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Hidden art

I see purple

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Back when I blogged about the Mermaid House, the former owner contacted me. She let me know that there were more murals around back. Like the mermaid in front, this mural is the work of Brandon Donahue, who, like myself, is a professor at Tennesee State University. There is also something of a surprise here. For the most part, graffiti taggers are respectful of murals, but not this time. The style of the tag is one I’ve seen around East Nashville. “Editing” is always a possibility with outdoor art. The back fence of the yard of the house next door also has a colorful mural. (See the slideshow below.) It’s not signed and does not appear on Donahue’s website, so I’m not sure who made it. One notable detail on this second mural is the small “Hunter’s” sign. Hunter’s was an auto body shop that had extravagant signage a couple blocks from these houses, signage lost in the site’s recent renovation (though not completely – it does appear some of it is being saved).

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Located in the alley behind at 1205 and 1203 Forrest Ave. Street parking is available. These are private homes, so be respectful.

Beautiful Decay

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This mural manages to be both very large and yet somewhat hidden as well, located as it in an alleyway behind the Downtown Presbyterian Church. Part of the Nashville Walls Project, this mural, called “Beautiful Decay,” is by the Berlin-based American artist Tavar Zawacki. Zawacki started his career as an anonymous graffiti artist using the handle “ABOVE.” In time, he made use of an “above arrow” as his signature. Now that he has come out of the shadows, arrows are still a motif in his work. You can read his description of this mural on his website, and the Nashville Walls Project has a nice photo spread showing the creation of the mural. The trompe l’oeil lends itself to some obvious picture ideas.

Located at 144 5th Avenue North. That’s the address of the parking garage it’s painted on. The church it’s behind is at 154 5th Avenue North, at the corner with Church Street. This is downtown – plenty of parking, almost none of it free.

Angels and monsters

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The mural that graces the parking lot of the Downtown Presbyterian Church is difficult to photograph, as it faces a narrow lot and there are usually cars parked in front of it. Turns out, Sunday evening on Labor Day weekend is the time to get a clean shot. The work, done in 2007, is by four artists. The giant angel and the billy goat are by John Grider, the long-legged beasts are by Isaac Arvold, the colorful mountain by Drew Peterson, and the geometric “clouds” are by Eric Inkala. The mural indicates that it was made possible by the church and by Twist Art Gallery, which closed a few years ago. Grider has done both the goat and the angel in other places. There are other murals close by, including one that faces this same parking lot I haven’t featured yet.

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Located at 154 5th Ave North. That’s the address of the church. The mural is actually on the side of 415 Church Street. The parking lot is best accessed from the alley that parallels Church Street behind the Presbyterian Church. This is downtown, so lots of parking, virtually none of it free.

Hidden lands

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Above is a detail of the mural that is found on the east wall of Art and Invention Gallery.  It is impossible to take a full picture of this mural, for parts of it are hidden behind BBMS and Riveter, two of the shops found at The Idea Hatchery. The Idea Hatchery is a small business incubator on Woodland, with eight small sheds that contain local start-up businesses. Riveter is a jewelry shop, while BBMS sells the clothing of fashion designer Maria “Poni” Silver.  The sheds obscure the mural, but if you peer around the back of them, you can still see the whole mural. It was done by Phil Carrol and Todd Hatfield and is dated 2001, making it one of the older murals in Nashville. According to the owner of The Idea Hatchery, Carrol and Hatfield work in the film industry and did the mural once when they were briefly in Nashville.  (There are IMDB pages for both those names for people who do art for movies, but I’m not completely confident they are the right people.) In the slideshow below, I show the various sections of the mural going left to right.

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Located at 1106 Woodland Street. There is street parking and paid parking in the area. I recommend the 100 block of 12th Street North (just north of Woodland) as the closest place to easily find free parking. Fill up on goods from small local businesses and enjoy the art!

Public art, sort of

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When is art “public”? If you can see it from a spot where it’s legal for the public to be, I’d say that’s public. But some cases stretch that definition. This mural is found on Hobson House, East Nashville’s oldest home (parts of it date to 1806), which is occasionally the scene of small concerts and record releases. The Andee Rudloff mural from 2016 is, in fact, visible from the alley behind Hobson House. There’s a private property sign right about where I took this picture from some months ago. I can’t recommend you stand in front of the mural and get your picture taken without permission of the property owners. Maybe just enjoy it here on my blog, or wait for a show and get the picture then.

Located at 814 Woodland street. As mentioned, it is visible from the alley behind Woodland, which can be accessed from 8th or 9th Avenue South. This is private property, marked as such, so be respectful.

Hidden cow

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Once there was a cow on the side of a supermarket. But an addition was built, which hid the cow, at least in part. But then a new cow appeared, and there was rejoicing in the land. Ok, maybe not. But it’s obvious from the picture above that there is a partially hidden mural at El Pueblito Super Mercado, which for better or worse was left in place when a storage shed was built in front of it. The shed advertises Los Potrillos Caniceria, which presumably provides meat for El Pueblito. To the best of my knowledge, “potrillo” means “colt,” but I doubt they are serving horsemeat. The Potrillos mural is signed by José F. Vargas, he of many other Latino grocery murals.  The half-hidden mural seems to be his style as well. There is a display of meats and fruits on the front that is probably also by Vargas, but it isn’t signed.

Located at 948 Richards Rd, at the corner with Antioch Pike. The market has lots of parking. Fill up your grocery bags and enjoy the art!

Hide Out

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This is one of the first murals I photographed when I was beginning to think about this blog (though I’ve misplaced those pictures, this one is new). There is so much art out there, sometimes I don’t get to stuff for a while. This piece is by the artist behind Deathspan Studios and is on the back side of High Class Hillbilly. HCH is a vintage clothing store owned by singer-songwriter Nikki Lane, and it was on her Instagram account I was able to track down who the artist was. It dates from September 2015 and is sort of hidden, but you can see it from Gallatin Pike if you take your eyes off the road. There’s also a couple of interesting signs on a nearby wall, one for HCH and the other for Beautiful Tan & Hair Design. If you look real close at the Beautiful sign you’ll see a faint hand applying nail polish to the “a.”

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Located at 4604 Gallatin Pike. The main mural is on the back side of the building facing south, while the signs are on the south wall that is closest to Gallatin Pike. There is plenty of parking in front and behind the building. Get your nails done, grab a vintage jacket, and enjoy the art!

 

Recycling

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Art comes and goes depending on the needs of the sponsors. When I wrote about the art on the old Turnip Green/Plateone building, I wondered what would happen to the Seth Prestwood (@moldymonk) pieces on the north and south sides of the building since both businesses had left. So far, the one on the north side is unchanged. Recently, however, Jason Galaz incorporated the piece on the south side into new work featuring the artists Pat Reedy, Alicia Bognanno of Bully and Joshua Hedley. I suppose that’s a fancy way of saying Galaz painted over Prestwood’s mural, but the remaining visible parts of the older mural make a nice framing device for the new one. Galaz signs the mural with his name and #MuddyRoots. Galaz has done Muddy Roots Records murals before, such as the one found in BBQ music. Reedy is a Muddy Roots recording artist, though I’m not sure what relationship the other two artists have to the label/music festival. Certainly, musicians make sense on this wall, as the building now houses a branch of Fond Object.  Muddy Roots has sponsored temporary murals before, like the one in Wanda, so it remains to be seen how long this one will remain in place. (The Wanda mural was on the side of the other branch of Fond Object, so there’s another link.)

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Located at 535 Fourth Avenue South. This is downtown, so not much in the way of free parking. There are paid lost nearby.

Treehouse Art

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This would qualify as hidden (or semi-hidden) art were it not for the scads and scads of people grabbing some of the only free parking in Five Points. The mural sits on the backside of The Treehouse Restaraunt. Treehouse opened in 2013 and quickly gained a solid reputation, though the mural didn’t appear until June 2015. Treehouse’s Instagram account credits the Brothers Collective made up of Joseph Copeland and Alic Brock. Brock is better known (at least in his artist persona) as Alic Daniel, and has been seen on this blog in Off the wall (Part 2). Hans seems to have deleted his Instagram and other accounts, and I haven’t been able to locate him. The scribbled lines are characteristic of Daniel. The rest, including Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill the Butcher and various presidents, I’m uncertain as to the contributor. It’s impossible, certainly without a fisheye lens, to get the whole mural into one shot. See below for the rest and for close-ups.

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Located at 1011 Clearview Ave. Clearview is the narrow road not much bigger than an alley that is the fifth road in Five Points. The mural is on the back (north) side of the building, facing the alley. You are unlikely to get a clear view of the mural when Treehouse is open – your best bet is early in the morning. Free parking is available on Clearview and some neighboring streets, and there are numerous pay lots nearby.

 

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