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No art left behind

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Signs

Hunt Supply Co.

When is hidden art not hidden art? When it’s only visible from an alleyway, but that alleyway has a fair amount of foot traffic. Hunt Supply Co. supplies all your skateboarding needs and is found in an alley a couple doors back behind Beyond the Edge in the Five Points district. According to Google Maps, the alley is called “#929 Alley.” As a long-time resident of Lockeland Springs, which borders Five Points, this is news to me. Hunt Supply has been in place for a few years, long enough to acquire multiple stages of art. For some time, there was an Emily Miller wheat-pasted and skateboarding paper wolf just below the sign (see at the bottom). The current work is by David Wright of Manecoon Sign Company and an artist he credits as @_wanted_1 on Instagram (that account has no pictures or information). It features a western scene, which may or may not have much to do with skateboarding, but the wolf at the end mimics Miller’s piece. If you check out the Instagram page of Jason Hunt, the store’s owner, you’ll see a fair amount of wolf imagery, and the shop dog, Harley, has something of wolf-like look. There’s a large sign in the back which was also done by Wright.

Located at 118 South 11th Street D. The “D” means “behind.” There is a path that reaches from 11th to Hunt Supply, but the real front of Hunt Supply, and the main mural, faces the alley. The alley can be reached from the 1000 block Woodland Street between Five Points Pizza (at 1012) and Boston Common, aka Batter’d & Fried (at 1008 A). It can also be accessed from the 1000 block of Russell Street, next to the YMCA Community Action Program building at 1021, or from the paid parking lot next to Beyond the Edge.

The Words of Armstrong Real Estate

This little mural on the side of Armstrong Real Estate off Dickerson Pike has flummoxed me for a while. I was certain it was a Nathan Brown piece, as it is so similar to a style Brown has used before, such as in the mural featured in Bootstrap and an interior mural at Far East Nashville ( a restaurant I highly recommend). But it isn’t signed. And Brown’s style has been copied before, not this style, but his “geometric gradient style” that you can see in the mural featured in Topgolf. And the style “homage” is found in a mural that’s right next door! So I needed to be sure. Did I ever go over to Armstrong and ask. No, I kept putting it off. But I ran into Aaron Armstong on the trick-or-treat circuit, and he confirmed the artist’s identity. Dickerson Pike is well behind the parallel-running Gallatin, but with its increasing development, I would expect to see more art in the future. Of course, that also means a lot of the old signage on that road is endangered. The office also features a nice hand-painted sign on the front (I’m not sure who did that). And hey, I wonder who that is reflected on the glass? Hmmm.

Armstrong Realty Sign street art Nashville

Located at 1301 Dickerson Avenue. The mural is on the south of the building, facing Douglas Ave. The sign is on the east, facing Dickerson. There is plenty of parking here and next door.

Welcome to Goodlettsville

The artist Kristy Oakley has developed something of a series of community murals, all with large block letters featuring local landmarks. There is one for Donelson, one for East Nashville, and very recently, one for Goodlettsville. And very recently – the dedication for this one is scheduled for November 4th. It was sponsored by the Goodlettsville Chamber of Commerce and lies on the south wall of Perk Up Cafe & Gifts. It includes landmarks like the Connor Memorial United Methodist Church, the Bowen Plantation House, the Old Stone Bridge, the old Bank of Goodlettsville building (now occupied by Artists on Main), Moss Wright Park, the old Goodlettsville High School, and Goodlettsville City Hall. And there’s more! Oakley also did some work on the front of the building  (see slideshow below) and the back. The back two panels were done first for the owners of Perk Up, who wanted to cover some plain wood panels. (I’m not sure who did the signs on the front.) Tim Ellis, Goodletesville’s City Manager, has a picture on his Twitter page of the mural as it was about three-fourths finished (where you can see that Oakley worked from the bottom up and right to left). He also calls this “Mural number 1”, implying the Chamber has more murals planned. I’ll certainly be looking for them.

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Located at 136 South Main Street (Dickerson Pike) in Goodlettsville. There is parking at Perk Up and it’s plausible to park on East Avenue (which faces the mural) for a short period of time. Perk Up is closed on Sundays and after 3 or 4 the rest of the week – when it’s open, someone is likely to be parked in front of the main mural.

Obie’s no more?

Pizza Mural street art Nashvillle

Of late, Nashville’s “Rock Block,” located along Elliston Place, has been under threat. First, Gold Rush closed. More recently, there was a controversial move to rezone the lots at Elliston Place and Lousie Avenue, currently the site of three small buildings collectively known as the Louise Douglas apartments, to allow a 15-story hotel to be built on the spot. Such a building would tower over longtime music venues The End and Exit/In and radically alter the character of the neighborhood, not to mention eliminate some of the only reasonably affordable housing left in Midtown. After much public outcry, the rezoning measure was withdrawn, though the long-term future of the area remains uncertain. One troubling feature is the apparent closure of Obie’s Pizza, which lies in front of The End and just east of the apartments. It hasn’t been open in a couple of months or so. There is a sign on the door that says they will reopen soon, but the number at that link I gave for them has been disconnected, and there’s no sign of activity. So their mural, made for them by Tyler Z. Key, in all likelihood will disappear sooner than later. Call it endangered art. The mural has been edited at least once. On Key’s Instagram page, you can see that the mural once had a large signature at the bottom reading “TiiKii Art.” If you look close, you can see where it’s been painted over next to the blue hand. Key apparently decided to go with a more subdued signature, reading “TZ Key.” Either way, check it out soon while you still can.

Located at 2217 Elliston Place. The mural is on the west side of the building. There’s some free street parking in the area, but not a lot. You can probably get away with parking in the lot in front of the mural for a short time if you just want to grab a picture.

Jerry’s Artarama

Of course an art supply store has a mural. This is particularly true if that art supply store is in Nashville. When the Nashville branch of Jerry’s Aratama moved from Antioch to East Nashville two years ago, it acquired a mural even before it opened. The mural appropriately features many of the colors you might want to create art from, pouring out of tubes of the primary colors, red, blue and…wait, yellow? Ok, not actually the primary colors. But you can get green from blue and yellow, so close enough. The main mural is a joint work by Hannah Holgate, who has been on this blog before, and Marshall Hall, who is making his debut here. Both Holgate and Hall work in the frame shop at this store. I live in this neighborhood, and pass this mural every day, so why has it taken two years to put this very obvious mural on the blog? I got pictures of it a long time ago, but after that, the artists added their signatures, so I needed new ones. And the combination of an empty parking lot and good light eluded me for months. But it is just as well, as I can add the tubes of paint Hall recently put in every parking space (minus the handicapped spaces). There are eighteen in all, and all a little different. This is a very art dense spot, and as a result, this may be the most image dense article on this blog! It’s worth noting that Jerry’s Artarama is a national chain, breaking the rule that national chains don’t so local outdoor art. But of course, this is an art supply chain, and that rule is beginning to break in Nashville anyway. The slideshows below are 1) closeups of the mural and 2) four sets of the paint tubes, running east to west. There are also some signs in the parking lot, painted on artist’s palettes. You might notice some pallets (not the artist kind but the moving stuff kind) in a couple photos – those seem to be a permanent feature of the site.

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Located at 713 Main Street. Obviously, there is parking, though you will inevitably park on top of some art. A good strategy is to get there before they are open (10:00 am every day except Sunday when they open at noon) and park next door.

Follow the yellow brick road

Is Nashville really Oz? It’s certainly an Emerald City in Anthony’s Billups’s mural for The Griff Apartments. The skyline is roughly what you would see looking south from The Griff’s roof, minus the yellow brick road and the poppies and trees. That’s Topgolf off to the left, and of course the Batman Building in the middle. Like the Eiffel Tower for Paris, all images of Nashville’s skyline must have the Batman Building. The brown building on the right is presumably the old meatpacking plant across the street from The Griff, which is in the habit of catching on fire. The mural decorates a utility box that would otherwise just be a concrete slab and is further evidence that more and more, Nashville businesses know they need art. Billups, who is part of Music City Murals, also did some signage in The Griff’s garage that is in a very different style (see slideshow below) from this mural. I could not discern a signature on the mural, but the staff, who informed me who the artist was, said that it is hidden in there somewhere. Maybe if you follow the yellow brick road you’ll find it and the wizard. I’m guessing the wizard lives at the top of the Batman Building.

Yellow Brick mural street art Nashville

 

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Located at 1390 Adams Street. The mural is actually on Taylor Street, on the south side of the building, facing Adams Street. The entrance to the garage is on the north side of the building, and the signs on the first floor. There is some street parking on Adams, and guest parking in The Griff’s parking garage.

King Solomon Gyros

Solomon Gyros sign mural street art Nashville

If you’ve ever driven down lower Gallatin, you’ve seen the sign. You may even have picked up a meal or twenty there. I usually get the combo plate, but this Scene article makes me think I’ll get the gyro sandwich next time I drop by King Solomon Gyros. Sadly, I do not know who made this sign. The business has exchanged hands in the last several months, and the current owners don’t know who the sign maker was. There’s also some reason to be concerned about the future of this business, as recently this property and the old church next door were bought by James Higgins and Richard Piliponis for $1.02 million. One would hope they don’t mess with a very successful take-out place. The two men, who also own Noble’s Kitchen & Beer Hall right down the street (site of the mural featured in A noble brew), seem to be planning on turning the former New Destiny Christian Fellowship into a pub named Eastwood Assembly. Some of the nearby neighbors have read the word “pub” to mean “bar” and have voiced opposition. The Nashville Post article previously linked also notes that the church building has structural issues that have put plans on hold for now. Again, one would hope Higgins and Piliponis have no plans for King Solomon’s besides collecting a reasonable rent.

UPDATE: The sign was produced by David Wright of Manecoon Sign Company.

Located at 716 Gallatin Ave, at the corner with Chicamgua Avenue, across from Kroger. Solomon has parking, and street parking is available, but really you should admire the mural as you pass through the drive-through!

Living Waters

Living Waters mural street art Nashville

About a month and a half ago, a new brewhouse and coffee shop opened on Trinity Lane, Living Waters Brewing. (Not “Brewery” as I originally typed. Think about it – both coffee and beer are brewed, so “Brewing” is a better name.) But several months before it opened, back in January, Living Waters acquired this mural, courtesy of Tara Marie Aversa (who now uses the name Tarabella Aversa on Instagram.) You can tell it was a cold month from a production shot she posted to her IG account. The design is Living Waters’ logo, a stylized wave, which is why it doesn’t have Aversa’s usual plethora of flowers. I also have to note Living Waters’ IG post about this mural that credits Aversa. Too often businesses do not credit the artists who do this kind of work, and Living Waters went further and noted the difficulty of the canvas – painting a circle on a ridged surface was no doubt a bit of a challenge. This building also contains CrossFit Rising Sun, which has a sign/mural by Folek Kelof.

Located at 1056 East Trinity Lane. The mural above is on the north side of the building, facing Trinity. The Rising Sun mural is on the east side. There is plenty of parking at this site.

A refurbished stalwart citizen

One of the very first posts on this blog was A Stalwart Nashville Citizen (July 3, 2016), highlighting the sign of Ironworkers Local 492 on Dickerson Road. But back then, our man in blue was simply gray and had a fair amount of rust as well. Sometime in the last year, 492 obviously thought it was time to spruce the guy up with some fresh paint! And it being Labor Day, it’s an obvious time to celebrate his sharp new look. Now his uniform, tools, gloves, and boots are much easier to make out. And with the new paint job, he will continue to watch over Dickerson Pike (and remind frequent drivers that Trinity Lane is just around the curve) for years to come.

Ironworkers sculpture street art Nashvile

 

Ironworkers sculpture street art Nashville

 

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At 2424 Dickerson Pike. The union office has a large parking lot, and unless the union workers are practing in the lot, you should be able to park there.

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