nashville public art

No art left behind


Murals and More

Maybe you’d like some art?


At the site of the former Chief’s Family Diner on Buchanan Street, a new restaurant has opened, Mai-Bee’s Southern Cuisine. But this is not a food blog, (most of the time!) so what gets it noticed here is the mural, courtesy of Murals and More, the business home of artist Michael Cooper. Mai-Bee’s is a family owned, family run operation, and the mural and the restaurant honor the memory of the family matriarch. It’s new, and little bare bones, but definitely worth a try. And you get more art bang for your buck, because And her hair was an unfolded flower is right next door! The Buchanan Street corridor is beginning to see a number of new business. How it handles possibilities of gentrification remains to be seen.

UPDATE: This work has been painted over, as the business closes and has been replaced.

Located at 1200 Buchanan Street. The mural faces 12th Avenue North. There is some parking at Mai-Bee’s and street parking is available. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

Freedom Riders on Jefferson


Particularly because of the work of the Norf Collective, the Jefferson Street corridor has seen a recent explosion of murals and other public art. One of the oldest pieces on Jefferson, which helped kick start the public art movement along this historic street, is a Michael Cooper (of Murals and More) piece at the I-40 underpass. This 2009 piece was a collaboration between Cooper and local high school students. Cooper took drawings and designs from the students and turned them into a coherent mural. After Cooper drew it, students joined in painting it. The mural honors the Freedom Riders. Jefferson, of course, has long been the beating heart of the African American community in Nashville, and students from the three universities along the road, Fisk, Meharry Medical, and Tennesee State, were active in the Freedom Riders and numerous other activities in the Civil Rights era. The placement of the mural is poignant for another reason. I-40, I-65, and I-440 cut the Jefferson Street neighborhood into pieces, doing everlasting damage that the community continues to work to repair. Nashville is hardly the only city where the interstates were built through the heart of African American neighborhoods. It was a common practice. If you have wondered why some protesters have taken to blocking interstates, there’s definitely a history there. This mural has been vandalized in the past, which forced Cooper to coat it with a clear coating that makes vandalism easier to remove.

Located on the southwest side of the I-40 underpass on Jefferson Street, at the beginning of the 2500 block. Street parking is available across the street, though traffic can make crossing hard. Some parking is available at nearby business.


Now that doesn’t look safe


Back after a little holiday hiatus. Hope the holidays are treating you well.

Down on Eighth Avenue, we find another Murals and More piece by artist Michael Cooper. Once again, we see him using the same trompe-l’œil technique he used for the Karr Commercial mural on Charlotte that I featured in Fooled me! Here he uses it for a little slapstick comedy. Karmal Skillington makes custom furniture, but I hope none of their workers ever wind up in such a precarious position. This is a fairly new piece, as it is not visible in a Google street view picture from April 2016.

Located at 2019 Eighth Avenue South. The mural is on the north side of the building. Plenty of parking on that side of the building and some at the Shell station next door. Grab some gas and grub, or take a look at some beautiful furniture, and enjoy the art!


She blinded me with science!

The STEM Preparatory Academy on Foster Avenue in South Nashville sports this prominent display invoking the circuitry that students no doubt learn about. There’s no signature on this trompe l’oeil piece — perhaps a collaboration with the Nashville School of the Arts next door? That juxtaposition raises all kinds of possibilities! UPDATE: This is a Murals and More piece by Michael Cooper. It’s featured prominently on his website.

Located on the TPS Complex on Foster Avenue, in the 1100/1200 block. The mural faces west, and is visible from the road across a green space. No street parking, and on the weekends the parking lots are closed, so you have to park at one of the companies across the street and pretend you didn’t see the “no trespassing” sign at the complex entrance. It’s small. This is a school, so seeing it during the week may depend on school visiting policies.

Every wall tells a story 

Located across the street from the Brian Nash piece featured in The fish was thiiiis big! is this piece by Michael Cooper of Murals and More (and dated 2-13). Like some other muralists we’ve seen, he conveniently provides his phone number if you want to hire him! Storyville itself is a video production firm with a wide variety of services.

Located on the east wall of 8 Cannery Row off 8th Avenue South. Plenty of parking around, but not all of it free, particularly during the weekday when the closest parking is reserved for nearby businesses.

Fooled me!

First time I saw this mural advertising Karr Commercial (a real estate brokerage) I thought for a moment that was really a worker up there. The trompe l’oeil worked! In my defense, I only got a quick look from the road. On the other, I should have been focused on the road, not scanning for public art!

There is enough interest in public art in Nashville that there are well-established professional muralists in town. This was done by Michael Cooper, the master muralist at Murals and More. This is the first M&M piece I’ve featured on this blog, but it won’t be the last. They’ve done a lot of work around town. The piece is dated 11-08, which helps explain the trees. I’ve grabbed an older view from Google street view below, without the trees.

Located on the east side of 5633 Charlotte Pike. Best viewed from the parking lot of the Fifth Third bank next door.


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