Search

nashville public art

Nashville murals, street art, graffiti, signs, sculptures and more

Category

Damaged art

La Hacienda Taqueria

Facing the front parking lot of La Hacienda Taqueria, one of the original Mexican restaurants on Nolensville Road, is a mural that has been seen by tens if not hundreds of thousands of people by now. But it’s unsigned, and most people would have no idea who might have made it. Even the staff just points to the signature on the main mural inside, which was clearly done by the same artist. It reads “M. Torok ’99.” Well, there is a painter and muralist named “M. Torok” with a deep connection to Nashville, Mitchell Torok. Torok, who now resides in Texas, had a long career in country music as a performer and, in partnership with his late wife, Gail “Ramona” Redd, a songwriter. He is best known for the songs “Mexican Joe,” (which was an even bigger hit for Jim Reeves) and “Caribbean,” and he and Redd wrote successful songs for a number of other artists. But before he became a recording star, he got a dual degree in Art and Journalism from Stephen F. Austin University. He must have had a reputation as a visual artist in Nashville because he  “was commissioned to paint a 110-foot, five-panel mural titled “The History of the Grand Ol’ Opry”, which was on display in the Ryman Auditorium until it was remodeled for live performances.” (Wikipedia) (That remodeling happened in 1994.) He also painted an 85-foot long mural called “Elvis-A-Rama” detailing the life of Elvis Presley, which was last seen in a museum owned by Jimmy Velvet that closed in 2006. It’s unclear what happened to that mural. The La Hacienda murals, including the ones inside, are a little worse for wear, but still going strong. The outdoor one featured here has been broken up by the construction of an outdoor seating area, but you can see that hidden part below in the slideshow. And being from 1999, it is definitely one of the oldest outdoor murals in town. That I know of only the Chromatics mural (1993) and the renovated painter mural at the Hard Rock Cafe are older (date unknown, but it was hidden for decades by an adjoining building that was torn down in or just before 1994, when Hard Rock opened). The Angels Will Rise/Seventh Letter mural came just after La Hacienda, in 2001. As of this writing, Torok at 90 years old is apparently still alive and painting and writing in Texas, making him perhaps the oldest and certainly one of the oldest artists I’ve featured on this blog. UPDATE: I have since discovered the mural on the side of Nudie’s on Lower Broad is dated 1993.

Hacienda Mural street art Nashville

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Located at 2615 Nolensville Pike. The mural actually sits on the north wall (facing downtown) of La Hacienda Supermercado next door at 2617. There is parking in front and in the rear of the restaurant (the rear parking is reached from Grandview Avenue). If you want any chance to see it without cars parked in front, arrive before 10:00 a.m., which is when the restaurant opens each day.

Jerry’s Artarama

Of course an art supply store has a mural. This is particularly true if that art supply store is in Nashville. When the Nashville branch of Jerry’s Aratama moved from Antioch to East Nashville two years ago, it acquired a mural even before it opened. The mural appropriately features many of the colors you might want to create art from, pouring out of tubes of the primary colors, red, blue and…wait, yellow? Ok, not actually the primary colors. But you can get green from blue and yellow, so close enough. The main mural is a joint work by Hannah Holgate, who has been on this blog before, and Marshall Hall, who is making his debut here. Both Holgate and Hall work in the frame shop at this store. I live in this neighborhood, and pass this mural every day, so why has it taken two years to put this very obvious mural on the blog? I got pictures of it a long time ago, but after that, the artists added their signatures, so I needed new ones. And the combination of an empty parking lot and good light eluded me for months. But it is just as well, as I can add the tubes of paint Hall recently put in every parking space (minus the handicapped spaces). There are eighteen in all, and all a little different. This is a very art dense spot, and as a result, this may be the most image dense article on this blog! It’s worth noting that Jerry’s Artarama is a national chain, breaking the rule that national chains don’t so local outdoor art. But of course, this is an art supply chain, and that rule is beginning to break in Nashville anyway. The slideshows below are 1) closeups of the mural and 2) four sets of the paint tubes, running east to west. There are also some signs in the parking lot, painted on artist’s palettes. You might notice some pallets (not the artist kind but the moving stuff kind) in a couple photos – those seem to be a permanent feature of the site.

UPDATE: The main mural on the wall, including the corrugated metal door, was severely damaged in the March 3, 2020 tornado. Most of it was lost, and what’s left of it will probably have to be replaced. One of the signs was damaged, but the parking lot is fine. See What we lost in the storm.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Located at 713 Main Street. Obviously, there is parking, though you will inevitably park on top of some art. A good strategy is to get there before they are open (10:00 am every day except Sunday when they open at noon) and park next door.

City under the bridge

Usually, I try to use a shot of the entire work as the featured image, but that’s impossible here, as this particular work is spread out over both sides of the underneath of a railroad bridge on Wedgewood Avenue. The wider shots are informative, but I think this detail above best captures the essence of the spread out work. It’s not clear how long these abstract skylines have been under the bridge next to Warren Paint and Color Co. It appears that mold and mildew have grown over some of the work, and some has been tagged with graffiti. That and some general deterioration, including chips out of the concrete that the work is painted on, suggests its been here for several years. I first saw it about a year ago, but I’m sure it’s much older. The abstract buildings may be inspired by the main Warren building (see below). There is also a rainbow-colored “RESIST sign on the bridge itself. That, I’m sure is fairly recent. In the slideshows below the factory, the first focuses on the north part of the underpass, working from east to west, while the second showcases the southside, working from west to east.

brick factory building Nashville

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Located on Wedgewood Avenue, between 700 and 654. Parking is tricky here. It is possible to park on a gravel area in front of 654, on the northeast side of the bridge, but I have only done this after hours and on the weekend.

Able Restaurant Equipment

Able Restaurant Equipment on Nolensville is no more. While the building that once housed the business still hosts two versions of this sign, the store closed some months ago. As I’ve written before, vintage hand-lettered signs in Nashville like this one are under threat. Of course, a sign is always under threat if the business closes, but it’s also true that the rapid pace of development in Nashville increases the threat. There’s a small signature at the bottom crediting “Post Sign Co.” I have been able to find no evidence of a sign company by that name. It may have passed out of existence pre-internet, or just so long ago that all internet traces of it have disappeared. That much of the sign is in Spanish suggests the possibility that this was one of the earliest Hispanic-oriented businesses on Nashville, if the sign actually goes back to the ’80s. If it was done later, then perhaps Able was merely responding to its changing neighborhood. The sign above on the north side of the building is the better preserved of the two signs (the south-side sign is below). However, recently it was defaced with some very carefully hand-lettered and quite vulgar insults I won’t reprint here. If a future owner wishes to preserve the sign, the graffiti is on the white part and could be easily painted over.

Able sign street art Nashville

Located at 2601 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, TN 37211. There is some parking available in the alley behind, and along Grandview Avenue one block west.

 

Ride on

Bike mural street art Nashville

This mural is something of a survivor. It’s the work of Andee Rudloff, who’s done a number of murals and other art around town. It first went up in November 2016 (check that link for a list of several sponsors) on the backside of what used to be Eastside Cycles. The owner of Eastside sold the business early this year (see the pinned post) to MOAB Bikes. Meanwhile, the empty lot next door became Vandyke Bed and Beverage. What had been empty space on the one side of the mural became a wall. Both that wall and the parent building got a paint job, but the mural survived. However, at some point, it was damaged. I have forgotten the circumstances, but sometime last year Rudloff returned to repair the damage. The black and white bicycle rider in the middle covers the damaged area. Below, you can see what the original looked like. Given that the new owners are bike people, maybe this mural can keep rolling one.

Bike mural street art Nashville

Located at 103 South 11th Street, at Five Points. The mural is on the backside of the building, facing the Art and Invention Gallery. There is paid parking right at the mural, but with a bit of luck, you can find free street parking within a block or so.

Under hypnosis

Under Hypnosis mural street art Nashville

Feeling hypnotized? Certainly, this mural was meant to play with your vision. It appeared recently on the back side of Gym 5, and is by a local artist who goes by Sterbo (or terbosterbo). This alleyway is a busy place for art. Turn around from looking at this mural and you’ll see the one in Panda sky, and just to the left is a set of elaborate graffiti tags that cover what used to the elaborate graffiti tags found in Back in the alley. I’ll blog about the new tags sometime soon. This particular wall has seen a series of not very interesting scribbled tags. With some exceptions, taggers tend to be respectful of murals, so maybe the new mural will put a stop to that. In the meantime, it’s here to mess with your head. The symbol at the end is one used by Sterbo as something of a signature (see photos below).

UPDATE: This mural was severely damaged by the March 3, 2020 tornado. The part of the wall with the word “under” on it collapsed. Repairs will probably result in the destruction of the rest of the mural. See What we lost in the storm.

Located at 952 Main Street. The installation is in fact in the alley, which can be accessed from 10th Street or McFerrin Avenue. There is some parking in this alley if you are just visiting.

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.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑