed The Hop Stop, which is set to close for good that night. The new proprietors plan a craft brewery designed to cater to Hop Stop customers. Perhaps then they will only make changes to the name in the three murals, but that remains to be seen. While not signed, these two are presumably the work of AnthonyBillups, who did the one featured in “Have a beer!” See the pin for that post on the map.
Located at 2909B and 2913 Gallatin Pike. The mural above is on the south wall of 2913, home of East Tattoo Collective. The one below is on the back, western side of 2909B where The Hop Stop will be located for one more day. Plenty of parking – and some good food and some good beer if you’re really quick!
Located at 1309 McGavock Pike, on the side of Relax and Wrap Barber and Style (well, that’s what the sign says – on the internet, it’s known and Relaxing Wraps Barber and Style.) There’s plenty of parking here and across the street, though often full with partons of the Village Pub and Garden. Baily and Cato, sadly, has closed. Get a cut, grab some grub, and enjoy the art!
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.
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!