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nashville public art

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Hidden 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.

 

Attaboy

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For many years, when I talked about food in Nashville, I would say, “we’re ten years behind Atlanta.” But then the “It City” phenomenon took hold, gentrification went wild, and chefs from around the country began to establish themselves in Nashville. The bar scene quickly followed, including the decision of the muchballyhooed New York City bar Attaboy to establish a branch in Nashville. Attaboy is different from most bars. They don’t take your drink order. Instead, they ask you what you like, and the bartender creates a concoction for you. The hard to miss sign is a product of Philadelphia artist Eric Kenney, who also goes by Heavy Slime. Kenney mostly does posters and t-shirts and does his own screen printing. Looking through his work, the Attaboy sign is sunnier than a lot of it. As for the chicken on the bike, while Kenney’s work features DeathAngry Snoopy, and a crazed Mickey Mouse, this is the only chicken I can find. I imagine it’s a nod to East Nashville’s most famous culinary export. And how does a Philly artist wind up doing a sign in Nashville? Because one the partners, Brandon Bramhall, is Kenney’s cousin (and a former bartender at the New York Attaboy).

Located at 8 McFerrin Avenue. The mural faces south, across from the alley that is halfway between Woodland and Main. There is limited street parking, and Attaboy has just a few spaces, so maybe you should just take a late night rideshare to get some cocktails and enjoy the art!

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!

From me to you

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Some unusual presentation for a (somewhat) unusual mural. This Nashville Walls Project mural across the street from the Gulch version of Barista Parlor is really two murals joined together, and is also found in a cramped alleyway where it’s impossible to get a full direct shot. Thus my header photo is a merged shot, one from the left, one from the right, each featuring one of the different artists. On the left, one of the colorful geometric math problems Nathan Brown is known for. On the right, a human figure in the characteristic style of Chris Zidek, who signs his work Zidekahedron. This mural took some time to complete. I went by several times to see if it was finished. If there were paint supplies left next to the wall, I figured it wasn’t. I did, however, catch Brown at work one day – you can see that in the slideshow of close-ups below.

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Located at 601 Overton Street. The mural actually faces Mansion Street, on the south side of the Turner Supply Company building. Mansion Street is not much more than an alley and has prominent No Parking signs. You can put some coins in the meters along Overton, but most of the nearby paid lots have one-hour free parking to encourage shopping in the Gulch, so make it part of your Gulch crawl and enjoy the art!

 

Just a few gents

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There’s a lot of outdoor art in the 12 South neighborhood. One of the most photographed murals in Nashville has to be the “I Believe in Nashville” mural found on the north wall of 12 South Dental Studio and sadly subject to multiple acts of vandalism. Just up the road is a very different mural which I think is at least as worthy of a few selfies or portraits, though it’s easy to miss. Tucked away in a semi-hidden driveway that wraps around the north side of 12 South Taproom and Grill one finds these three dapper gentlemen, who oddly given the location don’t seem to be enjoying a cold beer. They are the work of Jared Freihoefer, a Nashville artist who seems to specialize in black and white portraits that use the kind of shading technique seen here. Put on something snazzy and take your next selfie with these gents!

Located at 2318 12th Avenue South. The mural is on the north side of the building, facing a driveway that leads to parking behind 12 South Taproom. Parking in this area is tricky. There is free street parking on the side streets, though it’s often crowded (and a few spaces at the north end of the district on 12th). There are also a couple of pay lots, and of course, many businesses have their own parking. Make it part of your 12 South crawl!

Fire and Safety (Part 1)

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I am definitely trying to stay away from multi-part posts, but some sites require it. Three sides of the Industrial Fire and Safety Inc. building on Ash have murals. On one side, we find a series of country and folk music legends (that isn’t quite finished). On the other two other themes are found, mostly stuff that flies. It seems to be mostly if not all the work of the Thoughts Manifested crew, a collection of mural and graffiti artists whose best-known work is probably the Johhny Cash mural on Molloy. I need to blog about that one soon. Given development in that area, I wonder about the future of the small building it’s on. This piece takes a little more effort to find, in the Pie Town neighborhood that still retains the warehouse/industrial atmosphere that was common south of Broadway before the boom years. The bird is featured on some of Thoughts Manifested’s other work, notably a nearby mural on Plaza Art facing 7th Ave, also awaiting a blog post.

Located at 608 Ash Street. The new Division Street extension complicates access somewhat. The mural above faces into a parking lot and alley on the north side of the building, on the opposite side from Ash. It’s easily accessed through the parking lot entrance on Ewing Ave between Middleton St and Fogg St, or down the alley that forks off of 6th Ave a little south of Lafayette Ave. Parking here is easy.

Flower power

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I have written before that chain stores are the worst places to look for public art. So I was surprised to find what looks like permitted art on the back of the Green Hills CVS. This could, of course, been put up without permission, but that seems unlikely. The style, the placement, the rust stain, and the fact that Google street view shows it’s been up since at least February of last year suggests permitted art. It is on the part of the building that is a separate retail space from the CVS (currently unoccupied), so that may have something to do with it. It is a rare piece of public art on a stretch of road dominated by chains, professional offices and high-end retail, none very conducive to public art. Given all the people stuck in traffic most of the time on that stretch of Hillsboro, some more art might improve people’s mood a bit.

UPDATE: This work has been painted over, presumably sometime in early 2018.

Located at 3801 Hillsboro Pike. The flower is on the back of the building, facing the Orange Theory gym on Crestmoor, and is not visible from Hillsboro Pike. There’s CVS parking around the building, and a parking garage under the gym. Fill up on unnecessary plastic objects and enjoy the art!

A railroad runs through it

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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.

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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.

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