Search

nashville public art

No art left behind

Category

Metro Art

Bee Cycle

BeeCycle

It is fantastic that there is dedicated funding to produce works of public art in Nashville. Unsurprisingly, Metro Arts sometimes comes under fire for the projects it funds, because everyone is an art critic, and for perhaps being too focused on downtown. But they’ve also funded a lot of work that has become important to the fabric of this community. It’s hard to imagine the riverfront without the Ghost Ballet, otherwise known as that weird roller-coaster to nowhere. One of the more innovative things Metro Arts has funded is a number of funky bike racks around town, though I rarely see bikes attached to them. This one, called “Bee Cycle,” (November 2016) is the work of Randy Purcell, a local artist. The work itself was inspired in part because Purcell uses beeswax in his paintings. Purcell says the rack is his first work of public art.  Here’s hoping he does more!

Located at the Hadley Park & Community Center at 1037 28th Ave North. The bike rack is located on the south side of the building. If you enter the park from 28th street entrance, the rack is right off the traffic circle on the left side of the building, near the B-Cycle station. Ah, the name of the rack is also a pun! There is parking at the community center and on nearby streets.

Oh give me a home

Down at the very southern end of Dickerson, there is a herd of buffalo. Sure, they’re bronze, but still, we’ve got buffalo! Installed in 2009 as part of a joint Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency and Tennessee Department of Transportation funded revitalization project for Dickerson Pike, they harken back to the road’s origin as a trail used by buffalo to get to nearby salt licks. They are certainly an eye-catching addition to the neighborhood. The artist is apparently a person or company named  “Cembrock,” but I can find no more information on that.

Located on the traffic island just south of the intersection of Dickerson and Grace, where First Street and Dickerson merge. Access is tricky, as you have to cross Dickerson on foot to get to the island. The nearest parking is at the Nia House Montessori school, but when school’s in session you’ll need to park at the convenience store at the intersection with Grace.

img_4307

Let me show the way 

Usually I would use photos taken in the light of day, but with Thomas Sayre’s “Citizen,” that would miss a lot of the charm, as they are lit up at night. This is “official” public art (it’s a Metro project), but not stuffy, for the statues are interactive, with giant cranks at their bases you can use to turn the statues around, and point them where you please. Apparently there were long lines back when they were installed in 2010, but they are more lonesome now, so go give them a spin!

Located in the unimaginatively named Public Square in front of City Hall at the corner of Third and Union, overlooking the river. This is downtown, so good luck with parking. Bring money! Make like a tourist and get a selfie with them as part of a Lower Broad crawl.

Put another shovel on the fire


It’s Labor Day, so I’m going to be lazy and use this photo that popped up in my Facebook memories from last year. This is official Metro-funded public art, part of a series of works called “Watermarks” commissioned in the aftermath of the 2010 flood. “Tool Fire” (2013), situated on the Shelby Park Greenway near the pedestrian bridge, commemorates the volunteers who helped clean out homes, and the tools they would pile at the street for other volunteers who came later, according to the artist, Christopher Fennell. Not everyone is a fan, but for anyone climbing up the spiral to the bridge, it means you made it to the top, and it’s a nice place to sit.

Located just steps to the west of the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge, on the Shelby Bottoms (west) side. The closest parking is on the other side of the river, at the trailhead on Two Rivers Parkway at Wave Country Wave Pool and the Two Rivers Skatepark. Or rent a bike at Shelby Park and head up the greenway and give that hill a try!

Tunnel of art


You know what doesn’t work well when sweat from your forehead pours on it? iPhones don’t. I took these on a July bike ride, and it wasn’t easy!

There is both official and unofficial public art along Nashville’s greenways; this falls in the official category. And the recent category, too, as these murals went up on both ends of the Two Rivers Tunnel in May. Dante Bard and Troy Duff produced these murals as part of Metro Arts THRIVE project. The one above is at the east end of the tunnel and is Duff’s work; Bard’s work below is on the west end.

Located on the stretch of greenway that links the Shelby Bottoms greenway to the Stone River greenway, under the Briley Parkway between the Two Rivers water park and the Cumberland pedestrian bridge. Park at the water park and walk north up the greenway, or grab a bike and zip past them as you fly by. Just remember to yield to pedestrians! “On your left!”

A bridge, a thread

Hey, my first post about “official” public art! The 28th/31st Ave connector is more than just a road and a bridge. It helps to correct a legacy of segregation – the physical separation of  historically African-American North Nashville from the wealthy and historically white West End. The bridge itself is labeled as the Francis S. Guess Connector, in honor of a major Nashville civic and civil rights leader.  Artist David Dahlquist, who Metro contracted to do the artwork for the bridge and two nearby bus shelters, chose a needle and thread theme to represent the binding together of these long divided communities. And trust me, getting from the TSU/Fisk area over to West End was something of a pain before this road was built. The bridge literally goes over the tracks that once divided North from West (and note that much of North Nashville is pretty close to due west from downtown – actual directions and place names don’t always correspond in Nashville).  Above are some of the panels along the bridge, while below is one of the two bus shelters at the south end of the bridge. At the bottom, you can see an example of the thread motif that runs all along the bridge.

Metro also commissioned music for the bridge, and Christopher Farrell  of the Nashville Symphony and Alias Chamber Ensemble followed the theme with “Needle and Thread.”

Located, where else, along the 28th/31st Ave connector.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑