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Nashville murals, street art, graffiti, signs, sculptures and more

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Tomato Art Fest, 2020

So much that is so different in 2020, so many things lost. For most of us, the social part of life has been greatly diminished since mid March, both on a personal and a community scale. Certainly, the raucous Tomato Arts Fest that comes to the Lockeland Springs neighborhood in East Nashville each August was tampered down a great deal by the pandemic. Instead of massive crowds dressed in red and green down at Five Points, a Porch Parade of cars, some decked out in green and red, brought the fest to the people, music blaring.

Of course, it’s an arts fest, and there was still tomato-themed art to find and buy. One piece in particular you can’t exactly buy but you can admire is this fence by Tarabella Aversa. It’s on 17th Street, which explains the “Love the One 7” motto. It’s not the first Tomato Arts Fest fence, those have been seen before, like the one featured in Robots don’t care about veggies. And it’s certainly not Aversa’s first fence mural. I featured another one by her recently in One Way. Fence art is becoming a little more common, and I’ll be posting more soon.

Hopefully, the Tomato Arts Fest will be back in all of its full glory next August. Whatever happens, I’ll be documenting any outdoor art it produces.

Located at 1800 Eastland Avenue. That’s the address of the house. The mural actually faces 17th Street North, along the 500 block, near the corner with Eastland. There is street parking available on 17th. This is a private home, so please be respectful.

The Flowers of Rosebank

This colorful display of flowers is something I might ordinarily be hesitant to put on the blog, as it is not only at a personal home, it’s also at the end of a short driveway, set back from the road. But I was contacted by one of the homeowners to let me know about it and suggest I put it on the blog. The artist is Melody Cash, a local artist and graphic designer. You wouldn’t know it from that website, but on her Facebook page, you can see that this isn’t her only fence work and also not her only flowers on fences. I’m not sure where some of that other work is, but I’ll be sure to put it on the blog if I find it. The homeowner who wrote to me, Allison, said that they are happy for people to stop and take pictures of it and get their picture made it front of it. Please be respectful if you do.

Located at 1425 Rosebank Avenue. You can park a short distance away on Sheridan Road, or if you feel like a walk, this is only a block or so from Cornelia Fort Park.

Riding!

Tucked away on the back side of Block E of the massive Capitol View project is this charming mural of a kid on a trike by Music City Murals. Though sort of hidden in an alleyway between the building and a raised railway track, the subject is appropriate, for there’s a short tunnel just across the alley that leads to Frankie Pierce Park, a green space that includes a children’s playground that was built as a public-private partnership between Capitol View and Metro ParksPierce was a civil rights activist who played an important part in the women’s suffrage movement in Nashville. The mural is one of three that Music City Murals has done for Capitol View, the other two in much more visible places. They’ll be on the blog soon. The hardest part of researching this (since I already knew who had done this unsigned mural) was working out exactly where it is on a map. Google Maps, as of this publication, has still not fully incorporated this relatively new development project. Google wants you to believe this patch of land is on the border between “North Gulch” (ugh) and Hope Gardens, but long-time locals know that it’s Hells Half-Acre.

Tricycle Kid mural Nashville street art

Located at 500 11th Avenue North. That’s the address of Block E of the Capitol View development, the building the mural is located on. The mural is found in an ally/driveway that separates Block E from the raised railroad that lies to the east, in the direction of the Capitol. The alley runs between Nelson Merry Street and LifeWay Plaza. The mural faces south, towards Nelson Merry, and is about in the middle of the block. There is plenty of parking available in the complex’s garages.

Love, Nashville

In times like this, sometimes a simple message is the best. This mural, which is the product of Madeline Lederman, is just a few weeks old. It sits on a building behind the Charlotte Avenue post office, a building which at times has attracted graffiti. Lederman is a teenager, and I’m pretty sure she’s the second youngest artist I’ve featured on this blog, after Drew T. Morrison, who I wrote about in The drops of Saint Stephen. There’s definitely a Sixties vibe to Lederman’s piece, which is totally in keeping with the one-word message “LOVE,” something that shows up a lot in Sixties iconography. Lederman was recently featured in WPLN’s “Dispatches from Quarantine” series, where she expressed her struggles with separation from school and friends. Here at least she has found a creative outlet. This appears to be Lederman’s first mural. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more work from her.

Located at 4414 Park Avenue. That’s the technical address, as this is the back side of a storage building belonging to the house with that address. However, to view the mural, you need to go to the US Post Office at 4501 Charlotte Avenue. The mural is across an alley at the rear of the post office. Parking is available at the post office, and the mural is quite visible from the parking lot.

Precious Jewel

When I recorded the damage to Nashville’s art from the March 3 tornado, I featured a flag-and-eagle mural by Kim Radford. It was at the time one of only a few outdoor murals she had done in Nashville (and which has happily survived the storm, its wall preserved while the rest of the building is being completely rebuilt). Since then, she’s been increasingly prolific. This guitar-and-birds mural appeared just a few weeks ago, at the corner of Douglas and Lischey, just around the corner from another of Radford’s murals. The guitar is adorned with a Maya Angelou quote, from the poem “You are a precious jewel.”

Precious jewel, you glow, you shine,
reflecting all the good things in the world.

The birds in flight reflect this optimistic theme, sailing away from a flowery guitar. The quote may also reflect that this mural is a memorial. At the bottom of the guitar, it reads:

In Loving Memory: Mohhamed Hossein Seyed Sharifi 10/2/94 – 2/19/19. Heaven couldn’t wait for you.

I would note that now having seen a few of Radford’s murals, she reminds me of Eastside Murals. Some muralists, I see their work, and I know immediately who made it. But Radford and Eastside are not easily pigeon-holed, and work in a number of styles. Thankfully, they both sign their art, which makes my work a lot easier.

It’s also somewhat notable that this mural is found on the facade of Douglas Market Lofts, named after the market that used to sit on this corner. It’s really no longer novel for a business, a condo building in this case, to have murals and other outdoor art. No, it’s becoming increasingly the order of the day, a thing that business owners do to try to get your attention and stand out. And that’s good because we get more art!

Radford Guitar mural Nashville street art

Radford Birds mural Nashville street art

Located at 337 Douglas Avenue. The mural faces east, towards Lischey Avenue. There is street parking available on Lischey, on the block south of Douglas.

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!

Hear now this!

 

The artist who goes by jamersonsgc and signs all his work #lowkeyart has been busy of late. You’ll see on his Instagram page linked above a lot of new work in an around the J.C. Napier Homes, and along the Lafayette/Murfreesboro Pike corridor. This home, found at the corner of Cannon and Claiborne Streets, on the southeast of the Napier complex, is an older work. The whole house is covered, primarily with religious themes. On the front, he quotes both Jeremiah 5:21 (thus the title of this post) and the gospel tune “Open our Eyes.” Here it is by The Gospel Chiefs, Earth Wind & Fire, and Funkadelic. There’s a Christ figure on one side, a giant “ELOHIM” on the other, and the apple and serpent in the garden on the back. The house itself is in bad shape. While gentrification is coming slowly to this neighborhood, this still should be considered endangered art. At the rate this artist is going, there will be plenty to replace it soon should it go.

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Located at 71 Cannon Street. There is street parking available. The house appears unoccupied, but still, be respectful.

I see purple

BDonahueForrestPurple

Back when I blogged about the Mermaid House, the former owner contacted me. She let me know that there were more murals around back. Like the mermaid in front, this mural is the work of Brandon Donahue, who, like myself, is a professor at Tennesee State University. There is also something of a surprise here. For the most part, graffiti taggers are respectful of murals, but not this time. The style of the tag is one I’ve seen around East Nashville. “Editing” is always a possibility with outdoor art. The back fence of the yard of the house next door also has a colorful mural. (See the slideshow below.) It’s not signed and does not appear on Donahue’s website, so I’m not sure who made it. One notable detail on this second mural is the small “Hunter’s” sign. Hunter’s was an auto body shop that had extravagant signage a couple blocks from these houses, signage lost in the site’s recent renovation (though not completely – it does appear some of it is being saved).

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Located in the alley behind at 1205 and 1203 Forrest Ave. Street parking is available. These are private homes, so be respectful.

A Fly Over Tennessee

FlyOverMain

I have driven by this mural hundreds of times, as I live nearby, and finally, I’m putting it on the blog. It’s easy to take the art you see every day for granted. “A Fly Over Tennesee” is an Andee Rudloff production. As she has done with other projects, she designed and drew the mural, and then community volunteers helped complete it. The mural was sponsored by Aerial Innovations Southeast, an aerial photography company that’s right next door. The theme seems to be all the great things you can see from the air in Tennessee. There’s a video of the production of this mural produced by Allie Sultan of Green Scoot Films, with still photography by Stacey Irvin and music by Fred Wilhelm.

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Located at 1626 Russell St. The mural faces the alley between and Fatherland Street, right across from Aerial Innovations, which is at 202 South 17th Street. The fence backs up on the yard of a private house, so be respectful.

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