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Endangered art

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 it’s 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.

 

Hear now this!

 

The artist who goes by jamersonsgc and signs all his work #lowkeyart has been busy of late. You’ll see on his Instagram page linked above a lot of new work in an around the J.C. Napier Homes, and along the Lafayette/Murfreesboro Pike corridor. This home, found at the corner of Cannon and Claiborne Streets, on the southeast of the Napier complex, is an older work. The whole house is covered, primarily with religious themes. On the front, he quotes both Jeremiah 5:21 (thus the title of this post) and the gospel tune “Open our Eyes.” Here it is by The Gospel Chiefs, Earth Wind & Fire, and Funkadelic. There’s a Christ figure on one side, a giant “ELOHIM” on the other, and the apple and serpent in the garden on the back. The house itself is in bad shape. While gentrification is coming slowly to this neighborhood, this still should be considered endangered art. At the rate this artist is going, there will be plenty to replace it soon should it go.

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Located at 71 Cannon Street. There is street parking available. The house appears unoccupied, but still, be respectful.

Nashville Spring Service

Spring Sign mural street art Nashville

Since 1943, Nashville Spring Service has been meeting all your vehicle and trailer spring needs, including, like the sign says, products from Monroe Shocks and Struts. They also provide a lot of other services, like cabinets and shelving. For most of those years, they’ve been in a red-brick building with the official address of 621 Eight Avenue South, but which lies on the corner of 9th Avenue South and “Litte” Division Street (Just one block north of Eight and Division there is a block-long stretch of road also called Division Street.) They have moved, however, to 216 Omohundro Place, an industrial area more in keeping with their work, unlike the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood they leave behind. The old building is for sale. That puts this sign in danger. This type of sign used to be common in Nashville, and you can still find a few of them around, but by and large, they disappear when the business does (or when the building is torn down.) Some new businesses save the old signs, but that’s rare.  So as this blog is meant in part as an archive, I want to document it while it still exists. I found a picture on Google Maps of a three-dimensional sign that used to be here as well (see below) but I don’t believe it made the move to Omohundro. Keep an eye out for these fossils. They are disappearing.

Spring sign street art Nashville
Photo credit: Kenny Holloway

Located, officially, at 621 Eight Avenue South. It actually faces Ninth, at the corner with “Little” Division Street. Around that corner is some of the only free street parking left in downtown Nashville. Grab it while you still can.

Cocina Mexicana, RIP

Mexicana mural sign street art Nashville

I have long thought that I might put the hand-painted signs at Five Points Cocina Mexicana on the blog and seems that now is the time. Signs have gone up that indicate Cocina Mexicana will close on Apil 1 and will reopen sometime soon as a branch of Cilantro Mexican Grille. The original Cilantro is on 8th Avenue South and has appeared on this blog twice, so there’s a good possibility they will add art to this building as well. The Cocina Mexicana signs are unsigned and I haven’t had time to research the artist, but I wanted to put this up before they disappear. Definitely, call this endangered art.

Located at 972 Main Street. The murals are on the front and west sides of the building. Parking is available in back. Chow down and enjoy the art while you still can.

Fading beauty

Beauty sign mural street art Nashville

Handpainted signs like this one are found all around Nashville. They are particularly a feature of North Nashville, in the area of the Jefferson St. and Buchanan St. corridors, long a predominantly African American neighborhood. Steady gentrification has begun to encroach on the area, and some of these signs have disappeared as a result. The stately red brick building at the corner of Monroe and 9th Avenue is a survivor, dating back at least to 1900. JC Beauty Collection has not been so resilient. The building seems to have been empty for several years. One would hope it will be renovated and repurposed. Perhaps the new tenants, should that come to pass, will preserve this old sign, as Lockeland Table did when it moved into the old Boutique Coiffures building. Interestingly, there is a JC Beauty Mart in Clarksville, so perhaps the business simply moved. In any event, this piece of the North Nashville fabric must be considered endangered art.

Located at 817 Monroe Avenue, at the corner with 9th Ave North. This is across from the Kroger on Rosa Parks Blvd. There is parking at the Kroger, and street parking on 9th.

The Gold Rush, R.I.P

Gold Rush Mural street art Nashville

News has just come down that The Gold Rush, a fabled bar long=resident at Elliston Place, has closed for good. It’s a bit of a stunner for anyone who knows the history of this neighborhood, but change in Nashville stops for no one. So the fate of the wagon train mural on the back of the building is uncertain. Coincidentally, I got this car-free picture just a week or so before the news broke. Because The Gold Rush’s website and social media is also shuttered, I’ve been unable to really research the origin of this unsigned mural. If anyone knows who made it, drop me a line. Someone has written across the Sun in the mural, “You are not a rock star. Shut up. Be humble.” (see below) I don’t know if that’s original or not. Also in this parking lot, there is a small mural of a marijuana plant on the east side, and on the west, some graffiti art (actually on the wall of The End), at least part of which was done by Troy Duff. There is a small image of a crying cat (?) partially obscured by the graffiti art. In the slideshow below, I’ve included a full version of that image I took some months ago, along with the other art around the parking lot.

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Located at 2205 Elliston Place. The art lies faces the alley behind the bar, on the north side. Most of the nearby parking is either in a pay lot or uses a parking meter.

More wings, less waiting

Wings mural street art Nashville

It seems that Eddie’s Cee Bee Food Store on Lafayette has closed for good, but that hasn’t stopped the artist who goes by jamersonsgc from turning it into his personal canvas. The full bee (an update) is found one side, these wings on another, and there’s more of his work around back on the loading dock I haven’t blogged about yet (in part because I’m not sure if it’s finished). The “more wings, less waiting” refers both to the sheer size (see the SUV for scale) and the fact that unlike certain other wings, you are not likely to have to wait in line to get your picture with these. Of course, now that Cee Bee’s has closed, how long these wings will be there is anybody’s guess, so get your selfie soon!

Located at 109 Lafayette Street. The mural faces the parking lot, on the north side of the building looking towards Wharf Avenue. Obviously, there is lots of available parking.

Do the Dew

Tennessee mural street art Nashville

It’s not often I post about a brand new mural, but this one was finished within the last few days. I know it was largely complete last weekend, lacking mainly the barn sign and the billboard. So one of the dry days last week, the last touches must have gone up. It’s an Eastside Murals project, who’ve taken to signing their work “Out East Boys.” The Mountian Dew theme explains the “It’ll tickle your innards” on the billboard, as that comes from a 1960s Mountain Dew ad campaign. While internet research shows that there are other Mountain Dew murals out there, it doesn’t seem to be a major campaign. “Born in Tennessee” is right, as Mountain Dew was invented in the 1940s by Tennesseans Barney and Ally Hartman as a mixer for whiskey. As this lies on the side of a shuttered Family Dollar store, it’s anybody’s guess how long it will last, depending on the owners’ plans for development. Get your selfie now. I should note when I went to photograph this, I had to wait my turn, as a father-daughter pair were doing their own impromptu shoot.

Located at 1000 Woodland Street. The mural lies on the east side of the building, facing 10th Street South. The old Family Dollar parking lot is now a paid lot, but if you are willing to walk a block or two, you can usually find free street parking nearby.

El Nuevo Amanecer

Bar mural street art Nashville

The new dawn – that’s what El Nuevo Amanecer means. An interesting name for a bar, particularly since it’s not clear it’s even a going concern. Their Facebook page shows that they had a couple of shows last year, but nothing since September. The only review is from someone complaining about the noise. And this site that keeps track of business licenses lists Nuevo Amanecer as “Inactive Dissolved.” The artist is also mysterious. While I would guess whoever did this is likely one of the artists who specialize in decorating Latino businesses, those artists not only usually sign their work but add their phone number as well, in case you want to hire them. There’s nothing on this one. Given this is just a few blocks from the future soccer stadium, I imagine some developer will snatch it up soon enough. Get your selfies soon.

Located at 398 Rosedale Avenue. This is at the corner of Nolensville Road, along the 2200 block behind Restaurante El Paraiso. There is plenty of parking.

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