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More wings, less waiting

Wings mural street art Nashville

It seems that Eddie’s Cee Bee Food Store on Lafayette has closed for good, but that hasn’t stopped the artist who goes by jamersonsgc from turning it into his personal canvas. The full bee (an update) is found one side, these wings on another, and there’s more of his work around back on the loading dock I haven’t blogged about yet (in part because I’m not sure if it’s finished). The “more wings, less waiting” refers both to the sheer size (see the SUV for scale) and the fact that unlike certain other wings, you are not likely to have to wait in line to get your picture with these. Of course, now that Cee Bee’s has closed, how long these wings will be there is anybody’s guess, so get your selfie soon!

Located at 109 Lafayette Street. The mural faces the parking lot, on the north side of the building looking towards Wharf Avenue. Obviously, there is lots of available parking.

Flags of the Americas

Flags & fruit mural street art Nashville

I continue to believe that one of the more underappreciated art forms in Nashville is the mural scene that plays out on the walls of many Latino businesses. This one, located on what Google thinks is Linbar Fruit Market but whose sign says Linbar Super Mercado, is a José F. Vargas work. Vargas is one of the more prolific artists in this scene, and while he doesn’t seem to have a web presence, he always includes his phone number in his signature in case you want to hire him. The flags that rise above the fruit and various drinks are, in order, the flags of Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Estados Unidos, Columbia, and Cuba. I left the door and the yellow poles in the photo because I think the whole combination is a collective work of art. They go together. (By the way, in Spanish, “supermercado” is one word. But some Latino grocery stores in Nashville break up the word. Not sure why.)

Located at 238 Largo Drive, at the corner with Harding Place. This is just a couple blocks east of I-24. Linbar Super Mercado has parking. The mural is on the south side of the building. If you drive a block or so down Largo, you’ll find some more murals by the same artist.

The full bee (an update)

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I don’t think I have ever posted the same piece twice. But it seems that the bee on the outside wall of Eddie’s Cee Bee Food Store done by jamersonsgc which I featured in Low key bee was not even half finished! In retrospect, I should have guessed from the grey darker background area around the bee that maybe something else was planned, but the idea that the bee, which was finished, would then have a complex background added to it, did not occur to me. And this is basically twice the mural it was before, so I think I need to do more than just update the photo on the original blog post. Seriously, there was no flower, no bee nest cells, and the only Batman Building was on the face of the bee. I’d say this is a much stronger background for your next Instagram portrait, so head on down to Cee Bee’s! The last I checked there was also an obviously half-finished mural on the back of Cee Bee’s apparently by the same artist – I’m going to be much more patient posting about it!

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Located at 109 Lafayette Street. The mural faces Lafayette. Cee Bee is a grocery store and has plenty of parking. Load up on sundries and enjoy the art!

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!

Hey, hey, hey!

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Near the corner of Douglas and Jones Avenues, there is a market with a sign that very clearly says “Lucky 7 Discount Grocery.” However, it is apparently also known as Pharaoh’s Market. That’s what Google calls it and we know Google is always right, right? Either way, it has this impressive Fat Albert mural to liven up its parking lot. The purple tag on the left says “Fat Albert,” while the yellow/tan/blue tag seems to read ASAKA, presumably the handle of the artist or one of the artists who produced this. The south wall of the store also has a large graffiti installation, but a wall blocks access and the used car dealership with the fenced yard next door seems permanently closed, so you can only see the south wall from a distance. That car in the picture? It’s also in a 2015 Google street view shot.

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Located at 1303 Jones Avenue. The accessible mural is on the north side of the building, where there is plenty of parking. Load up on sundries and enjoy the art!

Low key bee

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The population of bees, which has been in decline of late, is maybe coming around. Of course, if they were all as big as this one, that might not be a good thing! The Nashville artist who goes by jamersonsgc produced this bee for Eddie’s Cee Bee Food Store on Lafayette, a natural design as bees are part of Cee Bee’s logos. Jamerson, who uses the tag #LowKeyArt, also apparently designs clothing, among other things. I actually had to step out in the middle of Lafayette Street to get this shot. The things I do for art! It appears to be dated 2018, and I’m pretty sure I was on Lafayette earlier this year and didn’t see it, so it’s probably pretty new. And hey, there’s the Batman Building!

Update: This mural has been greatly expanded. See The full bee (an update).

Located at 109 Lafayette Street. The mural faces Lafayette. Cee Bee is a grocery store and has plenty of parking. Load up on sundries and enjoy the art!

Two years

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The mural from the single most popular post on this blog. It continues to get hits every day. Read about it in The Kind Way

It’s been two years since the first post went up on this blog. In that time, I’ve built a small following and learned a fair amount about the outdoor art scene in Nashville/Davidson County. The most obvious thing I’ve learned about is the relationship between local independent businesses and outdoor art. Corporate businesses, with very few exceptions, do not support local artists or allow their branding to be altered with local art. That’s why the area around Rivergate Mall has very little outdoor art, and Nolensville Pike has so much. If your neighborhood has a Panda Express, you won’t find much art. If it has a lot of immigrant grocery stores and local auto repair centers, you’re likely to get art.

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Part of the mural responsible for the second most popular post on this blog. Ronald “Ronnie” Bobal, aka Betor, had a lot of friends. See Betor Forever

Another observation is that art breeds art. You see this in the distinction between Nolensville and Murfreesboro Pikes. Both have a similar mix of independent businesses with a good sized immigrant community, but outdoor art just hasn’t quite caught on on Murfreesboro.

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Art you won’t find in any “Best Instagram Murals in Nashville” article. Art on immigrant businesses is a key part of the aesthetic landscape in Nashville. See In Old Mexico

And of course, there is a relationship between tourism and art. A Buzzfeed article by Anne Helen Petersen did a good job of linking the bachelorette phenomenon with the growth in murals. All those folks posting pictures of themselves in front of murals, tagging the location on Instagram and Facebook, well, it’s a lot of free advertising. The explosion of murals in the 12 South neighborhood is in part a response to this phenomenon. And certainly, the art found there and elsewhere in town has gotten a lot of attention, including promotions to tourists and homebuyers. Most of the attention is focused on tourist-heavy areas like 12 South, Downtown, the Gulch, while work in the outer boroughs and non-mural art doesn’t get as much love, art that doesn’t drive as much tourism and isn’t as well known but is very much part of our local art scene.

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Local art that is under threat from gentrification and unlikely to be featured in tourist magazines. See Northside Auto Clean Up

Most of those articles probably get more traffic than this blog, but traffic is moving in the right direction – up. I have more than double the number of monthly page views than I had in 2017, at about 1200 to 1600 a month, though for this month, June 2018, the number is almost 2300. Small, but growing. Google Analytics tells me that my largest readership group is women aged eighteen to thirty-four, which is the principle demographic making up the bachelorette parties, so perhaps I’m part of the problem! (Or the blessing, if your job depends on them.)

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The mural from my third most popular post. That the now-closed Cloud IX Hookah Bar had its share of crime stories probably explains that. This art has since been defaced. See Mysteries of Cloud IX

So yes go to 12 South and Five Points and The Gulch, but take a look at my map and explore a little (just check the link for each point to see if I’ve updated it as being “lost art”). There’s a lot out there, and more all the time. I’ll keep working to document it all.

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One of my favorite works that you are unlikely to find on Instagram. See A bird in the bush

Nectar of the gods

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That’s what one of my professors in graduate school called Dr. Pepper. He is Texan, like me. Sure, we moved to Georgia when I was six, but I never lost the taste for Dr. Pepper. I drink the diet stuff now, and yes, I lost a lot of weight. Because I was drinking a LOT of Dr. Pepper. Wait, this is an art blog! This Dr. Pepper branded tank (presumably not a tank of Dr. Pepper) is at  Tony’s Foodland, a grocery store in Joelton, on Clarksville Pike. Joelton is a very different part of Davidson County from what most people think of as Nashville. It’s much more rural, with actual farms, and houses with huge rural lots. But it’s as much a part of Metro Nashville-Davidson as Lower Broad, which is something that makes Nashville truly great. The Facebook page for Tony’s Foodland has only one picture of the tank with its current livery, which is dated July 13 of last year. I don’t think it’s much older than that, as I drove up there around that time and don’t remember seeing it.

Located at 5529 Clarksville Pike. This is just north of Old Hickory Boulevard. The tank is on the northwest side of the store. There is plenty of parking because it’s a grocery store. Grab a couple liters of Dr. Pepper and enjoy the art!

Carne de calidad

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Carniceria Dominguez is a very new Hispanic grocery store on Nolensville, opened by Rose Dominguez, who also owns a similar store of the same name on Murfreesboro Road. The art is pretty new too, so new that it’s not made it to Carniceria Dominguez’s Instagram page yet. (Maybe it will by the time you read this). I’m using as the feature photo a mural from the south side of the store and not the front, mainly because I like it a lot and also because it has a cow in it and the art on the front is mostly vegetables and fruit. The name is “carniceria” after all, that is, “butcher.” The work is by José F. Vargas, who had done art for a lot of Hispanic businesses, such as the work featured in Gotta get that bling! and Mi casa es su casa. If you speak Spanish, this video from Nashville Noticias can fill you in on all the things you can get at Carniceria Dominguez. Very enthusiastically, I might add.

Located at 3709 Nolensville Pike. The grocery has a fair amount of parking. Load up on fresh meat and vegetables and enjoy the art!

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