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Nashville Walls Project

Rivive

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No, I didn’t misspell “revive.” This Nashville Walls Project mural is by Beau Stanton and was done in collaboration with Rivive, a non-profit that looks to raise awareness about and improve river resources in the Nashville area. So talk to them about my spell checker going nuts! The water theme is clear, with a Greco-Roman woman pouring out water, along with fish and other water life. Blanton has some nice photos on his website (including a timelapse video) as does Nashville Walls Project (including photos of the production on the mural). It’s a hard mural to shoot, given its enormous size and the fact there is a building across the street. Certainly, it makes the downtown version of Blush easy to find!  (The writing on the far corner of the building is part of another mural I haven’t blogged about yet.)

Located at 144 5th Avenue North. This is downtown, so there is plenty of parking, none of it free.

Maybe you’ve seen this one?

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I’ve often said I’m a blogger, not a journalist. Still, this is a pretty prominent mural, and it was finished almost a year ago. One issue has been photographing it. You would think something this big and visible would be easy to shoot, but given the industrial area it’s in, getting a good angle isn’t easy. And of course, that’s not whole mural – the rest is below. Sponsored in part by the Nashville Walls Project, the mural is the work of Australian artist Guido van Helten. (That website hasn’t been updated in a while. You can find his more recent work on his Facebook page.) Van Helten makes a specialty of giant portraits of people local to the community he is painting in. The gentleman featured here is Lee “LD” Estes, a 92-year-old lifetime resident of The Nations, the West Nashville neighborhood where this mural is found. The mural represents both the gentrification of The Nations and, in Estes, the longer traditions and history of The Nations. This article discusses that and has some good pictures as well. The silo itself is almost all that’s left of what was once Gillette Grain Co. Now its part of Silo Bend, a 38 acre development project of Southeast Venture that includes both housing and retail. Southeast Venture planned on keeping the silo from the beginning, and commissioned the mural, and now the silo and the mural feature prominently in the development’s branding. You can watch a series of day by day videos documenting its creation, and there’s also a time-lapse video for the whole project.

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Located near the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and 51st Avenue North. The portrait of Estes can be best viewed from the parking lot of the shopping complex that includes a branch of White Bison Coffee, located at 5202 Centennial. Getting a clear view of the two children is tricker, and might be considered trespassing, though it’s not marked as such. Go north on 54th Avenue from Centennial, and cross the railroad track, turning right immediately. This is a construction staging area at the moment. The gravel road paralleling the railroad goes right up to the silo. No one stopped me when I did this. Hopefully, once all the construction is finished, proper public access will be available.

From me to you

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Some unusual presentation for a (somewhat) unusual mural. This Nashville Walls Project mural across the street from the Gulch version of Barista Parlor is really two murals joined together, and is also found in a cramped alleyway where it’s impossible to get a full direct shot. Thus my header photo is a merged shot, one from the left, one from the right, each featuring one of the different artists. On the left, one of the colorful geometric math problems Nathan Brown is known for. On the right, a human figure in the characteristic style of Chris Zidek, who signs his work Zidekahedron. This mural took some time to complete. I went by several times to see if it was finished. If there were paint supplies left next to the wall, I figured it wasn’t. I did, however, catch Brown at work one day – you can see that in the slideshow of close-ups below.

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Located at 601 Overton Street. The mural actually faces Mansion Street, on the south side of the Turner Supply Company building. Mansion Street is not much more than an alley and has prominent No Parking signs. You can put some coins in the meters along Overton, but most of the nearby paid lots have one-hour free parking to encourage shopping in the Gulch, so make it part of your Gulch crawl and enjoy the art!

 

There flys a peace crane

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For once, I’m blogging about an almost new mural. The Wish for Peace mural on the side of the Global Education building on Charlotte appeared only a few weeks ago at most. It’s a production of WHAT. Creative Group, also known as Jake and Hana Elliott. They are responsible for some other projects around town, including the mural featured in Don’t miss your ride! It was sponsored both by the local office of Google Fiber (who’ve been promoting a lot of art, lately) and the Nashville Walls Project, though it’s new enough that as of this post it isn’t yet featured anywhere on NWP’s website. I’m really ahead of the curve this time! And why origami cranes? Well, it seems that origami peace cranes are a thing. Specifically, they commemorate the life of Sadako Sasaki, who died at age 12 in 1955 of leukemia induced by radiation exposure she experienced when the bomb fell on her hometown, Hiroshima. Sadako folded cranes in her final days, as her father told her that folding a thousand of them would grant a wish.

Located at 4822 Charlotte Pike. The mural faces east, directly across from Hugh Baby’s, where Porter Road Butcher used to be. There is some limited street parking on 49th Ave, and there is parking across Charlotte at Richland Park. Or you could get a burger at Hugh Baby’s and enjoy the art!

Off the wall (Part 5)

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Choo choo! No sooner do I post a new mural from the Off the Wall project on Charlotte, more appear. This one has actually been up for some time and is a product of the UH crew, a prolific local graffiti and mural crew. You can see some of their work in posts like And we’re back! The image is a homage to the tradition of tagging both trains and the bridges and walls that part of the track system. Also, there are nearby tracks, including one that goes through Abbot West Storage, whose wall the mural is painted on. For information on the Off the Wall project, see Part 1. See the pin for Part 1 on the map.

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Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

Located at 3020 Charlotte Avenue. Your best bet for parking is perhaps across the street at Cross Fit Nashville or street parking on 31st Avenue north of Charlotte.

Forget the past

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I have to say I’ve been a little intimidated to post about the big downtown projects. Not entirely, but this is “official” stuff organized by people who know what they are talking about as opposed to what they can find on Google. Plus – it’s really hard to get good pictures of the downtown murals. So much traffic, so many cars, terrible shadows. But here we go. This 2016 piece is by Tyrone Wright, an Australian artist who goes by RONE. (His art is easier to view on his Instagram page.) It’s a Nashville Walls Project production – I talked about them in Guitars and automobiles (and I need to set up a category for them). I use the title “Forget the Past” because there is a 2015 RONE print by that name that is very similar to the piece above, which I’ve not been able to track down a name for. RONE does a lot of these giant faces of mysterious women. They certainly catch your attention.

Located at 530 Church Street. There’s a parking lot right in front (common for downtown art), but like most of the nearby parking, it is not free. There is free parking for patrons of the downtown branch of Nashville Public Library you see in the background, but you need validation. So do some research and enjoy the art!

Off the Wall (Part 4)

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I haven’t posted on the Off The Wall project in a while, and in my absence, new murals have appeared, both on Charlotte and on 28th Ave. This mural, “Take Flight,” which once again had me standing in the middle of busy Charlotte Avenue taking pictures (it’s OK if you’re in the turn lane, right?) is signed @bongangart. This is the Instagram handle of Atlanta artist Kevin Bongang. Bongang not only paints walls. You can also get his colorful creations on hoodies, backpacks, and more. Check out Part 1 for more details about the Off the Wall project. See the map pin for Part 1.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

Located at 3020 Charlotte Avenue. Your best bet for parking is perhaps across the street at Cross Fit Nashville or street parking on 31st Avenue north of Charlotte.

You sure that was just a sugar pill?

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Down on Roy Acuff Place, across the street from historic RCA Studio B, a surreal scene may make you doubt your sanity. Two singing cowboys, one atop a crawfish, the other astride a snapping turtle, adorn the south wall of the building that holds Carnival Music and Little Extra Music. The surreal scene is brought to us by artist Mike Shine, who’s work often reflects a world just a little off-kilter, and often a whole lot. The mural itself is part of the Nashville Walls Project, which I described in Guitars and automobiles. You can see a slideshow of Shine working on the mural on the NWP website. Just lay off the peyote, ok?

The address of the building is 24 Music Square West, but the mural itself faces the 1600 block of Roy Acuff Place. This is a tough neighborhood to park in, though easier on the weekend. You might have to walk a bit, or catch it on a guided tour of Music Row!

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Guitars and automobiles

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Just because of how many artists are involved, this is a complicated mural to talk about. The “Gibson Tribute Wall” is a product of the Nashville Walls Project. The NWP is a collective of artists and local leaders, organized by Brian Greif, that seek to cover much of downtown and beyond with major art pieces, and are already responsible for a number of major projects. It’s sponsored in part by Gibson Custom Division, and FirstBank donated in particular for this piece. While the NWP seeks to bring in international artists for its projects, this mural was put together by Nashville artists. Starting at far left, the striped deer with butterflies is by Herb Williams, who is known for his multicolored animals, large and small, including a tiny butterfly that seems to have escaped the main mural (see below). Next is a work by Chris Zidek, who signs his work Zidekahedron and among other things did the octopus in Uncovered! Sam Dunson is responsible for the laughing hashtag man, while Emily Miller‘s work is recognizable to anyone who’s been in this town for very long (and keeps their eye open for guerrilla poster art). Finally, the young boys fishing on Leggo blocks are the work of Brian Donahue, who, like your intrepid blogger, is a professor at Tennessee State University.

Located at 213 Third Avenue North, between Chruch and Union, on the north wall of the building. The lot in front of the mural is a Premiere Parking lot, which Google Maps labels as Bank Alley. Bank Alley crosses Printer’s Alley just to the right of this mural. Obviously, there’s parking, but like just about everywhere downtown, it’s not free. The mural is well lit – grab a taxi or a ride share and make it part of your pub crawl on Printer’s Ally!

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