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nashville public art

No art left behind

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Multi-media

Migration

MIgration

Nolensville Road is home to some striking outdoor art, and one of the most notable pieces is the colorful tile mosaic installation atop Casa Azafrán. Casa Azafrán describes itself as “28,800-square-feet of community empowerment, nonprofit collaboration and global grandeur.” It houses several non-profits, many with ties to the Latino community, notably Conexión Américas, which helps Latino families integrate into the Nashville community. The mosaic, titled “Migration” and unveiled in January 2013, was designed by Jairo Prado, a Columbian born Nashville artist. The design and materials are in keeping with the traditions of both Latino and Muslim culture (there are Muslim community non-profits housed at Casa Azafrán as well). Tile mosaics have a long history in Spain, stretching back through the Moorish period of Muslim rule and into the Roman era. When the Spanish came to the Americas, they brought their tile mosaics with them, where they encountered an already rich mural tradition in Mexico and Central America. Both art forms, often intertwined, spread across Latin America, and it is only natural that they have found their way in such a bold and bright manner to Nashville’s main immigrant corridor. The mosaic also represents the community focus of Casa Azafrán. More than 300 volunteers helped cut and install the tiles. You can see some of the process by which it was made in this video.

Located at 2195 Nolensville Pike. There is a fair amount of parking at Casa Azafrán. If the front lot is full, there is also parking at the back of the building. Get involved in some community non-profits and enjoy the art!

 

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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)

A neighborhood fence

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Not all great art is from professional artists. Some of it comes from the kids in the neighborhood. This Eastwood home sports a brightly colored fence of work from clearly enthusiastic young artists. It includes a chalkboard labeled “commUNITY.” When I passed by, there was a little box of chalk beneath it so a passerby might add some art of their own. I think my favorite panel is the flag, but they are all great. There are two panels of flowers separate from the main group that you’ll find in the slideshow below.

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Located at 301 Scott Avenue, at the corner with Benjamin Street. There is plenty of free street parking in this neighborhood. This is a private home, so please be respectful.

 

Littlebranch

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For some time I have been thinking about blogging about the interesting stumps in the parking lot at 2nd and Lindsley. Is it art? Well, I never had to answer that question, because the folks at Littlebranch Farm added some murals and elaborate signs for a multi-media presentation, and yeah, it’s definitely art. The name sounds like some kind of urban garden or grocer, but in fact, Littlebranch is a high-end custom natural wood furniture manufacturing shop. Founded by Kelly Maxwell in Hamilton, GA, the operation moved to Nashville in 2014. While I’d like to think that what seems to be a musical note at the bottom of the Bristle Cone Pine in the logo (seemingly based on the photo at the top of this page) is a nod to Nashville, perusing their Facebook page and blog shows that the logo predates the move north. The image above is right at the corner of 2nd and Lindsley. The logo shows up three other places on the building (as seen in the slideshow), including the Lindsley facing front, the far southeast corner near the interstate, and carved above the front door. Also notable on the east side facing 2nd Avenue is a large photo of Maxwell and two of his crew members seemingly printed on the wall (see below). The photo was done by Brandon Cawood, though I don’t know if he’s responsible for placing it on the wall. That’s Maxwell in the middle, with Tyler Allen Dean (large black beard) and Jeff, the most recent hire. And hey, this is one of the rare chances to use the multi-media category!

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Located at 901 2nd Avenue South, at the corner with Lindsey Avenue. There is limited parking at Littlebranch, though it’s well worth visiting their gallery, so make it a full experience!

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A true Nashville survivor

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If you live in East Nashville, and you drink alcohol, you probably have an opinion about Weiss Liquors vs. Main Street Liquor. Some folks have strong opinions on this topic. Here are two empirical facts: 1) Main has colder refrigerators and 2) Weiss wins the sign war hands down. Weiss Liquors goes back a long way. Nicholas Weiss first started selling alcohol downtown in the 1890s. The business has moved a few times since, landing in its current location in 1961. The sign first showed up in the 1930s and has moved twice since then. The arrows, not part of the original design, were added in the 1940s. You can read more at Nashville Design History, in an article by John Whitman. Since then the sign has been featured in movies, music videos, and on more than a few Instagram accounts. Sadly, some of the letters are out right now due to vandalism. That’s a tough one. BTW, if you’re looking for work, as of this posting, Weiss is hiring!

Located at 824 Main Street. Impossible to miss. There is of course parking at Weiss, and at the storage center next door. The parking lot can be tricky on weekend evenings.

Swayze lives!

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Back last July, I reported on a small maritime-themed mural gracing The Centennial in On imagined seas. That mural is no more, but it has been replaced with a grander creation honoring Patrick Swayze and the original Point Break. It befits the nautical theme inside, and hey, who doesn’t like that insane movie. Of the remake – well, I will not speak as I know nothing. The new murals, which were installed April 21st and include not only Swayze but a surfer and a huge wave, is the work of I Saw the Sign, a hand painted sign company created by Nashville (by way of Ithica, NY) artist Meghan Wood. I Saw the Sign (FB) mostly does lettering as opposed to figurative murals, but here is an obvious and excellent exception. The huge, exuberant “The Centennial” (see below) is more in keeping with their other work. The murals. interestingly, are attached wood panels, which is unusual for mural art in Nashville.

Located at 5115 Centennial Boulevard near the busy intersection with 51st Avenue North. There’s a reasonable amount of parking at the bar, so grab a brew and a burger and enjoy the art!

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Or you could just watch the video 


I live in East Nashville and have walked and driven down Woodland thousands of times, but only recently noticed this work because an intervening building was torn down. New construction will soon render it invisible from the road again.

Painted on the back west wall of 914 Main Street, it is signed Rebecca + Andee Moreland 2015 and reads “Love Loud Sing Freak Soul.” [UPDATE: Despite how it reads, I’m positive the “Andee” here is Andee Rudloff, who is responsible for a number of local projects.] Rebecca Moreland is the name of a Nashville musician who has a song out called “Freak Soul,” and the video features her and some others creating this mural, making this a multi-media work.

Located on the back west wall of 914 Main Street, which Google calls “Classic Auto Works,” though there’s no sign. You can’t really see it from Main Street, however. Go to the alley that runs parallel to and between Woodland and Main along the 900 block. This mural lies off that alley, behind The Basement East.

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