Ordinarily, I try to avoid shadows if I can, but this is another of those “there are always cars in front” pieces, specifically, the delivery vehicles of Jet’s Pizza are pretty much always parked in front of it, so I grabbed the shot I could. There’s a delivery car cropped out of frame just off the left side of the photo. This shout-out to East Nashville pride is a Troy Duff piece, an east side artist who frequently works in a graffiti style even when doing commissioned as opposed to “freelance” work.
Located at 721 Gallatin Avenue, on the south wall of Jet’s Pizza. The mural faces the parking lot of the neighboring Kroger, so there is lots and lots of parking.
Not too many homeowners willingly allow their property to be used as a canvas for graffiti artists, but not only has the owner at 1600 Litton allowed it, but done so on a major scale. This installation is large and bold, full of bright colors hard to ignore, colors with more psychedelic pop than one usually sees in Nashville graffiti. Interestingly, Google street view has a March 2016 shot of this fence that shows different tags with a much bluer, laid back palette (see the slide show below). If you look close at the photo above you’ll see a section of fence laying against the garage that is apparently from that former installation. In both cases, the tags are familiar ones, generally associated with the UH crew, including the nearly ubiquitous “Rasmo” tag. The tag on the back fence also has a small “Betor,” which I think is a memorial, not a signature.
Located at 1600 Litton Street, at the corner of Litton and Branch, one block west of Riverside Drive. There is parking a little farther south on Branch, at the apartment complex. This is a private home, so be respectful.
One thing this blog seeks to do is document art before it’s gone. There is a rezoning sign out in front of this property. This low wall and concrete floor is about all that’s left of All Around Pressure Washing on Dickerson Road. So while it sits and awaits replacement by some mixed use development, it’s become a canvas for taggers. The requested zoning is MUL-A, which, according to Metro, is for “Mixed Use Limited, intended for a moderate intensity mixture of residential, retail, and office uses.” The “A” is meant for walkable neighborhoods. On this stretch of Dickerson I’m not sure what this means, but maybe a stretch of sidewalk will go in. I can’t decipher the tags, but the one on the right is the same style as the one found in V! Something. There is an apparent signature – “Ask Noss V.” In any event, I imagine these tags are not long for the world. Call it endangered art.
Located at 3968 Dickerson Pike, on the west side of the road, a little north of Clean Quick Carpet Service (at 3492). When I was there is was possible to pull in and park on site.
A national cemetery is not a place you expect to find much graffiti. Taggers are generally more respectful, and the public and grounds crew quite intolerant. But if a railroad runs through the cemetery, and there’s a bridge the railroad goes under, and that bridge is actually just off of the graveyard grounds, that’s a different story. Where Walton Lane sails over the railroad that splits the Nashville National Cemetary, all these conditions are met. The walls that support the bridge are fairly well covered. Some of the tags are quite familiar. “Mobe,” featured above, is the handle of an artist I’ve featured before, who does both commissioned and “volunteer” murals. The earliest date seems to be 2008, and it looks like some of these tags lie on top of others, so graffiti artists have been using this site for a while. It’s also, as you can see from the photos, used as a camp by homeless Nashvillians.
Located on the 100 block of Walton Lane under the railroad bridge, in the middle of the southern border of the National Cemetary, 1420 Gallatin Road South. Getting to this is tricky and bends the definition of public art. There is a spot about 50 feet north where the railroad track is level with the cemetery roads on either side. It is possible also to walk up to the west side and scramble up a “trail” to get to that area. The far eastern part, where the homeless camp is, requires either climbing up a four-foot wall, or walking down from Walton Lane. Trains do go through here, homeless sleep here, and the cemetery is right there, so be respectful and think carefully. Or maybe just look at my pictures.
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.
Sometimes large things can hide in plain site. I have driven past this mural many times since it went up 2006 but only noticed it recently. And it’s very visible from a busy stretch of Charlotte, ensconced on the east wall of New Life Record Shop. The brain is a peculiar thing. New Life sells vinyl records, posters, shirts, and various music-related equipment and paraphernalia. It’s been in business since 1976, and the interior has a certain throwback vibe. The owner says that he allowed the mural to be put up, but was a little disappointed it mostly featured the tags of the artists. The duck in sunglasses is, however, the New Life mascot. There is a second mural/tag on a recessed wall next to the main mural (see below).
Located at 5343 Charlotte Avenue. There is parking at New Life and neighboring businesses. Grab some vinyl and enjoy the art!
I had intended to post about the graffiti installations on the small building next to Plaza Art a few days ago. If I had, I would have posted about it while the art still existed. I drove by yesterday, and the building was in the process of being painted blue, with just a little of the graffiti art still visible. Some of this art was fairly old, old enough to have started peeling at least, though there is also a 2016 date on one piece. The tags KOG, 3XM and N86 were once visible here. KOG is a graffiti team out of Los Angeles and San Fransico, while the other tags are associated with Nashville artists. I’m not sure if the art on the fence wall is also being painted over, but I imagine it is. Archiving art before it disappears is part of the mission of this blog.
Located on the south side of Middleton Street, next to Plaza Art. The art is gone, but there is a major mural next door (at least for now) that I plan to post on soon, and Plaza Art has acquired a large mural of its own. Plenty of parking.
I don’t know much about the abandoned factory on the 800 block of 17th Avenue just south of Herman Street. I know the original deed is dated 1920, and that the property currently belongs to Fisk University. I know also the county assessor’s office values the factory itself at exactly zero dollars and zero cents. The land is a bit more — $326k. It makes sense. The building is probably prohibitively expensive to repair. It’s a shame though – people once made their living here. Now it’s abandoned, crumbling down by the railroad. It’s the kind of place both the homeless and graffiti artists can sometimes be found. I encountered no one when I visited the site, but it is obvious that people sleep here, including in the smokestack, in the very place workers once shoveled coal into the fire. The factory and nearby walls are plastered with tags, mostly from the UH crew, a prolific Nashville group. There’s at least one Betor memorial, so at least a little of this is fairly new (Betor died last December). There are more tags under the adjacent bridge. I’ll feature them in a later post.
Located by the bridge over the railroad tracks on the 800 block of 17th Avenue North. The factory is on the west side of the road. There is a fair amount of vegetation, and if you venture very far, you’ll be out of sight of the road quickly. Street parking is available.
This blog has been a learning process. One thing I’ve learned – look on the back side of buildings. There’s a lot of art where few people can see it. Back in November 2016, I posted about the very obvious murals visible from Nolensville road on the front and side of CarQuest. I did not, however, take a few steps to look around back. I did note though at the time that there were murals on the back side visible on Google street view, and I vowed to update. Well, here I am, updating. Usually, when there are several murals in one place, my top photo is the wide view of all of them, with a slide show of the individual ones below. But I like this one so much I decided to feature it. These three murals were clearly painted over other, older murals, which only highlights the transience of outdoor art and the need to document it. Next to the blue door, we see “Kyle Korea.” While that may be the name or handle of an artist, Camp Kyle was a U.S. Army base in Korea closed in 2005, so that might also be the reference. See the map pin for Part 1.
Located at 3317 Nolensville Road, at the corner with Elgin Street. There’s some street parking on Elgin, and if things aren’t too busy at the Lava Lounge Hookah Bar next door, you might be able to park in their lot for a spell. Pick up some bling for your car and enjoy the art!