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Signs

Sweet and Spicy

BoltonsFishandChicken

On the 2300 block of Franklin Pike, there are two neighbors who share a very similar art style. One is Bolton’s. We’ve met them before on this blog, in No, I didn’t need my taste buds, actually. That post featured the oldest Bolton’s on Main, and you can read all about Bolton’s and find links about Nashville’s hot chicken tradition there. The other is Supreme Kreme Nashville, which sells Thai-style rolled ice cream and boba tea. Now that’s just the combination you need, right? A powerful burn from Bolton’s cooled down with some tea and sweets from Supreme Kreme. Make it a date!

Located at 2309 A and B Franklin Pike South. Supreme Kreme lists its address as Eighth Avenue South, while Bolton’s says Franklin Pike. They are the same road. Both lie directly across from the intersection with MelPark Drive. Plenty of parking. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

On your side

NationwidePirtle

In some neighborhoods, lots of business owners have concluded that public art is important for their brand. In others, it goes more slowly. So kudos to Eric Pirtle of Eric Pirtle Insurance Agency in Donelson for being a pioneer. Outdoor art is a little unusual in Donelson, but there are a few prominent examples (like this one). There is no signature on this work, but the artist does manage a little bit of trompe l’oeil, with some illusion of depth.

Located at 2630 Old Lebanon Road in Donelson. The mural is on the east side of the building, facing the railroad tracks. There is plenty of parking at the agency and nearby. Get a quote on your car insurance and enjoy the art!

Go, go gorilla!

WorldGymGorrila

Hey, it’s a gorilla! With weights! Not much to say about this except that it’s further evidence that Nashville business owners are more and more understanding the importance of public art on their facilities. The placement on the corner is unusual. This is on the new World Gym in the Gulch, and the gorilla appears to be a symbol of the national chain.

Located at 114 George L. David Boulevard. The mural actually faces Grundy Street, about a block west from Chauhan Ale and Masala House. Street parking and parking at the gym available. Break a sweat and enjoy the art.

 

Mmm, pizza!

Italia

There are signs, and there are better signs. Italia Pizza and Pasta, known to everyone just as “Italia,” recently acquired an impossible to miss mural advertising its scrumptious pizza. Seriously, you have to look hard to find bad reviews of this place. Most people love it (and I say for good reason). Once housed in the old Dairy Dip (now occupied by the Urban Cowboy Public House), Italia has been at 16th and Woodland for several years now. Maybe success has paved the way to art, but it’s also true that right across the street is Lockeland Table, one of the very best restaurants in town, in Tennesse for that matter, and which also serves pizza. In fact, they are very different places and both very much worth a try if you haven’t yet. Italia has tables but is more of a take-out place, while you should get reservations for Lockeland. The mural is signed “MCM/Music City Murals Tomasek.” We’ve seen Tomasek before – that’s the nom de paintbrush of Anthony Billups, and as noted before, at least one other artist in town uses the brand name “Music City Murals.

Located at 1600 Woodland, at the corner of 16th. There’s parking in back and some street parking. Order up a pizza or maybe some lasagna (or both!) and enjoy the art!

Quiero dulces, por favor!

ColmenaFull

This is a tale of two murals, side by side. One is a sign, done in a cartoon style, while the other is an abstract play with colors. La Colmena Mexican Candy has had a presence in Global Mall (formerly Hickory Hollow) for a couple of years, but they recently moved to Nolensville Road, offering, as it says, baked goods, ice cream, and candy. So, diet food! (As I like to say, I had kale for lunch – it was shaped like a patty melt and fries. Here, the kale is shaped like candy.) The beehive mural bears a strong resemblance to images you find if you do a search for “beehive clip art.” (“Colmena” means “beehive.”) If you are not familiar with Mexican sweets but like all things sugar, give it a try! Some of it is quite different from what is typical in the U.S., so you might find something new you love. (The title of this post come from a Spanish version of “trick or treat!”)

Located at 2424A Nolensville Pike, about a block south of the 440 exit. If you are driving south, the double mural, on the north side of the building, is very visible. There is parking in front of La Colmena, and makeshift parking around back where you’ll compete with the neighboring auto repair place. Grab some pan y dulces and enjoy the art!

ColmenaSignColmenaAbstract

A true Nashville survivor

WeissSign

If you live in East Nashville, and you drink alcohol, you probably have an opinion about Weiss Liquors vs. Main Street Liquor. Some folks have strong opinions on this topic. Here are two empirical facts: 1) Main has colder refrigerators and 2) Weiss wins the sign war hands down. Weiss Liquors goes back a long way. Nicholas Weiss first started selling alcohol downtown in the 1890s. The business has moved a few times since, landing in its current location in 1961. The sign first showed up in the 1930s and has moved twice since then. The arrows, not part of the original design, were added in the 1940s. You can read more at Nashville Design History, in an article by John Whitman. Since then the sign has been featured in movies, music videos, and on more than a few Instagram accounts. Sadly, some of the letters are out right now due to vandalism. That’s a tough one. BTW, if you’re looking for work, as of this posting, Weiss is hiring!

Located at 824 Main Street. Impossible to miss. There is of course parking at Weiss, and at the storage center next door. The parking lot can be tricky on weekend evenings.

Survivor

Chromatics Full

I remember the first time I visited Chromatics. I was with a friend of mine who is a photographer. This would have been in the mid/late 1990s. Digital photography was on the rise, but film was still common, particularly with professionals. She was picking up some prints they had developed for her. Chromatics was (and is) in SoBro, more precisely in Pie Town, but this wasn’t when SoBro was cool. Rather, it was cheap – a rundown warehouse district where a big building like this one was easier to acquire than today and must have been even more so in 1979 when Chromatics first opened. Chromatics survives, adapting and flourishing with the revolutions in photography, surviving when many in the business perished. And so too its mural. The panel down on the lower right says that it was “blasted out by TACKZ 7 miles ahead Ciudad de Lost Angeles 5.93.” TACKZ is the nom de plume of a Los Angeles-based graffiti artist associated with the Seventh Letter group (which is also responsible for the mural in Angels will rise), a group that goes back more than twenty years. I have seen older pictures of this mural where the colors are much richer (and where the building next door is industrial, not the hip Tennessee Brew Works), not faded like it is now, so I can easily believe it has been greeting the morning sun for twenty-four years, since May 1993. That would make it one of the oldest outdoor murals in Nashville. It survives, along with the store it advertises. And check out their website – another old school survivor!

Located at 625 Fogg Street. The mural actually faces Ewing Avenue, except for a little addendum on the Fogg side. Chromatics has parking, though don’t park long unless you are doing business there. Maybe park at Tenessee Brew and enjoy the art along with your beer?

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