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Murals

Don’t fight, build

There used to be a mural of the Nashville skyline on this wall whose creator I never identified. With this new mural, there is a name – Marlos E’van. According to his Instagram page, this boxing-themed mural is one of three murals he’s done recently in Nashville. I don’t know the location of the other two, but I’ll be looking for them. E’van is the co-creator of the McGruder Social Practice Artist Residency, which is housed in the C. E. McGruder Family Resource Center in North Nashville. Much of E’van’s work focuses on social critique, and according to this Burnaway interview with E’van, his book “Skull Microwave”  was once mistaken by TSA officials as terrorist propaganda. The picture above is not of the full installation, because a covered seating area blocks a full view. To the right of the two boxers there is a motto (see slide show below) – “Don’t Fight With 1 Another, Build With 1 Another” – hence the title of this blog post.

 

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Boxing Mural street art Nashville

Located at 405 Fisk Street. This is a small apartment building behind Fattoush Cafe and Jiffy Lube. Plenty of parking at Fattoush, so grab some grub and enjoy the art!

Hunt Supply Co.

When is hidden art not hidden art? When it’s only visible from an alleyway, but that alleyway has a fair amount of foot traffic. Hunt Supply Co. supplies all your skateboarding needs and is found in an alley a couple doors back behind Beyond the Edge in the Five Points district. According to Google Maps, the alley is called “#929 Alley.” As a long-time resident of Lockeland Springs, which borders Five Points, this is news to me. Hunt Supply has been in place for a few years, long enough to acquire multiple stages of art. For some time, there was an Emily Miller wheat-pasted and skateboarding paper wolf just below the sign (see at the bottom). The current work is by David Wright of Manecoon Sign Company and an artist he credits as @_wanted_1 on Instagram (that account has no pictures or information). It features a western scene, which may or may not have much to do with skateboarding, but the wolf at the end mimics Miller’s piece. If you check out the Instagram page of Jason Hunt, the store’s owner, you’ll see a fair amount of wolf imagery, and the shop dog, Harley, has something of wolf-like look. There’s a large sign in the back which was also done by Wright.

Located at 118 South 11th Street D. The “D” means “behind.” There is a path that reaches from 11th to Hunt Supply, but the real front of Hunt Supply, and the main mural, faces the alley. The alley can be reached from the 1000 block Woodland Street between Five Points Pizza (at 1012) and Boston Common, aka Batter’d & Fried (at 1008 A). It can also be accessed from the 1000 block of Russell Street, next to the YMCA Community Action Program building at 1021, or from the paid parking lot next to Beyond the Edge.

We Are Seeds

The giant mural that appeared this fall on the back of Center 615  began as an idea to bring together the many non-profit groups in Nashville. Southern Women for Civil Rights planted the seed, as it were, for what became the We Are Seeds Community Mural + Block Party, resulting in the mural above. Center 615 offered its back wall, which is separated by an alley and a fence from the Parkway Terrace Homes, an MDHA affordable housing complex. For the SWCR and the artists who became involved, it was important to engage that community and not simply present them with a fait-accompli. So the artists, including Catlin Mello, Omari Booker, Elisheba Israel Mrozik and Woke3 (Here’s a photo set of them as they got started planning), began by engaging the Parkway Terrace community. Some of them worked with children from Parkway Terrace in portrait-drawing classes. As the mural began to grow, with the theme “They tried to bury us but we are seeds,” many of the kids from the community got directly involved, helping to paint and signing their names. The lower reaches of the mural are covered with names and even a few handprints. Some of them needed a little help. A few of the kids are even featured in the mural (see below). Adults and children from communities and non-profits from around the city also got involved. Painting the mural took about a month When the time for the block party rolled around (September 22, 2018), 500 to 600 people representing communities and non-profits from around Davidson county participated in games, put the finishing touches on the mural and shared free food and drink (provided in part by Center 615) – and maybe also bought some lemonade to support the Malala Fund. The mural itself demonstrates the diverse styles of the main artists. Woke3 did the waves, flowers, and tree on the far left of the mural, Mello did the lettering (with an assist by Troy Duff), the women in the center were done by Mrozik, and the children and flowers on the right were done by Omari Booker. All I can say is wow, and I’m sorry I missed the party.

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Located at 615 Main Street. The mural lies on the north side of the building (the opposite side from Main) along an alley that runs between North 7th and North 6th Streets. During the workweek, there are often cars parked in front of the mural, so it is probably best to visit on the weekend. Street parking is available on both Sixth and Seventh.

The Words of Armstrong Real Estate

This little mural on the side of Armstrong Real Estate off Dickerson Pike has flummoxed me for a while. I was certain it was a Nathan Brown piece, as it is so similar to a style Brown has used before, such as in the mural featured in Bootstrap and an interior mural at Far East Nashville ( a restaurant I highly recommend). But it isn’t signed. And Brown’s style has been copied before, not this style, but his “geometric gradient style” that you can see in the mural featured in Topgolf. And the style “homage” is found in a mural that’s right next door! So I needed to be sure. Did I ever go over to Armstrong and ask. No, I kept putting it off. But I ran into Aaron Armstong on the trick-or-treat circuit, and he confirmed the artist’s identity. Dickerson Pike is well behind the parallel-running Gallatin, but with its increasing development, I would expect to see more art in the future. Of course, that also means a lot of the old signage on that road is endangered. The office also features a nice hand-painted sign on the front (I’m not sure who did that). And hey, I wonder who that is reflected on the glass? Hmmm.

Armstrong Realty Sign street art Nashville

Located at 1301 Dickerson Avenue. The mural is on the south of the building, facing Douglas Ave. The sign is on the east, facing Dickerson. There is plenty of parking here and next door.

I believe in Basement East

I believe Nashville mural street art

Perhaps the most famous mural in Nashville, the most famous piece of art, period, is not one but multiple. It’s three, or four or even more, depending on what you decide to count. There are two completely official “I Believe in Nashville” murals, one in 12 South and one in Marathon Village (neither of which is on this blog yet). I say “completely official,” because those are the ones you find on IBelieveInNasvhille.com, the I Believe in Nashville Facebook page, and on the I Believe in Nashville Instagram page. There is also one on Shelby Street done by a local homeowner and not the original artist, Adrien Saporiti of DCXV Industries. There are takeoffs like the I Believe in Petsville mural by Leah Boorse, and an I Believe in Smashville mural by Saporiti himself. This one, on the west wall of The Basement East, is not signed by Saporiti, nor does it appear on any of his websites or social media, but it does sport the IBelieveInNashville.com website and Instagram page addresses, so I’ll call it semi-official. I didn’t see it scrolling through several pages of the #ibelieveinNashville hashtag on Instagram, though interestingly, one that does is the wings mural by Kelsey Montague, featured in Sometimes you have to be obvious and easily the biggest rival for Internet fame to the I Believe in Nashville series. I think that’s odd because the Basement East version is the best one for taking an actual selfie because it’s up high, and thus you can angle your phone and get a decent shot. The wall it’s on features a rotating series of concert murals and one other “permanent” mural of a skeleton. This mural, by the way, will be the 500th pin on the blog’s map. It’s not the 500th blog post – that honor went to 500 Pink Elephants back in July. Early in the blog, I was in the habit of using only one pin where there were multiple works of art, thus the discrepancy, but now I don’t do that and pin every piece. Note that not all of the pins on that map are for art that still exists – check the relevant blog post before making a special trip – but it does give you a good idea of where to find outdoor art in Nashville.

Located at 917 Woodland Street. The mural is on the west wall, facing downtown towards the river. Parking is complicated in this area, given the many businesses and that Basement East is a concert venue. There is street parking on the nearby side streets, 9th Street and McFerrin Avenue.

Flowers of Ma’Kai

MaKai Mural Nashville street art

One muralist who has been popping on this blog a lot recently is Tara Marie Aversa (who also uses the name Tarabella Aversa on Instagram.) And why not? She’s been very productive of late. Back in July, she painted this mural for Cafe Ma’Kai on Wedgewood. Ma’Kai is Hawaiian for “towards the ocean,” so the classic surfer’s wave and the collection of tropical flowers make sense, partirulay since so much of Aversa’s work features a lot of flowers. Interestingly, if you peruse Ma’Kai’s Instagram page, you’ll see they’ve been taking photos of food and customers in front of this wall long before they got a mural. Now they have a more colorful background to work with. It’s also another example of Aversa successfully working with a difficult canvas. Here it was very rough stone, and in Living Waters, it was a corrugated metal wall. On her Instagram, you can also see a couple of production shots.

Located at 1210 Wedgwood Avenue, just west of 12th Avenue South. There is a small parking lot at this shopping center, and there is street parking on Wade Avenue just to the north. The mural faces Wedgewood, on the south side of the building.

Welcome to Goodlettsville

The artist Kristy Oakley has developed something of a series of community murals, all with large block letters featuring local landmarks. There is one for Donelson, one for East Nashville, and very recently, one for Goodlettsville. And very recently – the dedication for this one is scheduled for November 4th. It was sponsored by the Goodlettsville Chamber of Commerce and lies on the south wall of Perk Up Cafe & Gifts. It includes landmarks like the Connor Memorial United Methodist Church, the Bowen Plantation House, the Old Stone Bridge, the old Bank of Goodlettsville building (now occupied by Artists on Main), Moss Wright Park, the old Goodlettsville High School, and Goodlettsville City Hall. And there’s more! Oakley also did some work on the front of the building  (see slideshow below) and the back. The back two panels were done first for the owners of Perk Up, who wanted to cover some plain wood panels. (I’m not sure who did the signs on the front.) Tim Ellis, Goodletesville’s City Manager, has a picture on his Twitter page of the mural as it was about three-fourths finished (where you can see that Oakley worked from the bottom up and right to left). He also calls this “Mural number 1”, implying the Chamber has more murals planned. I’ll certainly be looking for them.

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Located at 136 South Main Street (Dickerson Pike) in Goodlettsville. There is parking at Perk Up and it’s plausible to park on East Avenue (which faces the mural) for a short period of time. Perk Up is closed on Sundays and after 3 or 4 the rest of the week – when it’s open, someone is likely to be parked in front of the main mural.

Bearded Iris Brewing, Makeover Edition

In January 2017, just a few months after starting this blog, I wrote about an interesting wall of graffiti on the rear side of Bearded Iris Brewing. I even called it “Part 1,” because I intended to come back and write about the less interesting graffiti on the building that faced that back wall of Bearded Iris, on the other side of the Cumberland River Greenway. Well, that building got torn down to make way for a parking lot, and the graffiti was replaced by this giant sign for Bearded Iris done by Eastside Murals. (The graffiti off to the left is still there, and might get a blog post someday.) This mural is reminiscent of another recent work by Eastside Murals covering the entirety of the Molly Green building at McFerrin Ave and Main Street. While the color scheme is quite different, that work also features thick flowing lines and large circles. I recently got good photos of it, so look for it on the blog soon. The featured photo above is angled because, as you can see below, trying to take a photo straight on mostly just gets you a picture of trees! The Bearded Iris Brewing logo, which you can see in the upper right of the mural and on the tanks located on the front of the building, doesn’t look much like a bearded iris flower to me but more like a stylized fleur-de-lis. Your mileage may vary.

Bearded Iris Mural street art Nashville

Bearded Iris Tanks street art Nashville

Located at 101 Van Buren Street. The mural faces east, along the Cumberland River Greenway. There is a paid parking lot directly in front of it, but you can probably park for free for a little while in Bearded Iris’s parking lot (look for the tanks), longer if you stop in for a brew!

La Rosa’s birds

While Charlotte Pike is bustling, it remains the mix of old Nashville and immigrant Nashville that it’s been for many years. Full-scale gentrification is hitting north and south of the corridor, particularly in The Nations, but Charlotte retains a lot of its older character. Meaning there’s a lot of local businesses and thus a lot of opportunities for outdoor art. It has the potential to be as prolific as lower Gallatin, but it’s not quite there yet. One artist doing his part is JamersonSGC, who frequently tags his pieces “Low Key Art” (though not this piece). Here his style is more loose and cartoony than the majestic work in Day Dreamin, which is perhaps appropriate for La Rosa Cafe, a night club and hookah bar that also serves up wings and pizza. There used to also be a frightened chicken on the front wall (which may be by someone else), but it has since been painted over (See below).

Located at 6317 Charlotte Pike.  There is plenty of parking here.

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