nashville public art

No art left behind


Damaged art

For that perfect smile


I have to wonder how long this one is going to be around. Located near Plaza Art on Middleton, it lies right next to a major graffiti installation that was just painted over. This part of SoBro/Pie Town has been fairly resistant to gentrification, but that can’t last. The market forces are very powerful. I believe this says “Crest.” There’s one very much like it in Cheltenham, PA, on the north side of Philadelphia. (As of this posting, third row on that page. Look for “Crest Graffiti Cheltenham”.) I suspect it’s the product of an out of towner, because I don’t think I’ve seen this tag elsewhere, and the DayGlo color scheme is unusual here in Nashville. Even if it survives gentrification, for the time being, it’s peeling, likely because it faces the afternoon sun every day unshaded.

Located at 617 Middleton Street. Nearby parking is easy. The mural is on the west side of the building, facing Plaza Art.

A true Nashville survivor


If you live in East Nashville, and you drink alcohol, you probably have an opinion about Weiss Liquors vs. Main Street Liquor. Some folks have strong opinions on this topic. Here are two empirical facts: 1) Main has colder refrigerators and 2) Weiss wins the sign war hands down. Weiss Liquors goes back a long way. Nicholas Weiss first started selling alcohol downtown in the 1890s. The business has moved a few times since, landing in its current location in 1961. The sign first showed up in the 1930s and has moved twice since then. The arrows, not part of the original design, were added in the 1940s. You can read more at Nashville Design History, in an article by John Whitman. Since then the sign has been featured in movies, music videos, and on more than a few Instagram accounts. Sadly, some of the letters are out right now due to vandalism. That’s a tough one. BTW, if you’re looking for work, as of this posting, Weiss is hiring!

Located at 824 Main Street. Impossible to miss. There is of course parking at Weiss, and at the storage center next door. The parking lot can be tricky on weekend evenings.

Down at the corner


The east side has Five Points, where Woodland, Clearview, and North 11th come together. But what do you call a place where four streets and a cemetery entrance come together? Busy – you call it busy. On the north side of the confluence of Clarksville Pike, 13th Avenue North, Clay Street and Dr. D.B. Todd Blvd, and across the street from the entrance to the Temple Cemetary, lies a humble building nearly as busy as the intersection it presides over. At 2012 Clarksville Pike, The Belly Restaurant, Sam’s Market, and Joyce’s Barber and Beauty Salon ensure a steady clientele. And on the west and east sides of the building, we find art. On the west side, a self-referential mural that includes the 2012 Clarksville building, though showing a mural that looks more like the one on the east side (see below). The businesses named are no longer here. Portraits of students fill out the mural. On the east side, a simpler mural, with an intriguing incomplete portrait. And on a low wall to the west of the building, a fading tribute to the Family Affair Diner, which is lost to history, or at least to Google.

Located at 2012 Clarksville Pike, right where it makes a strong turn to the south and becomes D.B. Todd Blvd. Parking available, though if you park in front of the building, you’ll be backing out onto a busy road when you leave.

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Fly me to the moon


This is an Emily Miller piece, she of the guerilla poster art (and more!). Keep an eye out, you’ll see more of her work around town. A lot of it is animal-themed, but here she goes in another direction – up! This particular space traveler is found on the backside of 1006 Buchanan Street. If you look for that address on Google it leads you to Otis James, who makes bespoke clothing. The web page suggests the business is in Oak Ridge, but the Facebook page puts it here in Nashville on Buchanan. Call them, or just order online if you are interested. I might need a new hat. Regardless, this is paper art outdoors so I have to call it endangered art.

Located at 1006 Buchanan Street. The mural/poster is on the back wall. There’s a large green space around the building so it’s easy to approach. Street parking is available.

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.

Art now, art past


This whimsical piece is found behind Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School on the south wall of the Horton Paper Services building. It’s a little worse for wear, as it has begun to peel in places. Facing south puts it in the sun all day, and that seems to have done some damage. It’s not age – Google street view images from March 2015 show only some graffiti tags here. They also show another mural on the the west wall, one that is quite gone, for today the west wall is painted a solid blue. The mural you see below is no more. That’s one thing I’m trying to do with this blog – document art before it disappears. All art is ultimately impermanent, but outdoor art has to deal with the elements, the whims of owners and vandals, and the seemingly relentless pace of development here in Nashville. Here I try to archive some things before they are lost (the mural in the header photo for this blog of course is gone, painted over right about the time I started this enterprise).

Located at 614 18th Avenue North, on the south wall of Horton Paper Services. Parking on a school day is little tight, and a lot of the street parking is presently taken up by construction workers who are building an extension to the school. Across the street is a heavily decorated semi-trailer that seems to be more or less permanently parked. I’ll feature some of that work later.


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.

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