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.
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.
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!
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.
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 Industriesand 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.
Founded 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]
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.
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 provocativestands. 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!
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.
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.
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!
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):
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.
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.