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Damaged art

First One

Sign mural street art Nashville

Who doesn’t love a great sign? First One Market on East Old Hickory Boulevard has a wonderfully chaotic sign, welcoming friends, extolling revolution, letting you know who’s boss (well, someone is boss, it’s not really clear) and assuring you that this is the place you can get your phone charged. Is the fist raised in protest holding a cup with a straw, or a walkie-talkie? I’m not sure, but I am sure it qualifies as art. I discovered this, by the way, when I decided to drive the entirety of Old Hickory Boulevard, minus of course the part that lies beneath the waters of Percy Priest Lake. Take a day and give it a try. It’s a great way to really get a grasp on the diversity of Nashville and Davidson County.

Located at 660 East Old Hickory Boulevard. The mural/sign is on the east side of the building. There is plenty of parking. Load up on cheap tobacco and beer and enjoy the art!

Principality: Artis et Scientiae

LaRosa mural street art Nashville

Such is the name of this mural on the backside of PopStart on Gallatin Road. PopStart is a new gallery (you’ll find their Facebook page and their Instagram page more informative than the website). Dävid La Rosa is an artist featured at PopStart who produced this mural. Much of his work features animals and sacred geometry. This piece, with its butterfly shape and its geometric designs, seems to be something of both. “SDG” is a reference to a long quote about gratitude you’ll find on his webpage: “I am thankful for the inexhaustible Love that surrounds my going out and my coming in, for the good health that I enjoy; for the possibilities of realizing worthy goals. I am grateful for the endless creativity available to me by the sempiternal wisdom of the Name, for being led to fields of green pastures daily. I am grateful today and always, that I am indeed wealthy”  -SDG. The damaged hashtag should read “#limbism.”

Located at 4110 Gallatin Pike. The mural lies on the back side of the building. There are narrow driveways on both sides of the building that lead to some limited parking, and there are a few spaces in front. You could also conceivably park at the Mapco next door.

A fading cut

Barbershop sign mural street art Nashville

This version of Miles Barbershop on Jefferson, along with La Unique Hair Design, is closed and has been for some time. What relationship it might have with the Miles Barbershop and Hair Salon on Ewing in northeast Nashville or the Miles Barbershop off Hickory Hollow in Antioch, I don’t know, though the fonts used in their different signs seem the same.  The damage from weather and mold is obvious for both the signs and the buildings, but they are a reminder that fancy hand-painted signs are nothing new. This kind of signage used to be common along the Jefferson and Buchan Street corridors, but there is less of it now. Jefferson Street is changing rapidly, and the fate of this building and its deteriorating signs is anybody’s guess. Maybe a future tenant will preserve the signs representing the old neighborhood, as happened when Lockeland Table moved into the old home of Boutique Coiffures.

Located at 1609 Jefferson Street. The signs are on the east side of the building. There is easy parking at this spot.

Tin Dog

Nashville street art mural "Welcome to Old Nashville"

Welcome to Old Nashville. That’s an interesting greeting for Tin Dog Tavern to make. On the one hand, it’s relatively new, having opened in 2014. But it’s also true that there’s been a dive bar on this corner of 4th Avenue South for a while. Before it was Tin Dog, it was Purple Heys, and before that, it was TC’s Triangle (the building is triangle shaped). Tin Dog sits in an interesting place. It lies on the border between Wedgewood-Houston and Chestnut Hill, two rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods that still have significant chunks of their older versions. Warehouses, factories, auto repair places and low-income housing sit side-by-side with art galleries and some of the newest high-end housing in town. Just south, the Fairgrounds are poised to become home to Nashville’s major league soccer stadium. Compared to all that, Tin Dog is very much Old Nashville. It’s anyone’s guess how long it, or some succeeding dive bar, will stick it out. The sign is an Eastside Murals creation. On the other side of the building is a graffiti installation that bears tags from the UH crew. (See below).

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Graffiti street art tags Nashville

Graffiti street art Nashville

Graffiti street art Nashville Tin Dog

Located at 1401 4th Avenue South, at the corner with Rains Avenue. The Welcome to Nashville mural faces Rains Ave. The graffiti mural is on the south side of the building, facing an alleyway. Tin Dog has parking, much of it right in front of the mural. If you want to find the mural car-free, try early in the morning.

Import Flowers, Part 1

ImportFlowersMain

Drive down Murphy Road from the west, and you will come to one of the best-known murals in Nashville, the sunflower mural on Import Flowers. It’s not on 12 South or in the Gulch or Downtown, but it shows up in a lot of articles telling you what murals you need to visit in Nashville. The owner of Import Flowers, John Farrel, says that their parking lot is often half full with cars of people getting their picture taken in front of it – the other half by cars of people coming to battle at a Pokemon hot spot right behind their dumpster. Hopefully, some of those folks buy flowers! The mural is by Mark Palen. Tim Ghianni did a profile of him for The Nashville Scene a few years back, or you can see him talk about his art and career in a video as well. Palen has at least two websites, one displayed on the mural that he may not be updating anymore, and another that seems more current. You can also find him on Instagram. There are a couple of hidden elements, at least. Look real close to find Lisa Simpson, and there’s a word hidden in the flowers. This Scene article will help you find it. There is another mural on the other side done by local youth artists some years ago – I’m working on researching their identities, and I’ll post about it when I find them.

Located at 3636 Murphy Road. The mural faces 37th Avenue North. Import Flowers has parking, as mentioned. Buy some flowers and enjoy the art!

Sharp dressed man with roses

Wooten

I don’t often do very new work, but as this is a paper image in an outdoor setting, and is by nature ephemeral, so I want to post about it now before it’s gone. It’s a Brian Wooden piece and fits in a style we’ve already seen in works like the one I featured in Striding. Based on his Instagram feed, it’s a fairly new piece (that link is dated August 20) and there are others like it. You can even get a holographic sticker with the same design. If you want your selfie with this one, go soon. The paper is already peeling a bit.

Located on the 800 block of 12th Avenue North. There are railroad tracks behind Marathon Village. This installation in on the south side of the I-40 bridge over those tracks, facing Marathon Village. There is gravel lot right next to this installation.

I see purple

BDonahueForrestPurple

Back when I blogged about the Mermaid House, the former owner contacted me. She let me know that there were more murals around back. Like the mermaid in front, this mural is the work of Brandon Donahue, who, like myself, is a professor at Tennesee State University. There is also something of a surprise here. For the most part, graffiti taggers are respectful of murals, but not this time. The style of the tag is one I’ve seen around East Nashville. “Editing” is always a possibility with outdoor art. The back fence of the yard of the house next door also has a colorful mural. (See the slideshow below.) It’s not signed and does not appear on Donahue’s website, so I’m not sure who made it. One notable detail on this second mural is the small “Hunter’s” sign. Hunter’s was an auto body shop that had extravagant signage a couple blocks from these houses, signage lost in the site’s recent renovation (though not completely – it does appear some of it is being saved).

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Located in the alley behind at 1205 and 1203 Forrest Ave. Street parking is available. These are private homes, so be respectful.

Tiger, tiger, burning bright

TigerMuffler

Once upon a time, there was a muffler shop at 935 4th Avenue South called Tiger Muffler Center. It is no more. It would appear there is now an auto repair store at that address called Los Partners, though they don’t have much of an online presence. Why they or whoever owns the building decided to erase “muffler center” but leave the rest of the sign is unknown to me – maybe they just like tigers. It does change the meaning of the sign. Instead of telling us “This is the name of the muffler store,” it now says to us “Yes, that’s a tiger. The individual holding a muffler is indeed a tiger.” Ghost signs from lost businesses are of course nothing new, such as the Dutch Maid sign. “Los Partners” is an odd name, given that in Spanish the word for “partner” (as in “business partner”) is “socio.” Signs of an emerging hybrid culture, I suppose. The tiger image, however, must be considered endangered, like its natural counterpart, given that the store it supported is long gone. Check it out while you can.

Located at 935 4th Avenue South. This is a tricky place to park, particularly on a weekday when the businesses on this stretch are all open. The nearest street parking appears to be on 3rd Avenue South.

An old key

KeyNorth2

The scope of this blog includes not only murals and sculpture, but also “interesting signs.” And the sign for the old Key Motel definitely counts as interesting. There are at least a couple other of these old survivors on Dickerson, left over from the days before the interstates were built when Dickerson Pike, know also at US Highway 41, was the main route from the north into the city. Currently, the Key Motel is undergoing renovation, hence the fence. While it will reopen as a hotel, the developer is noncommittal as to whether he will keep the name, much less renovate the sign, so the future of this survivor is uncertain. Get your selfies while you still can. The southern side of the sign is actually in better condition, but it’s also partially obscured by vegetation. See below.

UPDATE: I Saw the Sign has been commisioned to restore and update the sign with a new name, The Dive Hotel. I’ll post some photos when I get a chance.

KeySouth

Located at 1414 Dickeson Pike. On the weekends you can park at the school next door. Otherwise, your best bet is the laundry a little farther north.

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