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Endangered art

Another departure

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In what seems to be a new, ongoing series, yet another entry to file under “artwork endangered because the business is moving.” While the first two entries are from Yazoo Brewery’s building on Division Street, this time we are at Grimey’s New and Preloved Music, which will be decamping from 8th Street and moving to Trinity Road this fall. The building Grimey’s is in sold to a new owner, whose plans do not seem to include the iconic record store and music venue. All of which puts the future of this mural in question. Found on the patio of what used to be a branch of Frothy Monkey that shared space with Grimey’s, it’s a DCXV production. DCXV is the business home of Adrien Saporiti, whose best-known murals are the “I Believe in Nashville” murals scattered around town. Here we see a stack of amplifiers, maybe some turntables, and a couple of plastic crates filled with records (one of which has the DCXV signature). If you look close on the far right, you’ll see a coffee cup with the Frothy Monkey logo on it. File all of this under “endangered art.”

Located at 1604 Eighth Avenue South. The mural lies on the south side of the building, easily visible from the road if you are driving north. There is limited parking in front, more in back. Grab some records and some souvenirs while there is still time and enjoy the art!

 

Yazoo Brewery, Michael Cooper edition

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This giant Yazoo Brewery tank is something of a landmark on Division Street, but it’s a landmark that will be gone soon enough. Yazoo announced some time ago that they would be moving to a new site, and now that they have purchased land in Madison, all that’s left is finalizing the sale of their Gulch property. It’s unclear what will happen to this tank, painted by Michael Cooper of Murals and More, or the Herb Williams panels on the west side of the building. Hopefully, they will make the move as well. The logo on the front of the building, also by Cooper, will, of course, be lost. (See below, along with shots of the tank from other angles.)

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Located at 910 Division Street. Yazoo has a small amount of its own parking, and much of the paid parking in the Gulch area is one hour free. Get your last call at the Division St. site and enjoy the art!

Have I got a deal for you

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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.

Flour Girls

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This is an easy one to write about, but there’s a twist. There’s a web page that goes into detail as to the origins of this mural in central Goodlettsville. Imagine Goodlettsville, a community association, partnered in 2014 with artists at the Nossi College of Art to produce this mural that graces the Flourgirls Cafe building. Mark B. Flemming, Nossi’s Illustration Coordinator, was the chief artist, with significant help from students Lance Askins and Chelsa Jeanne. So what’s the twist? Well, note the lack of a link for Imagine Goodlettsville. Their website is defunct, and there’s no sign that the group is still active. That’s a shame, because it seems this was supposed to be part of a “mural program,” but it doesn’t seem much else was produced besides this one. And the Flourgirls are a mystery, too. They left this building in 2015. The last entry on their Facebook page (October 17, 2015) says that they will open their new Madison location in a week – and then nothing. There’s no evidence the Madison location ever opened. The Goodlettsville building remains empty, though it still has a “Flourgirls” sign. The future of this piece is uncertain, with the original sponsors gone, the building inactive. A crack evident in older pictures (see the first link above) has worsened and had to be patched. This bright splash of color has to be thought of as endangered art.

Located at 201 South Main Street (Dickerson Pike) in Goodlettsville. The mural faces south, in front of a dirt and gravel lot where you can park.

Long lost

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This is a story about lost origins. The art is there, but its story is a mystery. There’s a neighborhood a little ways south of Rivergate Mall, on the west side of Gallatin Pike, that is unusual. It was clearly built as a residential neighborhood, but many of the houses have been converted into shops and offices, like parts of Berry Hill. Google Maps calls its Echo Meadows. And here we find the Goodlettsville branch of Sewing Machines Etc (there is also one in Knoxville). Besides selling and repairing sewing machines, Sewing Machines Etc has fabric and other sewing supplies and teaches sewing classes as well. What does any of this have to do with the mural of a fist grasping drawing and painting instruments? Nothing, as it predates the sewing store. Inquires inside reveal only that there was some kind of store that sold paint here in the past. Online tax records are no help either. The work is signed by Lee Long, which doesn’t lead anywhere. The sewing place opened in 2015, so the mural is older than that. It’s right across a driveway from some thick bushes, hence the angled shots. The current owners don’t seem inclined to remove it, and so it sits, testament to a forgotten store, and a hard to find artist.

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Located at 808 Meadow Lark Lane. There is parking in front and back of the store. Take a class or two and enjoy the art!

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.

Northside Auto Clean Up

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North Nashville is changing, as is the entire city. This particular mural, with its records of parts of Nashville already long gone, may not be around much longer itself. Northside Auto Clean Up, located at the north end of DB Todd Jr Blvd, is for sale, and the business appears to be shut down, which means this mural goes in the endangered art category. The artist seems to be the same one who did the murals just down the street that I featured in Down at the corner. The style is quite similar, and like one of those murals, this mural references itself! You can see it in the upper right, where the car wash itself is included in the street scene. There are references to bygone North Nashville history. Center left is a sign that reads El Dorado Motel. All that’s left of the El Dorado today is the sign. And the factories are probably supposed to be the old Werthan Mills, which have long since been converted to condos. For more recent history, check out this Nashville Scene video in which Northside proprietor Pinky talks about the time when Snoop Dogg and Young Buck visited the shop.

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Located at 1914 Dr DB Todd Jr Blvd. The mural is on the south side of the building, which is located just south of where DB Todd curves to the northwest and becomes Clarksville Highway. There is for the moment plenty of parking at Northside Auto Clean Up, as it seems the business is closed.

A neighborhood fence

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Not all great art is from professional artists. Some of it comes from the kids in the neighborhood. This Eastwood home sports a brightly colored fence of work from clearly enthusiastic young artists. It includes a chalkboard labeled “commUNITY.” When I passed by, there was a little box of chalk beneath it so a passerby might add some art of their own. I think my favorite panel is the flag, but they are all great. There are two panels of flowers separate from the main group that you’ll find in the slideshow below.

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Located at 301 Scott Avenue, at the corner with Benjamin Street. There is plenty of free street parking in this neighborhood. This is a private home, so please be respectful.

 

Love

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At 12th and Buchanan, there is a small green building. From the looks of it, it used it be a gas station. It will probably be gentrified before you know it. It’s probably happening now. All the big splashy new outdoor art you’ve heard about? I’ll get it to it at some point. But I also like to archive the smaller stuff that might not be around for long. This is sticker art, paper glued on to the building. Even if nothing happens to the little green building, this piece has a shelf life. Also, there’s a fun spider. See below.

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Located at 1201 Buchanan Street, at the southwest corner of 12th and Buchanan. Plenty of street parking. The image above is found on the garage door facing Buchanan. The spider is on the wall facing 12th.

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