nashville public art

No art left behind


Norf Collective

Run and don’t ever stop


The blog has been quiet for a few days because of holiday madness. (Your intrepid blogger threw a very big party.) This Jefferson street mural has no label, but it’s no trouble to recognize the artist or the subject matter. This is a Yusef Hubb piece, who goes by Dough Joe and is a member of the Norf Collective. And that, of course, is Coach Ed Temple encouraging Wilma Rudolph to run, run, run. Temple was the legendary track coach at Tennesee State University, where among his many accomplishments he coached Rudolph as she prepared for her record-setting gold medal performance at the 1960 Olympics. There is a big statue honoring Rudolph at TSU. There’s one of Temple at First Tennessee Park that is not yet on the blog. Temple died this September. The mural serves as a memorial to him and Rudolph, who died in 1994.



Located at 1022 Jefferson Street, on the west side of the Jefferson Street Sports Bar building. There is parking behind the bar and at nearby businesses. The nearest street parking is across Jefferson on Warren Street.

Wake up! And have some pizza!

Slim and Husky's Wake Up

Slim & Husky’s is the happening new pizza joint on Buchanan Street. Seriously, go there off hours if you can, because long lines are common. The pizzeria is owned by neighborhood locals who are trying to be part of a revitalization of the neighborhood, but the restaurant is also symbolic to some extent of the gentrification that is changing the neighborhood. So the Dough Joe piece has a certain resonance. Dough Joe (also known as Yusef Hubb, aka Joseph Love III) has chosen for his topic the final scene in School Daze where the activist Dap (Laurence Fishburn) clangs the bell on the quad calling out the entire community to, well, “Wake up!” I don’t know who designed the restaurant logo painted on the adjoining wall. Slim & Husky’s website has this to say about the tractor in the logo: “The tractor in our company logo represents our locally sourced ingredients and locally brewed beer. It also signifies the redevelopment of historic North Nashville, something our three founders take great pride in as Nashville natives.”

Slim and Husky's Logo

Located at 911 Buchanan Street. The two murals are in an outdoor seating area that faces Buchanan on the east side of the building. S&H has a fair amount of parking, though it can get full at peak hours. Grab a beer and some pizza and enjoy the art.

Music on two wheels


Since last summer, a collection of musical greats has been freewheeling on the east wall of Green Fleet Bicycle Shop, courtesy of @doughjoe, otherwise known as Yusef Hubb. Stevie Wonder, Etta James, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin and Little Richard are all getting a little crazy, though how Hendrix is managing to ride and play at the same time — well, he’s Jimi Hendrix. You don’t question. Hubb, who is part of the Norf Collective, frequently depicts musicians in his work, such as in An icon under the bridge, revisited. The #ridenorf tag references a Jefferson Street Art Crawl from last June. Green Fleet Bicycle Shop, besides being a place to get a new bike or repair your old one, also does bicycle tours of Nashville and will rent you a bike to do a tour on your own. The bike store grew out of Green Fleet Messengers, which is still going strong.

Located at 934 Jefferson Street. The mural faces east. There is some parking at the store, including around back (best accessed from Enoch Jones Blvd.) Not much street parking nearby, so you might have to walk a bit. Hey, you were going to rent a bike anyway, right?

And her hair was an unfolded flower


Located in in the heart of the Buchanan Street neighborhood, this is impressive piece is a Norf Collective creation, signed by Woke3 (also known as Jay Jenkins). The Buchanan Street area has begun to see signs of gentrification. The building this work is on, which apparently used to be an auto body store, is currently unoccupied, its fate unknown. It’s hard to believe a future tenant would want to remove this mural, but I think we still have to qualify this as endangered art. (The title was inspired by a line from a Yeates poem.)

Located at 1114 Buchanan Street, at the corner with 12th Avenue North. Street parking available on 12th. And maybe grab a bite at Mai-Bee’s Southern Cuisine across the street, which sports a mural of its own I’ll feature later.

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Welcome to the garden

Garden Brunch Cafe mural by Norf Collective

In honor of the Jefferson Street Art Crawl which I visited this evening, some Jefferson Street art. Why, you might ask, is this picture taken at such an odd angle? Well, there’s a fence in the way. A fence that serves no obvious purpose other than blocking a clear view of this mural. This is a Norf Collective piece (their website is down as of this posting – I’ll add the link if it comes back up), done as part of the Jefferson Street Community Health Fair last August. See the Get healthy! post for more details. It’s found on the east wall of the Garden Brunch Cafe (which I recommend), so the depiction of a quiet garden makes sense.

UPDATE: Here’s their Facebook page.

Located at 924 Jefferson Street. If you are there for a meal, and why wouldn’t you be, the restaurant has parking in back. You can probably also park next door at Popeye’s or the church behind the Garden Brunch Cafe.

The South Wall (Norf Wall gallery, part 9)


Returning to an older project (almost finished!), here is the south outside wall of the old tire factory on Herman Street. This wall is almost entirely elaborate tags. Up on the second floor, there’s a tag for “UTL Krew.” The #utlcrew tag on Instagram reveals UTL to be a group of Atlanta artists, who use the Mibs and Seimr tags seen at the west end of the building. It would seem too they are responsible for Unsafe at any speed. At the far east of the wall, a UH tag appears, so locals were also involved in this working this wall. It’s somewhat overgrown, no doubt worse in the summer, but the tracks at least mean you don’t have to fight your way through vegetation. See Part 1 for more information on this site, and see the link for Part 1 on the map.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 10

Located at the north end of the 800 block of 19th Street N., at the corner of Herman Street. It’s impossible to miss. Street parking is very haphazard. There is a lot of to see here, and also a lot of overgrown weeds (depending on the time of year) so wear the right shoes!

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Get healthy!


The Norf Art Collective, now found at, continues to bring more and more art to the North Nashville/Jefferson Street community. They produced this piece, called “Stalactight,” with help from a grant United Health Care gave to the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership to fund art that promotes healthy living. The mural was unveiled during the Jefferson Street Community Health Fair back in August. I like the use of the drip technique on this piece, notably on the back part (see below). It’s not the Norf Collective’s only bicycle mural – another is found at Green Fleet Bicycle Shop a few blocks down the Jefferson Street. I’ll feature that one soon.

Located at 2035 Jefferson Street. The mural is on the west wall, facing the driveway between 2035 and Dimelo Motor Works. (Why a moto scooter repair and rental store is called “tell it to me” I’m not sure. Must be a story there.) There are a couple of parking spaces in front of 2035, but there’s no sign indicating if the building is even occupied. The scooter shop and the apartment building on the east side have parking, but your best best is probably just to park in the driveway if it’s not occupied.


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