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The Nations Wall – Part 5

Graffiti mural street art Nashville

This is the fifth in the series on The Nations Wall, a massive set of murals on the west-facing wall of Music City Tents and Events, organized by the Nashville Walls Project. It’s the fifth piece going from left to right (roughly north to south), and it’s by the artist Troy Duff. Duff is a prolific local artist working mostly in a graffiti-heavy style. I believe the word here is “KREST.” (#krestonegraffiti is a tag Duff uses a lot on Instagram.) He’s been featured several times on this blog, including in Eastland graffiti and A window on Nashville.

Images of the entire wall with all the murals together can be found in Part 1.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Located at 5901 California Ave, Nashville, TN 37209. The murals actually face the 1300 and 1400 block of 60th Avenue North, across from the intersection with Pennsylvania Avenue. Street parking is possible nearby.

Bugs Bunny and Company

Along the same wall that once housed the mural featured in Hidden skyline, one can now find a set of elaborate graffiti tags, as well as Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, and of course a camel. Because camels. This art went in in early March, and may soon not be visible. One of those temporary electrical hookups you see at constructions sites has appeared in the yard in front of the mural. Even if the new building doesn’t complete;y hide it, the construction to come will certainly make it hard to take in the whole things. The only tag recognize belongs to Mobe Oner. On his Instagram page, he also credits The Rebel at Large, G. Lowks, bigskan2, and sticker_butthead (the last two are both private Instagram accounts). In any event, this is likely to be blocked from view soon, so check it out now!

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Located at the corner of Herman Street and 19th Avenue North, on the east side. Street parking is available. There is a lot of art on this group of buildings.

As long as the grass shall grow

Meulman mural street art Nashville

On this blog, I have been a little slow on documenting the big murals downtown, and this is one of the last I’ve gotten to. Like many of these murals, this one is part of the Nashville Walls Project. It was created in 2016 (aren’t I timely?) by the Dutch artist Niels Shoe Meulman. It’s done in a style he calls “Calligrafiti,” mixing elements of graffiti and calligraphy. In this case, it was also a messy process, as you can see from the photo series on the NWP website. The words come from the chorus of a song written by Peter LaFarge and performed by Johnny Cash, “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow.” It’s found on Cash’s 1964 album, Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian, a concept album about the history and problems of Native Americans. It’s a reference to the broken promises in many of the treaties signed between the United States and Native Americans.

As long as the moon shall rise, as long as the rivers flow
As long as the sun will shine, as long as the grass shall grow

Located at 144 Fifth Avenue North, the address of the L & C Garage. It lies directly behind the Downtown Presbyterian Church. Obviously, there is parking, but as this is downtown, so none of the nearby parking is free.

Panda sky

Panda Betor Mural

This mural appeared in the alley behind Make Nashville some months ago and is visible from the 900 block of Main Street (well, until some developer builds condos on top of Gym 5’s parking lot). But until very recently, there were a group of trailers parked in front of it stacked with what appeared to be some kind of traffic dividers, making for lousy pictures. When I realized those trailers were finally gone, I rushed immediately to get a new picture. I found that there was, in fact, a lot of new art in this alley. The wall of graffiti tags featured in Back in the alley has been replaced with a whole new set of graffiti tags, and there is a trippy new mural on the back of Gym 5 – all of which I will feature here soon. This mural above is unsigned, but the block of colors with a lion’s face poking out appears to say “Panda,” which is a tag I associate with the UH crew. There is also another Betor memorial. Betor was the tag of the artist Ronnie Bobal, who died in 2016. There is a major memorial to Betor on Gallatin Road, and his name is found in a number of murals around town. (This is the same wall that once had an interesting flower on it.)

Located at 947 Woodland Street. The mural can only be reached through the alley, which runs from McFerrin to South 10th Street. It is plausible to park in the loading dock best to the mural. Otherwise, there is street parking on McFerrin.

String theory

String mural street art Nashville

Though I have not quite finished documenting the murals associated with the Norf Wall Project, it’s worth noting that the collection of buildings whose walls host those murals have not been static canvases. New work has appeared over the last two years, some of which has already been painted over faster than I could document it. As well, at least one area of the original project has been replaced, which I will document later. This piece is fairly recent. It is unsigned, but the style looks very familiar, perhaps because this particular style of “string art” is sometimes found in the background of large graffiti installations. The three stars in the middle would seem to be a reference to the Tennessee state flag, though the rest of the design distinctly does not evoke the flag. I think it’s one of the more interesting examples of graffiti art in Nashville. How long it will last in this dynamic spot is anyone’s guess.

Located on the 800 block of 18th Avenue North, just south of Herman Street, underneath the Dr. DB Todd Jr. Boulevard bridge. The mural is on the west side of the road. Street parking is available.

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.

Bubbles

Bubbles Mural street art Nashville

Many people have seen the hemp mural by Mobe Oner (No of course it’s not marijuana! Why would you think that?) on Gallatin on the north side of the CBD oil dispensary LabCanna. Less visible is the much larger mural on the backside of the building, done around the same time. This mural has many artists, including Mobe Oner but also Chris “Zidekahedron” Zidek and Folek, and apparently others. There are some signature tags on the west side (see detail below). The bespectacled man with the two laser-eyed kittens on his shoulder is Bubbles, part of the cast of the Trailer Park Boys, something of a multi-media comedy crew. I’m calling this hidden art just because you’re unlikely to see it if you don’t drive down the alley behind LabCanna. There’s a lot of art in town found in less visible places.

Bubbles mural graffiti street art NashvilleBubbles mural graffiti street art NashvilleBubbles mural graffiti street art Nashville

Located at 1006 Gallatin Ave. There is parking in front and behind, as well as on side streets.

Nolensville Pike edition – NLGOY

Street art mural black white and grey Nashville

In the battle of the selfies (see my previous post), an up-and-comer is the “nashville looks good on you.TN” mural found behind Frothy Monkey’s 12 South outpost. There’s also one on the Anderson Group Real Estate building on 21st South. This one, on the side of the BW Gallery, seems to be the newest one. The artist, who bills himself online as NASH.TN, posted on his Instagram account last October 28 that he had just started working on this one, so it’s just a few months old. This is also much larger than the others, which allowed the artist to suggest the shape of the state of Tennesee, and to fade out the mural into a barely visible graffiti tag. And while this version is seen by thousands of Nashville commuters every day, I doubt you’ll find much of a line here for your portrait. Perusing the #nashvillelooksgoodonyou tag on Instagram, I found only one portrait with the Nolensville Pike edition.

Street art mural black white and grey NashvilleStreet art mural black white and grey Nashville graffiti

Located at 1911 Nolensville Pike, just south of the Fairgrounds entrance. The mural is on the south side of the building. This is a very easy place to park – at least until developers get ahold of it!

Tin Dog

Nashville street art mural "Welcome to Old Nashville"

Welcome to Old Nashville. That’s an interesting greeting for Tin Dog Tavern to make. On the one hand, it’s relatively new, having opened in 2014. But it’s also true that there’s been a dive bar on this corner of 4th Avenue South for a while. Before it was Tin Dog, it was Purple Heys, and before that, it was TC’s Triangle (the building is triangle shaped). Tin Dog sits in an interesting place. It lies on the border between Wedgewood-Houston and Chestnut Hill, two rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods that still have significant chunks of their older versions. Warehouses, factories, auto repair places and low-income housing sit side-by-side with art galleries and some of the newest high-end housing in town. Just south, the Fairgrounds are poised to become home to Nashville’s major league soccer stadium. Compared to all that, Tin Dog is very much Old Nashville. It’s anyone’s guess how long it, or some succeeding dive bar, will stick it out. The sign is an Eastside Murals creation. On the other side of the building is a graffiti installation that bears tags from the UH crew. (See below).

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Graffiti street art tags Nashville

Graffiti street art Nashville

Graffiti street art Nashville Tin Dog

Located at 1401 4th Avenue South, at the corner with Rains Avenue. The Welcome to Nashville mural faces Rains Ave. The graffiti mural is on the south side of the building, facing an alleyway. Tin Dog has parking, much of it right in front of the mural. If you want to find the mural car-free, try early in the morning.

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