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The Carquest Gallery, Part 2

Car Quest Back Middle

This blog has been a learning process. One thing I’ve learned – look on the back side of buildings. There’s a lot of art where few people can see it. Back in November 2016, I posted about the very obvious murals visible from Nolensville road on the front and side of CarQuest. I did not, however, take a few steps to look around back. I did note though at the time that there were murals on the back side visible on Google street view, and I vowed to update. Well, here I am, updating. Usually, when there are several murals in one place, my top photo is the wide view of all of them, with a slide show of the individual ones below. But I like this one so much I decided to feature it. These three murals were clearly painted over other, older murals, which only highlights the transience of outdoor art and the need to document it. Next to the blue door, we see “Kyle Korea.” While that may be the name or handle of an artist, Camp Kyle was a U.S. Army base in Korea closed in 2005, so that might also be the reference. See the map pin for Part 1.

Part 1

Located at 3317 Nolensville Road, at the corner with Elgin Street. There’s some street parking on Elgin, and if things aren’t too busy at the Lava Lounge Hookah Bar next door, you might be able to park in their lot for a spell. Pick up some bling for your car and enjoy the art!

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Drive away

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Five Points in East Nashville was not always the place you went for bar hopping, fine dining, and trendy shops. It used to be the place you got your car fixed. Margot’s, Burger Up, East Side Smiles* and the Family Dollar all used to be service stations, the kind of places that filled your tank and replaced your spark plugs. Gym 5 was an auto repair place, and Battered and Fried was once where you found Jackson’s, which sold tires, tubes, and batteries and had a fleet of trucks to deliver them around town. Beyond the Edge at one point was a welding shop that no doubt helped repair cars. There were probably more. Now only Firestone and Main Street Tires are left in the immediate area. Hunter’s Custom Automotive is the latest to leave (they’ve moved to Trinity Lane), its property snatched up to be developed as restaurant space by Fresh Hospitality. Already the small building they owned across the street has undergone major renovations (no longer will Hunter’s employees play the dangerous game of crossing the street right where Main makes a right angle curve and become Gallatin – the light went in not long before they moved). What will happen to the Hunter’s murals is unknown at the moment, but in all likelihood, they are doomed, as are the glittery signs. I only learned this past weekend that those signs make a fair amount of noise when it’s windy. Whooooooosh.

UPDATE: I drove past Hunter’s this morning (3/28/17) and saw that the brick facade the mural up top is on is being dismantled, and the mural with it. This one is a goner.

Located at 975 Main Street. Until it becomes a construction site, you can park in the Hunter’s lot. Climb the stairs to get a better look at the main mural, though I recommend against clambering on to the roof. The sign and the mural above both face south, while the  King of Chrome mural is on the west side of the building. (*East Side Smiles may be a different building, but there did used to be a service station at that spot. Family Dollar may also be a “new” building.)

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Two sides of Dent Repair

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Gallatin Pike south of Briley Parkway is loaded with outdoor art. North of Briley, you have to look a little closer, dig a little deeper. That’s partly because of the greater number of chain stores north of Briley, but I suspect there are also differences in neighborhood culture. One place that stands out is Dent Repair of Nashville, which sits on a hill just south of the Rivergate shopping district, which is chock full of chain stores and precious little outdoor art. On the north side of Dent Repair is this mural of Lower Broad with the pearly gates to Honkytonk Heaven (which apparently is in East Nashville across the river). Waylon Jenning, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, and Johhny Cash grace an improbable scene – Lower Broad with no tourists. Where are the pedal taverns? No signature on this side. On the south side (below), a completely different mural of graffiti art that pays homage to Dent Repair itself, though like its companion on the north wall, it includes the Batman building. It seems to be signed “Nite 7 2015.” There do seem to be some other graffiti installations around town with that tag, but I can’t find an Instagram account or other page associated with it. The Google street view image shows only parts of this mural. That and the distinct styles suggest multiple artists.

Located at 1414 Gallatin Pike North. There’s some street parking just south of Dent Repair, and a convenience store with lots of parking just north. Grab a soda and enjoy the art!

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Breaking through

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Across the street from The Gallatin and Straightway Gallery is this Eastside Murals production celebrating Lincoln Tech, what was once known to Nashvillians as Nashville Auto Diesel College. Ian Lawrence and Sterling Goller-Brown of Eastside Murals have done a number of pieces in town, such as the one featured in The cats are loose. Lincoln, and Auto-Diesel before it, of course features a fair amount of training in the automotive arts, and its students can often be seen crossing the street to shop at Jerry’s Market, centerpiece of the Gallatin and Straightway Gallery.

Located at 1524 Gallatin Avenue. The mural is on the south side of the building and actually faces Strouse Avenue. A fair amount of parking, though a little less when classes are in session. Plenty of street parking nearby. Vroom-vroom!

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Two Lions

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Call this endangered art. These two lions on their columns grace the entrance of Auto Express on Charlotte Avenue. Problem is, Auto Express seems to be very much out of business, and a sign indicates that the property is available. Given how development has been exploding on Charlotte, this blog post may soon be some of the only evidence that these two creatures ever did battle over a steering wheel.

Located at 3324 Charlotte Avenue. The business is closed, so parking is easy to come by. I’d suggest you shop for a new car, but you’ll have to do it somewhere else.

The Carquest Gallery, Part 1

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This particular site presents a particular challenge. While on one side of the building there is a quiet road one can stand in with reasonable safety and thus get a direct, straight on view taking in the whole mural, on the other side – well the other side is Nolensville Road, and yeah, I may do many things for art, but standing in the middle of Nolensville Road with a smartphone taking pictures is not one of them. The work on the Carquest building at the corner of Nolensville and Elgin would seem to be at least in part the work of the same crew that produced The Vape USA Gallery down the road. The blank eyes of most of the human figures is a clear (get it?) giveaway. (Ok, it wasn’t much of a pun.) There are a lot of tags on these pieces, though how many are the names of artists and how many might be the names of the workers I don’t know. As I wrote this, it occurred to me that I forgot to check out the back wall. A quick glance at Google street view (first picture below) not only shows art on the back wall but also a completely different mural on the south wall facing Elgin. So not only is this another auto part store, it’s also an example of lost art. I will update soon after I go back and check out the back wall.

UPDATE: I finally got around to writing about the back side. See Part 2.

Part 2

Located at 3317 Nolensville Road, at the corner with Elgin Street. There’s some street parking on Elgin, and if things aren’t too busy at the Lava Lounge Hookah Bar next door, you might be able to park in their lot for a spell. Just don’t stand in the middle of Nolensville Road!

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Not an object (Norf Wall gallery, part 6)

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This piece is signed by ArJae @caffeinedream. The artist also apparently goes by Sanctus ArJae Syyreal. Oddly, this piece doesn’t seem to be featured on his Instagram page. Striking as it is, I have to tag it “hidden art,” because it’s one of the pieces that is usually behind a locked gate, in the interior courtyard of the old tire factory on 19th near Herman. See Part 1 for a description of how this and the other pieces at this site came to be.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

See the pin for Part 1 on the map. Located at the north end of the 800 block of 19th Street N., at the corner of Herman Street. It’s impossible to miss. Street parking is very haphazard. There is a lot of to see here, and also a lot of overgrown weeds (depending on the time of year) so wear the right shoes!

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