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nashville public art

Nashville murals, street art, graffiti, signs, sculptures and more

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Lost Art

Under hypnosis

Under Hypnosis mural street art Nashville

Feeling hypnotized? Certainly, this mural was meant to play with your vision. It appeared recently on the back side of Gym 5, and is by a local artist who goes by Sterbo (or terbosterbo). This alleyway is a busy place for art. Turn around from looking at this mural and you’ll see the one in Panda sky, and just to the left is a set of elaborate graffiti tags that cover what used to the elaborate graffiti tags found in Back in the alley. I’ll blog about the new tags sometime soon. This particular wall has seen a series of not very interesting scribbled tags. With some exceptions, taggers tend to be respectful of murals, so maybe the new mural will put a stop to that. In the meantime, it’s here to mess with your head. The symbol at the end is one used by Sterbo as something of a signature (see photos below).

UPDATE: This mural was severely damaged by the March 3, 2020 tornado. The part of the wall with the word “under” on it collapsed. Repairs will probably result in the destruction of the rest of the mural. See What we lost in the storm.

Located at 952 Main Street. The installation is in fact in the alley, which can be accessed from 10th Street or McFerrin Avenue. There is some parking in this alley if you are just visiting.

Panda sky

Panda Betor Mural

This mural appeared in the alley behind Make Nashville some months ago and is visible from the 900 block of Main Street (well, until some developer builds condos on top of Gym 5’s parking lot). But until very recently, there were a group of trailers parked in front of it stacked with what appeared to be some kind of traffic dividers, making for lousy pictures. When I realized those trailers were finally gone, I rushed immediately to get a new picture. I found that there was, in fact, a lot of new art in this alley. The wall of graffiti tags featured in Back in the alley has been replaced with a whole new set of graffiti tags, and there is a trippy new mural on the back of Gym 5 – all of which I will feature here soon. This mural above is unsigned, but the block of colors with a lion’s face poking out appears to say “Panda,” which is a tag I associate with the UH crew. There is also another Betor memorial. Betor was the tag of the artist Ronnie Bobal, who died in 2016. There is a major memorial to Betor on Gallatin Road, and his name is found in a number of murals around town. (This is the same wall that once had an interesting flower on it.)

UPDATE: This mural was damaged by construction, and then the wall collapsed in the March 3, 2020 tornado. See What we lost in the storm.

Located at 947 Woodland Street. The mural can only be reached through the alley, which runs from McFerrin to South 10th Street. It is plausible to park in the loading dock best to the mural. Otherwise, there is street parking on McFerrin.

Hidden skyline

Skyline mural Nashville street art

I had been aware of this mural for several months, as it’s on my route home for work. At first, I didn’t write about it because I thought it might be unfinished. But as a few months passed, I figured it must be done. Then the problem was taking a picture. The lot in front of it was overgrown, partially obscuring it. Then the lot was cleared, but a bulldozer and big pile of dirt blocked the view. Finally, the lot was cleared a week or so ago, and I got the photographs I needed. I planned to write about it soon. But just yesterday I saw an Instagram post from Mobe Oner showing that he and some fellow artists had painted a serious of graffiti-style murals over this one. You can see just a few bits of the old one sticking out. Otherwise, this skyline is probably visible only here, and perhaps on the phone of whoever made it. (It’s unsigned.) This blog is in part an archive. Several pieces I’ve written about no longer exist, and this is the third or fourth time I’ve written about art that was already gone. I’m glad I got these photos! The scene is a bit of a fantasy. The view would be from across the river near the Seigenthaler pedestrian bridge, and no such line of trees is there.

Skyline Detail

Located at the corner of Herman Street and 19th Avenue North, on the east side. Street parking is available. There is a lot of art on this group of buildings. The fate of the new murals, which I’ll blog about fairly soon, is uncertain, depending on the development future of this lot. They may get blocked from view.

UPDATE: Here’s the art that replaced this mural.

Do the Dew

Tennessee mural street art Nashville

It’s not often I post about a brand new mural, but this one was finished within the last few days. I know it was largely complete last weekend, lacking mainly the barn sign and the billboard. So one of the dry days last week, the last touches must have gone up. It’s an Eastside Murals project, who’ve taken to signing their work “Out East Boys.” The Mountian Dew theme explains the “It’ll tickle your innards” on the billboard, as that comes from a 1960s Mountain Dew ad campaign. While internet research shows that there are other Mountain Dew murals out there, it doesn’t seem to be a major campaign. “Born in Tennessee” is right, as Mountain Dew was invented in the 1940s by Tennesseans Barney and Ally Hartman as a mixer for whiskey. As this lies on the side of a shuttered Family Dollar store, it’s anybody’s guess how long it will last, depending on the owners’ plans for development. Get your selfie now. I should note when I went to photograph this, I had to wait my turn, as a father-daughter pair were doing their own impromptu shoot.

UPDATE: This building was destroyed by the March 3, 2020 tornado.

Located at 1000 Woodland Street. The mural lies on the east side of the building, facing 10th Street South. The old Family Dollar parking lot is now a paid lot, but if you are willing to walk a block or two, you can usually find free street parking nearby.

Foolish pleasure

Beaujolais mural street art Nasville

Every year, Georges Debouef wines holds a contest for the art that will be on their label for the most recent vintage of Debouef Beaujolais. The winner in 2018 with her work “Foolish Pleasure” was Chloé Meyer, an artist with roots in Nashville and San Franciso. How a mural version of it wound up outside of Nicky’ Coal Fired Pizza I’m not sure – whether they or the owners of the Stocking 51 building gave permission for it I do not know. Certainly, it’s a wonderful splash of color in an area that while gentrifying and increasingly full of outdoor art, still displays its industrial legacy strongly. It’s a nice reminder of summer in these winter days.

UPDATE: This mural has been replaced.

There’s also a “For Becks” lego man on the other side of Nicky’s, in the ramp going up to the local branch of Frothy Monkey. These have been popping up around town – see this example below.

Lego man mural street art Nashville

Located at 5026 Centinneal Boulevard. There’s parking there and along 51st Avenue North.

Tin Dog

Nashville street art mural "Welcome to Old Nashville"

Welcome to Old Nashville. That’s an interesting greeting for Tin Dog Tavern to make. On the one hand, it’s relatively new, having opened in 2014. But it’s also true that there’s been a dive bar on this corner of 4th Avenue South for a while. Before it was Tin Dog, it was Purple Heys, and before that, it was TC’s Triangle (the building is triangle shaped). Tin Dog sits in an interesting place. It lies on the border between Wedgewood-Houston and Chestnut Hill, two rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods that still have significant chunks of their older versions. Warehouses, factories, auto repair places and low-income housing sit side-by-side with art galleries and some of the newest high-end housing in town. Just south, the Fairgrounds are poised to become home to Nashville’s major league soccer stadium. Compared to all that, Tin Dog is very much Old Nashville. It’s anyone’s guess how long it, or some succeeding dive bar, will stick it out. The sign is an Eastside Murals creation. On the other side of the building is a graffiti installation that bears tags from the UH crew. (See below).

UPDATE: This building has been renovated and all of this work has been painted over.

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Graffiti street art tags Nashville

Graffiti street art Nashville

Graffiti street art Nashville Tin Dog

Located at 1401 4th Avenue South, at the corner with Rains Avenue. The Welcome to Nashville mural faces Rains Ave. The graffiti mural is on the south side of the building, facing an alleyway. Tin Dog has parking, much of it right in front of the mural. If you want to find the mural car-free, try early in the morning.

Flower balm

UPDATE: Some months after this post went up, the artist expanded on the original mural. The original is below.

Back when the spot now occupies by Walden was home to The Hop Stop, there was a first a mural for The Hop Stop on the building housing the bar, and then later another Hop Stop mural appeared across from it on the building where the East Tattoo Collective is found. Now Walden has followed suit, with another Tara Marie Aversa mural to go with the one on the Walden building. (There’s also one inside.) The hashtag is #flowerbalm, hence the blog title, but I did try to come up with something clever about the Rolling Stones. Did you know they had an album called Flowers? News to me – learn something new every day!

Lip and flowers mural street art Nashville

Located at 2913 Gallatin Pike, on the south side of the building. There is plenty of parking, but it’s a pay lot. There is no nearby free street parking.

The lost art of Bongo East, Part 1

LeahDancers.jpg

One of the first murals in town that really grabbed my attention was this one and the one of a boxer next to it. It sat on the north wall of Bongo East, the Five Points branch of the Bongo Java empire. I tried to post about it before, but I realized the only photos I had of it were slightly out of focus (it’s most notable if you look at the signature and tags on the right). And I never got a new picture before construction started in the lot in front of it. I had hoped to photograph it again, as it seemed to be destined to face an open courtyard, but I saw recently that it had been painted over, a white blank wall taking its place. I suppose it clashed with the esthetic of the new building. Interestingly, it’s by Leah Tumerman, the same artist who did the bear mural on the side of Eastside Cycles, which replaced the mural in the banner of this blog, and was somewhat controversial, which I wrote about in one of my very first posts on this blog. This piece is called “Deeply Dimensional Women,” and you can find more pictures of it and close-ups on Timerman’s website. (Interestingly, her large photo of it also seems out of focus on the signature and tags.) The tags include one for Color Theory Studios, so Tinsley Dempsy likely was involved in getting this mural produced. The boxer mural you see in the photo below by Eastside Murals seems to have also been destroyed. It’s certainly blocked from view by the new building. I’ll devote another post to it later.

Construction

Located at 107 Sout 11th Street, or at least it was. The tomato-fist mural still exists, and you can see it from the sidewalk. I’ll post about it later as well. This is Five Points. There is free parking on some of the side streets, but you may have to walk a bit.

Village

VillageClose

Art breeds art. That seems to be very true in the burgeoning outdoor art scene in Nashville. When Darek Bell of Corsair Distillery and Bell and Associates Construction bought the Continental Machinery Movers complex on Centennial Boulevard, he told the Nashville Post of his plans to include art in the development.

To recognize the evolving character of the neighborhood, Bell said he plans to work with local artists to add a large mural on the building’s Centennial Boulevard face. He pointed to the Silo Bend mural, located nearby, as an “instant landmark that garnered national attention” as a model of sorts.

Village Realty is an early client in the building (that story is at this moment behind a paywall), thus the “village” of this very new mural by Eastside Murals. The mural references a number of well known Nashville sights: the Ghost Ballet sculpture (more commonly known as “the thing down at the river that looks like a broken roller coaster”), the sign outside The Nations Bar and Grill, the Betty Boots sign, the Batman Building, the Ryman, and our very own Greek temple, the Parthenon at Centennial Park. This is the first time I have seen the Stix sculpture referenced as a local landmark in a Nashville mural. Maybe people are getting used to it!

UPDATE: This building has been demolished as part of a development project.

VillageFull

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Located at 4717 Centinneal Boulevard. At present, the parking lot is fenced though usually open. The nearest safe street parking is on 49th Avenue North.

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