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The present is a gift (Norf Wall gallery part 12)

Donahue

I have almost finished documenting the many murals at the old tire factory at 19th and Herman. (To learn about how these murals came to be, see Part 1.) One thing I’ve learned – avoid if at all possible multi-part posts! Most of what I have not documented in this series either appeared relatively recently (which I will deal with separately) or I have no idea who the artist is (which I’ll handle in one post wrapping up this series). I do of course know who did this one, as it signed by an artist who has already been on this blog before a few times, Tennesse State University art professor Brandon Donahue.  I should note that since these murals first went up, a lot of materials have been stacked up in the yard where many of them are found, so it can be difficult to see them. The picture here is imperfect, because a car blocked the original shot, but getting a better photo would be near impossible today. It’s still a sight worth visiting, but don’t expect all the murals to be fully visible. See the pin for Part 1 on the map.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11

Located at the north end of the 800 block of 19th Street N., at the corner of Herman Street. It’s impossible to miss. Street parking is very haphazard. There is a lot to see here, and also a lot of overgrown weeds (depending on the time of year) so wear the right shoes!

Maybe you’ve seen this one?

SiloMain.jpg

I’ve often said I’m a blogger, not a journalist. Still, this is a pretty prominent mural, and it was finished almost a year ago. One issue has been photographing it. You would think something this big and visible would be easy to shoot, but given the industrial area it’s in, getting a good angle isn’t easy. And of course, that’s not whole mural – the rest is below. Sponsored in part by the Nashville Walls Project, the mural is the work of Australian artist Guido van Helten. (That website hasn’t been updated in a while. You can find his more recent work on his Facebook page.) Van Helten makes a specialty of giant portraits of people local to the community he is painting in. The gentleman featured here is Lee “LD” Estes, a 92-year-old lifetime resident of The Nations, the West Nashville neighborhood where this mural is found. The mural represents both the gentrification of The Nations and, in Estes, the longer traditions and history of The Nations. This article discusses that and has some good pictures as well. The silo itself is almost all that’s left of what was once Gillette Grain Co. Now its part of Silo Bend, a 38 acre development project of Southeast Venture that includes both housing and retail. Southeast Venture planned on keeping the silo from the beginning, and commissioned the mural, and now the silo and the mural feature prominently in the development’s branding. You can watch a series of day by day videos documenting its creation, and there’s also a time-lapse video for the whole project.

SiloKids

Located near the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and 51st Avenue North. The portrait of Estes can be best viewed from the parking lot of the shopping complex that includes a branch of White Bison Coffee, located at 5202 Centennial. Getting a clear view of the two children is tricker, and might be considered trespassing, though it’s not marked as such. Go north on 54th Avenue from Centennial, and cross the railroad track, turning right immediately. This is a construction staging area at the moment. The gravel road paralleling the railroad goes right up to the silo. No one stopped me when I did this. Hopefully, once all the construction is finished, proper public access will be available.

Impermanent, The Nations

MPSouthFull

And the blog is back! How about a whole lot of art to celebrate? Back in April, there was an art show at an old warehouse in The Nations whose only indication of its past is a damaged sign that seems to have once read “Motor Parts.” The show was carried out by Impermanent, which bills itself as “a collective of artists who are displaying their talents in the world of subversive and immersive art within an uninhibiting environment,” and was done in partnership with Nashville Civic Design Center and The Oasis Real Foundation. The show produced art both inside and out at the warehouse. This blog covers outdoor art, but you can see some of the creations inside in this video. Some of the work on the outside features tags associated with the UH crew. There is one piece signed by Brandon Donahue (look for the “ink blot” image that is the second image in the South Wall slideshow below). On the Impermanent website the orange face above is credited to Sterbo, and based on style, the mouse on the south wall and the mouse and head on the north wall appear to be the work of Adam Hale, while the ice cream colored scene around the orange face fits the style of Kevin Bongang. Presumably, the other artists listed on Impermanent’s Who page were also involved in producing the outdoor art. (I really should have gone to this show – I’d be better informed. It must have been laundry night!) Go check it out soon. An abandoned warehouse in the go-go-go real estate market of The Nations won’t last long.

East Wall, left to right.

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South Wall, left to right.

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West Wall, full, then left to right.

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North Wall, left to right

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Located at 1211 57th Avenue North. Street parking is available.

Fire and Safety (Part 2)

Fire&SafetyFull

Last October, I wrote about a Thoughts Manifested mural on the north side of the Industrial Fire and Safety Inc. building on Ash and I mentioned that there was an unfinished mural on the west side. Well, the TM crew finally finished the east side recently. Visible from the Division Street Extension Bridge, this mural pays tribute to a number of important musicians with Nashville ties, including The Highwaymen (Waylon Jennings, Johhny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson), Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton and Leon Russell. Do I really need to provide links for these people? I think you know who they are! Sadly, since going up, the Dylan mural has deteriorated significantly. In the before and after below you can see quite clearly that paint is peeling off block by block.  TM has repaired/replaced damaged murals before, so maybe they will fix this one.

Part 1

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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.

Heroes (Norf Wall gallery, part 11)

Heroes

Someday I will finish the Norf Wall gallery project. I had thought to just do one big post on everything that’s left, but I think I’ll save that for the ones I don’t know the artist and which have things stacked in front so the pictures aren’t great. This is not one of those. It’s signed “TA” and is obviously the work of Thaxton Waters, who first appeared in this blog in A Soul Break. The main panel includes images of Mahatma Gandhi, the Dali Lama, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. The last one really looks like Etta James to me, who would not be out of place given her role in bridging white and black culture.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 12

Located about half about half a block south of where 18th Ave North dead ends into Herman Street, and under Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Boulevard. Parking is very easy here. The tire company that occupies this space seems to be fine with people exploring to view the art. See the map post for Part 1.

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300

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This is post number 300. For this post, I’m updating on the art I know is now gone. The photo above is an Emily Miller piece once found at the corner of Main and McFerrin. Much of Miller’s work is deliberately temporary, drawn on paper and glued to outdoor walls. Her pieces are more durable than you might think, however, and in fact, this one was deliberately removed when the building was repainted. That’s the fate of most of the works listed here – they have been painted over. Others are gone because the building they stood on is gone.

The blog itself is getting a little better all the time. Statistics wise, since I started it in July 2016, 5450 people have visited the blog for a total of 11,006 page views. Modest, but it has been growing. From a couple hundred views a month when I got started, 800 and 900 has become common, it looks like the blog is about to close in on the second month in a row and third overall for more than 1000 views. The empire grows slowly.

All art is temporary, outdoor art in particular. A list, probably incomplete, of art I have chronicled that is gone or substantially erased. (I will be updating these posts in the coming weeks):

Ask not who the wrecking ball calls for (one building destroyed, another painted over)

The Vape USA Gallery (painted over)

The doomed graffiti wars of Madison Mills (painted over)

Unsafe at any speed (painted over)

Ch-ch-ch-changes! (removed – the Miller piece above)

The Carquest Gallery, Part 1The Carquest Gallery, Part 2 (partially painted over)

Where you at?! (painted over)

Color me gone – soon (building destroyed)

The ghost of craft beers past (painted over)

A flower grows in East Nashville (painted over; replaced with new mural)

Going, going gone (painted over)

Sorry you missed the show (painted over)

Children’s Art on Jefferson Street (removed)

Super visible, very temporary, hard to reach (replaced with a billboard)

Woodland creatures, Part 1 (severely deteriorated, and then removed)

The Zoop Gallery on 8th South (removed and/or deteriorated, replaced)

The ruins of 21st and Linden (lost to construction)

Oz Arts Inside/Out, Part 2 (removed)

On imagined seas (painted over, replaced with new mural)

Big Blue (painted over, replaced with new sign)

Frutas! (partially painted over, replaced with new mural)

Wanda (painted over, replaced with new mural)

Horton hears a UH!

HortonUH

As in the UH crew, one of the most prolific graffiti crews in town (and which I really need to create a category for). This colorful door is found on the loading dock of Horton Paper Service, Inc. That page is from a database of businesses. Horton doesn’t seem to have much need of an internet presence. Some of your more traditional industries don’t, I’ve found, the kind of industrial places you’re likely to find graffiti. The immediate neighborhood around here actually has a lot of art, including the Norf Wall Gallery site and A bird in the bush, among others.

Located at 614 18th Avenue North, behind Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School. This stretch of 18th runs parallel to a bridge where Dr. D.B. Todd Blvd sails over a railroad. It’s often possible to park under the bridge, and there is street parking (though I’ve never tried it during school hours.) Put on some sturdy shoes and check out all the art in the neighborhood!

The forgotten factory of 17th Avenue

Boanes

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.

FactoryMachinery

 

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Just a few feet away

SpringStBridgeEastFull

SpringStBridgeWestFull

Thousands of people pass by this exuberant graffiti installation every day and never see it (or maybe get just a tiny glimpse). It lies underneath Spring Street, alongside the railroad tracks that wend their way through the spaghetti junction where Spring, Dickerson, Main and Ellington Parkway all come together, and with Jefferson and I-24 just a little way away. Make that tens of thousands, maybe more, come close every day but never see it. I first caught glimpse of these murals from quite a distance – you can just see them from where Foster Street crosses the railroad tracks, but it was a longer distance down the tracks than I cared to walk. After much map studying and driving around, I realized the best access was right off Ellington, where there is a pull off area right under the bridge. There is also a good sized homeless encampment just south of the bridge, also hidden from view of the many thousands of drivers who pass through here each day.

Located under Spring Street, as it passes over the railroad tracks that parallel Ellington Parkway. The easiest way to reach this site is to get on Ellington at or north of Cleveland Street, heading south. Just past the Spring Street/I-24/I-65 exit, there is an area where you can pull under the bridge. It may also be possible to reach it by foot from the west side of the bridge just west of 5th and Main. Google Earth shows a gravel “road” starting from First Street North at A-1 Fun Cycle that parallels the tracks up to the spot – maybe if you have a dirt bike? To be clear, I have no idea if any of this is legal, and there is a large homeless encampment less than 100 feet south from where the murals are.

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