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nashville public art

No art left behind

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Lost Art

Welcome to Donelson

DonelsonMain

There is something a “mural district” in Donelson. Within about a block of each other, there are now four murals (and one lost mural), three of which are by the same artist. While the mural featured In Concert in Donelson! is by Randy L. Purcell, the new murals on the Greater Nashville Insurance Group are by Kristy Oakley of Where the Art Is, as is the mural featured in Paint the town. This building used to house a Nationwide Insurance agency, but with a new identity, it’s no surprise that the “frame” mural below has replaced the Nationwide branded mural that was once there and is featured in On your side. Like the mural in Paint the town, the main mural features local landmarks, such as the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge and Two Rivers Park. There are pictures of the mural being made on both Oakley’s Facebook page and the Greater Nashville Insurance’s page. The flower box was built by GNIG director David McIndoo.

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Located at 2630 Old Lebanon Rd. The large “Donelson” mural is on the west side of the building and the smaller “frame” mural is on the east. There is plenty of parking at this building and nearby businesses. Plan for possible emergencies and enjoy the art!

Mapping The Nations

Nations Map

One of the most prolific art scenes in Nashville is not found in any gallery or trendy neighborhood, but on the outer walls of the many Latino grocery stores scattered around town. Murals depicting the fruits and vegetables found inside or idealized images of the old country are common themes. The murals found in And another market and Mi casa es su casa are good examples. Usually, these are found in lower-income neighborhoods where immigrants tend to congregate. But what happens if one of those markets finds itself in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood like The Nations? Well, the owners of the Savemore Super Market found themselves in that position and decided to transform their market into the 51st Deli. Most of the groceries went away in favor of a deli/taqueria with a large menu. A new identity called for new art. So they asked Ruben Torres, who had done the market’s original fruit-themed mural featured in Frutas!, to come up with something new – a shout out to neighborhood pride instead of the more traditional old country pride. Torres’s map is elegant, perhaps in keeping with the clean lines of the all the new condos and modern houses spreading across The Nations. If you can’t beat the gentrifiers, join them, would seem to be the message.

Located at 1314 51st Avenue North, at the corner with Centinneal Boulevard – where the red star is in the mural! The mural faces Centinneal and often has cars parked in front of it. There is parking at 51st Deli, though at lunchtime you might have to park on a neighboring street and walk a bit. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

Last year’s heartthrob

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There’s a new mural in the 12 South neighborhood that’s been cropping up a lot on social media lately. People stand in line to get their picture taken in front of it. This is not it. But this is the place. When I do a Google image search for “Nashville mural,” this mural pops up first. Now, you might get something different, but it’s still likely to come up high on the list because for a long time, this Eastside Murals piece promoting the American Heart Association’sNashville at Heart” campaign featured in a whole lot of Instagram photos. Today, May 31, 2018, there is a marker on Google Maps for the “Nashville at Heart Mural.” Not too many murals get that level of recognition. But one day you’re at the top of the charts, and the next week you can’t get a gig at the Holiday Inn. Now “Nashville at Heart” has been replaced with an even jazzier mural. Do a search for #PeaceLoveGoodDeeds – you’ll find it. I suppose I’ll put it on this blog someday if I can get myself out of bed early enough to be there at dawn before the lines form. That’s how I got the picture above.

Located (formerly) at 2707 12th Avenue South, at the corner with Dallas Avenue, on the south wall of the Corner Music building.  This is 12 South – parking isn’t easy, though if you are willing to walk a block or two, there’s free parking on some side streets. You might want to ride share over. While this piece is gone, the surrounding neighborhood has lots of interesting art. Many will have lines – Just a few gents is unlikely to have one. Be original.

La Cocina Dominicana

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There’s been a bit of a theme of lost art recently on this blog, and here is another example, but with a twist. The vibrant piece above is alive and well and advertising Dominican food on Nolensville Road. But what is now La Cocina Dominicana used to be Carribean Express, with a mural I featured in I’m just here for the food. That mural also featured the out of kilter parking sign, but Grenadian symbolism has now been replaced with Dominican imagery. Sadly, I never went to Carribean Express. I don’t intend to make that mistake again. The mural here is the work of Jose F. Vargas, who has worked on other Latino businesses and who I’ve featured before in posts like Gotta get that bling!.

Located at 4407 Nolensville Pike. There is parking in the back. If you are new to Dominican food, try the mofongo. Chow down and enjoy the art!

If you’re left alone

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Entropy is real. All things eventually decay, all information is eventually lost, all art goes away. But sometimes it’s a little hard to take. I first saw this Norf Art Collective piece at 16th and Buchanan back in November. It was late in the day, and the shadows were long, and I didn’t think the light did the piece proper justice, so I put the photos in my “Needs to be reshot” file and made vague plans to shoot it again. Today was overcast, and I thought I’d try again. At first, unable to find it, I thought I had forgotten where it was. But then I realized I did remember where it was. It’s just that this entire wall and all the doors are now painted white. Sometime since November, whoever owns this building decided that a blank white space was better than this piece. I can’t imagine how that could be, but so it goes. I’m glad I have these pictures, that, after playing with filters, I think will give you a good idea of what used to be. The title of this post comes from the text on the right – see below.

Located (in the past) at 1510 Buchanan Street. There’s plenty of free street parking in this neighborhood, and some other art worth seeing on both Buchanan and Dr. D. B. Todd Blvd.

That boat has sailed

PropShop

I was going to post this a few days ago, but I thought I would visit Prop Shop Sales and Services and see if anyone inside knew who had painted this piece. Sure, it’s not the most beautiful piece of outdoor art in Nashville, but it has some goofy charm, and it’s been a landmark on Main for many years. Well, it’s gone, and so is Prop Shop. I was never quite sure why a boat shop was on Main Street, as we are not exactly on the water. But for many years, Main Street and Five Points were where you came to get your car fixed in Nashville, and Prop Shop apparently did mostly rotor repairs, and so at one time, it fit the neighborhood just fine. Now, most of the auto repair shops have left, many of their buildings now housing restaurants and bars. The Prop Shop building has been gussied up and put up for sale, the goofy boat mural replaced with a business-friendly shade of green. Whether it becomes the nest trendy bar remains to be seen. Prop Shop doesn’t seem to have much of an internet presence, which is just as well given that, like the mural, it is no more.

Located (formerly) at 719 Main Street. Plenty of parking, if you’d like to get your portrait done in front of a green wall of a shade one might find in an office-sharing place.

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)

One mural down, one mural up

ZidekMural

Some time ago, many months ago, I remember driving down 12th Avenue past Whiskey Kitchen and catching out of the corner of my eye a large mural of a human figure. I thought, “Need to come back and photograph that.” I was slow about it, and when I finally went back I was quite surprised when instead of a human figure, I saw this geometric mural instead. Had I imagined the other mural? Had I misremembered its location? No, just testimony to the ephemeral nature of outdoor art. The piece above is by Chris Zidek, who signs his work Zidekahedron. He’s been featured here before, in such pieces as the octopus in Uncovered! And he has other new work which I’ll be posting about soon. This particular piece was sponsored by the local office of Google Fiber, which as I have mentioned before has been busy sponsoring outdoor art. The human figure was a piece by Brian Wooden, he of the headless well-dressed men. The picture below is a February 2017 Google street view image. You can also see it on Wooden’s Instagram page. Art comes, art goes.

Located at 118 12th Avenue South. The mural actually faces the 1100 block of McGavock Street, downhill from 12th. Most of the parking in the immediate area belongs to local businesses, though there is free one-hour parking a few blocks south in the Gulch proper, as well as paid lots. Make it part of your visit to one of the bars and restaurants within view of the mural!

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An update and a goodbye

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I’ve been meaning to update Have a beer! A really big beer! for some time, as a new mural was added (above) facing the original, and either I missed the one on the back wall the first time, or it got added later. In any event, the one above is quite appropriate, because unless you get there before close on Wednesday (November 15, 2017), you will have, in fact, missed The Hop Stop, which is set to close for good that night. The new proprietors plan a craft brewery designed to cater to Hop Stop customers. Perhaps then they will only make changes to the name in the three murals, but that remains to be seen. While not signed, these two are presumably the work of Anthony Billups, who did the one featured in “Have a beer!” See the pin for that post on the map.

UPDATE: This has been painted over.

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Located at 2909B and 2913 Gallatin Pike. The mural above is on the south wall of 2913, home of East Tattoo Collective. The one below is on the back, western side of 2909B where The Hop Stop will be located for one more day. Plenty of parking – and some good food and some good beer if you’re really quick!

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