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Anchor in the Storm

Anchor sculpture public art Nashville

Of all the works sponsored by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, this is one of the more unusual. It becomes more understandable once you read about it on Metro Art’s website. This piece, “Anchor in the Storm” (2013), by Betty and Lee Benson, commemorates a moment when a quarry saved the local neighborhood. During the 2010 flood, 700 billion gallons of floodwater poured into the Reostone Quarry (located on Robertson Avenue just a few blocks from the sculpture), water that would have otherwise innundated the nearby neighborhoods of Charlotte Park, The Nations, and Crowley Wood. The rock, from the quarry, was carved and donated by the quarry’s owners,  Rogers Group. The log structure is a raft, representing the neighborhoods saved by the quarry. Of course, I imagine it mostly serves as some interesting whimsey for small children to climb on. (The mural on the water tank behind is by Eric Henn. Read about it in This one is BIG!)

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Located at 6105 Morrow Road, i.e. West Park. The sculpture is just a few feet from Morrow Rd, in the northeast corner of the park. There is plenty of parking at the park, and there is nearby street parking.

 

In my beautiful balloon

Street art mural of balloon with basket East Nashville

Some outdoor art is explicitly designed to be portrait and selfie-friendly, and that’s certainly the case with much of Kelsey Montague’s work. You can see that clearly on her Instagram page. Certainly that’s true with the wings down in The Gulch, also her work, and like this tagged #WhatLiftsYou. The wings are probably are most famous Nashville mural out of town – locals may be a little more familiar with the multiple I Believe in Nashville murals, particularly the one on 12 South. This Montague work, found on the east side of The Cleo apartments is not likely to attract as many lines as any of those murals, as it’s not in a highly touristed area, though it’s only a few blocks from Five Points. It’s also a bit problematical for portraits because it’s in a narrow alley/driveway, and because even though there are no designated parking spots, it’s not all that unusual to find someone parked in front of. Best bet for getting a nice pic in the gondola is probably early morning. Notably, there is another mural visible from Gallatin if you are south of The Cleo, up on the roof level of the garage. What can be seen looks nice, but it’s not really public art since only the ground floor of the garage is open to the public.

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Located at 1034 West Eastland Ave, near the corner with Gallatin Road, across from the Rite Aid. It’s very visible if you are on Gallatin coming from the north. There is some guest parking at the Cleo, and it’s usually possible to park across the street.

Camino y Raíces/Roots & Routes

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There’s mixed media, and then there’s mixed media. The sculpture of a stack of books at the Downtown Library featured in Heavy reading is made from stones from five continents. “Camino y Raíces/Roots & Routes” in Azafrán Park contains coins from no less than 77 countries. Azafrán Park, which opened in August, is the result of a partnership between Conexión Américas and Metro Parks and Recreation, among others. It sits on the north side of Casa Azafrán, where the Park building featured in Color me gone – soon once stood. It serves to provide a community space, particularly for children, in a section of town that has little open green space. This piece was produced by Jairo Prado in collaboration with students from the Opportunity Now program. As explained in this Nashville Arts interview with Prado, the students came from Glencliff, Nashville School for the Arts, Overton, and Hume Fogg. The mural, by its title and its coins from many lands, speaks to the different origins of many Nashvillians, particularly the immigrant community along Nolensville and Murfreesboro Pikes. Prado of course also designed and led the production of the mosaic that adorns the front of Casa Azafrán, Migration. The coins for this mural were collected at Casa Azafrán, in the community and even at the airport! This is a bit of an art hotspot. The mosaic faces the giant photo mural from Oz Arts Inside/Out, Part 1. The mural featured in Hidden away is really hidden now, as there is a concrete wall in front of it, but it can still be glimpsed from the side and through some holes in the wall. And there’s a mural on that concrete wall I’ll feature later, as well as some mobile giant snails from Cracking Art and a colorful block arrangement for kids to play on. All of it will probably be on the blog eventually.

Located at 2187 Nolensville Pike. There is parking in front and behind Casa Azafrán.

Off the wall (Part 6)

Quilt

The Off The Wall project on Charlotte, which had been going slowly, has taken off like gangbusters in recent weeks. One mural is left to be finished, and the space will be completely filled with art. This mural, called “The Nashville Quilt,” is not one of the new ones, but has been up for a few months. (I’m an historian, not a journalist!) While the background is by Jake and Hana Elliott of What. Creative Group, the various “patches” are by artists from non-profits that partnered with What.Creative. Lily Clayton Hansen did profiles of each artist for Word of Mouth, with photography by Elizabeth Ratliff. I encourage you to check them out. For one, this post would be impossibly long if I tried to write up each artist, and Hansen and Ratliff have already done a superior job.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13

Located at 3020 Charlotte Avenue. This mural actually faces 28th Avenue North. Your best bet for parking is perhaps across the street at Cross Fit Nashville or street parking on 31st Avenue north of Charlotte.

A very sturdy 4th

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I don’t know who built this wooden flag at the Nashville office of Summit Roofing. Probably some of the fine folks featured on their Facebook page. But I bet it’s designed to hold up in all kinds of weather (as it should). These are roofers, after all. Happy 4th of July everyone!

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Located at 655 North Main Street (aka Dickerson Pike) in Goodlettsville, a few blocks north of the intersection with Riverside Parkway. The flag is on the north side of the building. Summit has some parking, but it might be better to park at the Phillips 66 next door.

Violin dreams

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Looking like Don Quixote with a fiddle, this metal gentlemen with eyes searching the skies certainly seems to have weathered a lot of abuse at the hands of the elements – or maybe he was made that way. He sits by the side of the road outside of Dreamstreet Studios in Berry Hill, a business I’ve been able to find very little information on. This Buzzfile page suggests it is also called Dreamstreet Morganville Industries and is owned by Dennis Morgan. A little internet sleuthing turns up a book called “Pumpkin Head Harvey” by the Dennis Morgan who is in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and which was published by Dreamstreet Studios. So that mystery is solved, but not the question of who made this. There are two palm prints and what looks like “20 011 04” written in the concrete base but might instead be “2001 1 04” – or something else. Don Quixote might know, but he’s not telling.

Located at 2830 Dogwood Place. Unfortunately, it’s practically illegal to park in this part of Berry Hill. While there is a great deal of outdoor art, there is almost no street parking anywhere nearby and no sidewalks. Most of the local businesses have prominent “no parking signs.” I’ve been yelled at for parking at a closed business on the weekend. There is a small park on Columbine Place with a few spaces, but it has a sign reminding you it’s a misdemeanor to park at the park if you are not using the park.  This is not a neighborhood friendly to outsiders. There are just a few street spaces on Heather Place in front of Vui’s Kitchen and behind Baja Burrito. You might try Baja’s satellite parking lot on Columbine if it’s off hours, or the strip mall on the 700 block of Thompson Lane.

Fanny’s House of Music

FannysFullNorthFounded in the teeth of the 2008 financial crisis, Fanny’s House of Music has become a neighborhood icon that has gained national recognition for its place in the music business and its role in providing a comfortable space in music for all, particularly women and girls. The owners, Pamela Cole and Leigh Maples, both music business veterans. named their store after Fanny, one of the first significant all-female rock bands. They’ll sell you a guitar, and they’ll teach you how to play it, too. And they have art. The large painting is by Scott Guion, a New Orleans based artist. It features a whole host of female artists, like Suzie Quatro and Maybelle Carter, Dolly Parton and Joan Jett, and many more. You can get smaller versions inside. The Carter image on the mural is based on the same photo used as the inspiration for the mural featured in Carter Vintage Guitars (Part 2). Along the bottom of the house is a series of unsigned panels that are the work of Andee Rudloff. The text reads “Beauty is having the courage (explore) to be you.” [Parentheses mine]

Fanny's Guion Mural

Located at 1101 Holly Street. The murals actually face 11th Street. There is theoretically free street parking on 11th and on Holly and nearby streets. Good luck on the weekends and at night. A paid lot is across the street. I Dream of Weenie is next door in view of the art, so grab a dog, or buy a guitar, or both! – and enjoy the art. Warning – I got chigger bites taking photos in the grass in front of this art.

The Dog

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Outside of Lewis Country Store on Ashland City Highway, you can find this metal gunslinger. It’s something of an ode to 2nd Amendment rights, as the plaque quotes the amendment and admonished us to “Come and take it.” The store owner, Renee Lewis, has been known for taking provocative stands. Regardless, it’s a fun piece, made by Ryan Barbour of Barrel House Metal and Woodworking in Clarksville. The materials are reclaimed scraps from Richmond Machine Service, also in Clarksville. Look close – you may have already figured out the snake is made of metal, but so too are the plants. The plaque also lets us know that the statue is called “The Dog” and is dedicated to the memory of Ronald Douglas Doggett (1948-2000).

Located at 5106 Old Hickory Boulevard, at the corner with Ashland City Highway. The store and the statue face the highway. The store has plenty of parking. Load up on food and sundries and enjoy the art!

Tennessee World War II Memorial

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It’s Memorial Day, and so it’s a good day to look at one of the more striking war memorials in Nashville, the Tennessee World War II Memorial found on the grounds of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Like the rest of the park, it was built to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the 1796 founding of Tennessee, though it was not finished and dedicated until November 11, 1997 (Veteran’s Day). The primary feature, which children (and adults!) love playing with is the eight-ton carved stone globe, which rests on a cushion of flowing water and can be easily pushed into different angles, though it rotates on its own due to the flowing water. In front of the globe is a stone platform littered with stars honoring the 5,731 Tennesseans who died in WW2. Ten pillars, five on each side, line the east and west of the platform. Reflecting the direction one travels to get to Europe or Asia from Tennesee, the ones to the east depict moments from the war in Europe, while those on the west depict moments from the war in the Pacific. To the south is a long bench with the names of seven Tennesee recipients of the Medal of Honor. A time capsule lays buried in front of that bench.

Many minds and hands went into designing and building this monument. General Enoch Stephenson led a committee of veterans, originally appointed by Governor Ned McWherter, which oversaw design and construction. The memorial was designed by Tuck-Hinton Architects, Ross/Fowler,  and EMC Structural Engineers. The memorial was built by Hardaway Construction. (Many thanks to the American Legion who gathered much of this information.)

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Located at 600 James Robertson Parkway (which is the address of the park). The memorial specifically is found on the north-west side of the park, along the 1000 block of Seventh Avenue North, and is about a block and half south of the 600 block of Jefferson Street. It lies across the street from the future home of the Tennesse State Museum, currently under construction. There is free parking in the park. This is a memorial, so please be respectful.

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