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.
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):
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
UPDATE: I added 2.0 to the title because I realized this is the second time I’ve used that headline.
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.