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Damaged art

Have I got a deal for you

SamsWarehouseMain

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.

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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.

Hair loss

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At some point in time, there was a barber shop/hair salon at the corner of 12th Avenue and Clay Street in North Nashville. The store is long closed, but some internet sleuthing suggests it was called Final Finish Salon. Whatever the name was, it has since been erased, but whoever did that took the trouble to preserve the rest of the mural. The mural is signed $quirt and dated 2003. There’s a bit of damage, possibly from bricking up a window. There’s also a bit of trompe l’oeil, a little three-dimensional effect, perhaps suggesting flipping the pages of a style magazine. The fate of this mural is uncertain, given the loss of the business it once represented. Call it endangered art.

Located at 1233 Clay Street. The mural faces 12th Avenue, where there is substantial free parking. Sadly, you can not get your hair done while you enjoy the art.

300

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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):

Ask not who the wrecking ball calls for (one building destroyed, another painted over)

The Vape USA Gallery (painted over)

The doomed graffiti wars of Madison Mills (painted over)

Unsafe at any speed (painted over)

Ch-ch-ch-changes! (removed – the Miller piece above)

The Carquest Gallery, Part 1The Carquest Gallery, Part 2 (partially painted over)

Where you at?! (painted over)

Color me gone – soon (building destroyed)

The ghost of craft beers past (painted over)

A flower grows in East Nashville (painted over; replaced with new mural)

Going, going gone (painted over)

Sorry you missed the show (painted over)

Children’s Art on Jefferson Street (removed)

Super visible, very temporary, hard to reach (replaced with a billboard)

Woodland creatures, Part 1 (severely deteriorated, and then removed)

The Zoop Gallery on 8th South (removed and/or deteriorated, replaced)

The ruins of 21st and Linden (lost to construction)

Oz Arts Inside/Out, Part 2 (removed)

On imagined seas (painted over, replaced with new mural)

Big Blue (painted over, replaced with new sign)

Frutas! (partially painted over, replaced with new mural)

Wanda (painted over, replaced with new mural)

Packing Plant (Part 1, Mural)

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And here’s another multi-parter, after I just posted about how I don’t want to do much of that. But the outdoor art at The Packing Plant gallery comes in two very different flavors – a striking mural, and an equally striking prism sculpture. Here, in Part 1, the mural. This is a work by the Australian artist Tyrone Wright, who goes by Rone, who I first featured in Forget the past. (His art is easier to view on his Instagram page.)  This mural, featuring an Australian model, (large faces of women is characteristic of Rone’s work) was sponsored by Vince Herrera of Trespass Gallery in Clarksville. Trespass is no more. You can see in photos of the mural taken shortly after it went in in 2014, that it has been altered, apparently as a result of the arrival of Watkins Gallery at the site, and that the reference to Trespass Gallery has been removed. Art is ephemeral – outdoor art is doubly, triply so.

Located at 507 Hagen Street. The mural faces Gray Street. There is parking on site, and at some nearby businesses. Check out the galleries, and enjoy the art!

Mixtape

Wedgehill

If this mural were more centrally located, or more in a tourist zone, it would be in a hundred thousand selfies. As it stands, tucked away behind the fairgrounds, it doesn’t get quite the attention it probably deserves. Maybe that will change if the soccer stadium goes in. Put in back in December 2015, by local artist Josh Blevins, it makes clever use of the windows to evoke the shape of an old cassette tape. Too bad one of the windows is broken. You can see Blevins working on it on his Instagram page. Blevins also has a website, but the page seems to be down for the time being.

Located at 600 Benton Avenue, on the Wedgehill Market building. The mural is on the east side of the building, facing Bransford Avenue. The market has parking, and there is some street parking on Benton. Grab some sundries and enjoy the art!

For that perfect smile

Crest

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

WeissSign

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

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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

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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.

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