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I see purple

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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

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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.

The Mermaid House

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I live down the street from this house, and pass it almost every day. I’ve wanted to put it on the blog pretty much from day one (it first appeared around the time I started the blog in 2016), but I never knew who made it. And then I found it on a local artist’s website while researching another post. Problem solved – except, I forgot who the artist was. I searched every local artist’s site I could think of – and nothing. Tonight I was planning on posting about another of the Norf Wall murals, which turned out to be by Brandon Donahue, who, like me, is a TSU professor. So I checked out his website – and there was the mermaid. Well, Professor Donahue’s Norf Wall mural (which is education-themed) will have to wait. At present, the house appears to be unoccupied and is being renovated by Bootstrap Architecture and Construction. One would hope that they or a future owner would leave the mermaid in place, but now may be the time to get your picture made with it. I may be wrong about the house being unoccupied, so I can only recommend taking pictures from the sidewalk.

Located at 1205 Forrest Ave. Street parking is available. This is a private home, occupied or not, so be respectful.

Down on the farm

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When people think Nashville, they think the glitz of Lower Broad, the hipness of 12 South or maybe the interstate traffic jams of all over. But Nashville is merged with Davidson Country, and there are plenty of rural areas, with actual farms, just a few miles from downtown, particularly in the north-central and northwestern parts of the country. Part of this is geography, where a winding river cuts off places far from a bridge, and a steep climb as you go north and west also restricts development. Farm country doesn’t produce a whole lot of outdoor art, but it’s not completely barren. I think this sign on the barn at Evergreen Farm on Brick Church Pike definitely qualifies. I thought about just isolating the sign in the main picture, but the real effect is with the full tableau. I couldn’t find a website for the farm as a farm, but apparently, there is a cabin you can rent.

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Located at 4412 Brick Church Pike. There is no street parking on Brick Church, but less than 100 feet away is the intersection with Jackson Road, and it is possible to park there. This is a private home, so be respectful. And wave at the horses!

I believe in not standing in line

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One of the most talked about and photographed murals in town is the “I Believe in Nashville” mural in 12 South by Adrien Saporiti of DCXV Industries. When it was vandalized and then restored, local news covered it. It even has its own Facebook page, along with other versions of the mural found at Basement East and Marathon Village. The one in 12 South, on the north side of Archangel Esthetics, is the champ, with people standing in sometimes quite long lines to get their picture taken. Only the wings mural by Kelsey Montague featured in Sometimes you have to be obvious rivals it for Instagram portraits. The Marathon and Basement East ones generally don’t involve waiting, though they can. (The Basement East version is the best one for taking a selfie because it’s up high, and so you can angle your phone and get a decent shot.) But for the one above, I think I can guarantee you no waiting, ever. I’m not sure if this was actually done by Saporiti – it isn’t signed, and it doesn’t appear on the DCXV Instagram page or the “I Believe in Nashville” Facebook page. It’s on a retaining wall in front of a private home on Shelby, and may simply be a homage by the homeowners. Regardless, I’m listing it under Saproriti on the Artists page, as it is obviously his design. So come and get your unique, ivy-framed “I Believe in Nashville” portrait and be the envy of all your friends. And don’t stand in line.

UPDATE: Per the comment below, the mural was done by homeowner Jason T. Ryan.

Located at 906 Shelby Avenue. There is street parking on Shelby and Ninth. The mural is right off the sidewalk, facing north. This is a private home, so be respectful.

Perseverance

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Or at least that’s what the dedicatory plaque calls it. But on the Norf Art Collective’s project page for this mural, it’s called “Family Matters.” No matter, it’s rather impressive either way. Put up last November, it honors Diane Nash, Curlie McGruder, Z. Alexander Looby, and John Lewis. I let the Tenessee Tribune explain who they are:

Curlie McGruder was a tremendous supporter of Nash and Lewis as they led the desegregation of Nashville lunch counters with sit-ins and organized the “Freedom Rides” in the Jim Crow South. E. Alexander Looby was a lawyer and in this capacity he protected many Civil Rights activists…John Lewis was a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement and has recently toured the United States speaking about his experience and the changes he played a part in making.

The small plaque on the right side dedicates the mural to Rev. Bill Barnes, a longtime affordable housing advocate who died just a few months before the mural went up. It’s fitting then that the mural is found on the side of an Urban Housing Solutions property, a private non-profit that builds and administers affordable housing. The mural is yet another project sponsored by the local office of Google Fiber.

There’s a video from the Norf Art Collective page showing the mural going up.

Located at 2615 Clarksville Pike. The mural is located on the Northwest side of the building. There is a fair amount of parking behind the building and much more at a small shopping complex across and south a bit the street on 26th Avenue. People live here, so be respectful.

 

A neighborhood fence

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Not all great art is from professional artists. Some of it comes from the kids in the neighborhood. This Eastwood home sports a brightly colored fence of work from clearly enthusiastic young artists. It includes a chalkboard labeled “commUNITY.” When I passed by, there was a little box of chalk beneath it so a passerby might add some art of their own. I think my favorite panel is the flag, but they are all great. There are two panels of flowers separate from the main group that you’ll find in the slideshow below.

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Located at 301 Scott Avenue, at the corner with Benjamin Street. There is plenty of free street parking in this neighborhood. This is a private home, so please be respectful.

 

Nashville skyline

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I have no clue who did this. There is a small apartment building on Fisk Street, just off Charlotte, that has this mural. It depicts the Nashville skyline and is tagged “Act Now.” This mural shows up in a Google street view from 2016, which I think is its origin year. Again, more business owners and more public officials are figuring out the value of public art, so more stuff appears.

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!

Ice cream graffiti

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Not too many homeowners willingly allow their property to be used as a canvas for graffiti artists, but not only has the owner at 1600 Litton allowed it, but done so on a major scale. This installation is large and bold, full of bright colors hard to ignore,  colors with more psychedelic pop than one usually sees in Nashville graffiti. Interestingly, Google street view has a March 2016 shot of this fence that shows different tags with a much bluer, laid back palette (see the slide show below). If you look close at the photo above you’ll see a section of fence laying against the garage that is apparently from that former installation. In both cases, the tags are familiar ones, generally associated with the UH crew, including the nearly ubiquitous “Rasmo” tag. The tag on the back fence also has a small “Betor,” which I think is a memorial, not a signature.

Located at 1600 Litton Street, at the corner of Litton and Branch, one block west of Riverside Drive. There is parking a little farther south on Branch, at the apartment complex. This is a private home, so be respectful.

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