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Schools and Universities

A Splash of Color

For twenty years, these colorful dancing figures have graced the side of the Watkins Park Community Center. They, along with the mosaics and other figures that adorn the entrance, are called “A Splash of Color,” and were done in 2000 by Doug Stevenson, Ronnica Stanley, and Lynn Harroff.  I got their names from the Metro-Owned Artwork Conditions Assessment Report (pdf), but otherwise, I’ve been able to learn little about them. It’s likely they were associated with the community center at the time. Since then a tree has grown up that obscures the center figures, but otherwise, as the report states, their condition, and the condition of the mosaics, is quite good. Pretty impressive for painted wood exposed to the weather. And they definitely bring color and life to an otherwise drab building. Some differ, but I believe bringing beauty to public spaces is a good use of Metro dollars, though, in these tough budget times, we probably won’t be getting anything new for a while. Good thing these relics are holding up well.

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These are the mosaics and other figures at the entrance.

Watkins Figures mural mosaic Nashville Street art

Located at 617 17th Avenue North. The figures along the wall face south towards Jo Johnston Avenue, while the entrance is on 17th Avenue. The community center has parking, and street parking is available nearby.

Warner Elementary, Part 2

A few weeks back I wrote about the mural on the low thin wall on the front side of  Warner Arts Magnet Elementary done by  Andee Rudloff and the Warner students and staff and noted it was one of two. Well, this is the second one! It’s on the backside of the school. As with the first, Rudloff work-shopped with students before developing her design. As is usual with her community murals, Rudloff did a black-and-white outline of all the images, and she and students and staff worked together to fill in the colors. Surreal scenes of students, teachers, games and a fair amount of whimsy make up the mural. Rudloff has been working with other schools around town, so keep an eye out for her signature style at your local schools and community centers.

Warner Elementary Mural street art Nashville

Located at 628 Russell Street, on the south side of the building, which faces Fatherland Street. The mural faces east. While the mural can be seen from the street, a closer look requires being on school grounds. You should time your visit for the weekends or after school hours. If more than one or two cars are in the parking lot on the backside of the school, it’s probably open. Parking is available in that lot when school is closed and on nearby streets.

Warner Elementary, Part 1

What better place than an art school for a mural! In fact, Warner Arts Magnet Elementary has two new murals, courtesy of Andee Rudloff. The long thin one above is found on retaining wall around the cul-de-sac in front of the school. As is her usual technique, Rudloff worked with the clients, that is the students, to develop ideas, then painted the outlines. Later, students pitched in to help color the mural. Rudloff has worked with a number of other schools, and her colorful, playful style has an obvious appeal to kids (of all ages!). Themes found in this mural include playgrounds, cityscapes, theater, school buses, and friends. There is also a giant pencil with the school’s name on top of the wall (see the second slide show below). It certainly brightens up the wait to pick up or drop off a child!

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Located at 628 Russell Street, between the school and East Park. Street parking and parking at the park are available. It might be best to visit on the weekends or after school hours.

 

There flys a peace crane

WishForPeace

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!

Oz Arts Inside/Out, Part 4

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Seems I missed one of the Oz Arts Inside/Out installations when I first reported on them. There is, in fact, a display at Meharry Medical College. Many of the people in this mural are wearing Meharry gear, and there was a shoot for the project at Meharry last June, so I’m assuming all of these people are Meharry folk. See Part 1 for more details. The two blocked faces are below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Located at 1003 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Blvd, on the east facing wall of the Office of Information and Technology (otherwise know as the Computer Center, per the sign). The Computer Center lies on the block between Meharry Blvd. and Albion Street. This is dead in the middle of a large university complex (Fisk University is across the street), so parking is problematical. There is a paid parking garage on Albion. The spaces in front of the mural are reserved, though for a quick visit in the late afternoon you can probably get away with using them.

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With mind and spirit soaring

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That’s the motto of the Episcopal School of Nashville, who commissioned Chip Boles to produce this mural to grace their parking lot/basketball court. Boles, whose mural work seems to be mostly in indoor locations, used the theme as inspiration for “Nashville Community,” as he has dubbed the mural. Familiar Nashville icons grace the mural, though I’ve seen more possums than raccoons myself! There is also a more abstract piece behind it that pushes the limits of the term “public art.” While the Boles mural is clearly visible from Woodland Street, the other piece (last picture at the bottom), while outdoors, can only be clearly seen if you get up on the porch of the school building, which you would need permission from the school operators to do. We’ll call it “hidden art.” My guess is it is also temporary student art.

Located at 419 Woodland Street, just west of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, near the corner of 5th and Woodland. The parking lot has a gate, but it is often open after hours. During the school day this is, of course, a working school, so you should probably not approach without permission. The Boles mural is fairly easy to see from the street if the gate is locked.

Breaking through

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Across the street from The Gallatin and Straightway Gallery is this Eastside Murals production celebrating Lincoln Tech, what was once known to Nashvillians as Nashville Auto Diesel College. Ian Lawrence and Sterling Goller-Brown of Eastside Murals have done a number of pieces in town, such as the one featured in The cats are loose. Lincoln, and Auto-Diesel before it, of course features a fair amount of training in the automotive arts, and its students can often be seen crossing the street to shop at Jerry’s Market, centerpiece of the Gallatin and Straightway Gallery.

Located at 1524 Gallatin Avenue. The mural is on the south side of the building and actually faces Strouse Avenue. A fair amount of parking, though a little less when classes are in session. Plenty of street parking nearby. Vroom-vroom!

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On here grows no leaves

Tree statue Vanderbilt art Nashville

The older part of Vanderbilt University campus, roughly that part bordered by West End to the north and the medical center to the south, between 21st and 24th Avenues, is something of a sculpture garden. Scattered around the grounds are a few statues of people important in Vandy history, as well as some more abstract and “art for art’s sake” pieces. This is my favorite, the “Tree of Learning,” by Greg Wyatt (2000), a gift of the Newington-Cropsey Association. Look close and you’ll notice the trunks are made of human forms. The tree, appropriately, is directly in front of the entrance to the main library, though it wouldn’t look too out of place in front of a haunted house!

Located in front of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library on Library Lawn on the Vanderbilt campus. The library backs up onto 21st Avenue near the corner with Scarritt Place. If you know where SATCO is, just cross the street there and walk up the stairs straight ahead that lead up to Library Lawn. Parking anywhere near Vanderbilt is problematic. Expect to pay or walk a few blocks. Wander the grounds to see the rest of the sculptures. The library has open stacks, so pop in and learn something!

Tree statue Vanderbilt art Nashville

She blinded me with science!

STEM mural street art Nashville
The STEM Preparatory Academy on Foster Avenue in South Nashville sports this prominent display invoking the circuitry that students no doubt learn about. There’s no signature on this trompe l’oeil piece — perhaps a collaboration with the Nashville School of the Arts next door? That juxtaposition raises all kinds of possibilities! UPDATE: This is a Murals and More piece by Michael Cooper. It’s featured prominently on his website.

Located on the TPS Complex on Foster Avenue, in the 1100/1200 block. The mural faces west, and is visible from the road across a green space. No street parking, and on the weekends the parking lots are closed, so you have to park at one of the companies across the street and pretend you didn’t see the “no trespassing” sign at the complex entrance. It’s small. This is a school, so seeing it during the week may depend on school visiting policies.

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