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nashville public art

No art left behind

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Signs

A resolution!

No selfies street art mural by Adrien Saporiti East Nashville

Which pretty much no one will keep. This is a fairly new mural, having gone up in late September. As it lies on the back side of The Basement East, the “no selfie” rule is going to get violated a lot (as long as there isn’t a car parked in front of it, which would be often). It is perhaps commentary on the relationship between selfies/portraits and murals. Businesses like it when people check in on social media at their place, and a mural makes that more likely. Murals and tourism go together, for better or for ill. The #JVNLSCCS tag leads to the Juvenile Success Instagram page, which is Adrien Saporiti’s page, the man behind DCXV and the I Believe in Nashville murals (one of which is on the west side of Basement East near the entrance). There is at least one more No Selfies mural – I’ll blog about it if I ever find it. Whether or not you decide on a No Selfies New Year’s resolution, I wish everyone a happy, safe, and bountiful 2019!

Located at 917 Woodland Street. The mural is on the northeast corner of the building, facing the alley that runs between McFerrin Avenue and Ninth Street South, parallel to Woodland Avenu and Main Street. There is parking in the area – good luck! And perhaps try early in the morning, as there is a parking space right in front of the mural, likely to have a car in it.

Playlist

Groove

And the award for the thinnest mural in Nashville goes to The Groove! This is, in fact, a great use of space, matching the available canvas to the identity of the business it’s attached to. The Groove is, as the sign says, a source for new and used records and CDs (you may find their Facebook page more helpful). Something of a Nashville institution, The Groove has been at its current location since 2010, but only acquired the mural in May. Created by Dakota Jernigan and the artist who goes by ArtBarfer, the mural features a number of album covers, including classic covers from Charlie Mingus,  The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Captain Beefheart, King Crimson, Yes, Stevie Wonder, ELO, Prince, Grace Jones, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Björk, MF Doom, Gorillaz, Christina Aguilera, and David Bowie. Jernigan has a video and slideshow of the creation of the mural on his Instagram page, as does The Groove (photos, more photosvideo).

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Located at 1103 Calvin Avenue, near the intersection with Gallatin Road. Street parking is available. If you want to see it without cars parked in front, try early morning on the weekends.

UAL

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When I first saw this, I thought it said “JAL.” I also assumed it was a sign for a local business. Well, it is a sign for a Nashville business, but it’s the Nashville branch of chan, that uses this image as its corporate logo. And it’s not JAL, but UAL – United Apparel Liquidators. To give you a sense of scale, the sign is about as wide as car, about six feet or so. I’m including a larger photo below (the crop above is for Facebook sharing). I’ve never put a corporate chain sign on the blog before, but this is different. It just looks cool, and it’s also a little hard to find, situated as it is in a back parking lot, behind the strip of stores on West End that include Bombay Palace and China Dragon. It really stands out on a start black wall, and it’s one of the few pieces of outdoor art in the immediate neighborhood.

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Located at 2918 West End Avenue. The mural faces the parking lot on the back side of the building. There is parking on both sides, but much of the back lot has become paid parking recently. Some of the nearby by side streets have free parking.

La Elegancia

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For about ten years, La Elegancia has been providing fancy dresses for, as it says, weddings, baptisms, baby showers, presentations, and quinceañeras, the traditional party given for 15-year-old girls in Mexico and many other parts of Latin America. They also have decorations and souvenirs (that’s what “recuerdos” means). And that’s about all I know, as I have never been in and they seem to have no internet presence. That, and of course, that they have a very nice sign. They share the building with two better-known Latino businesses, La Hacienda Taqueria and La Hacienda Market and Bakery. On the La Hacienda side, there is a significant mural facing the parking lot, but I despair of ever finding it without cars parked out front.

Located at 2619 Nolensville Pike. There is parking in front of La Elegancia, and next door in front of La Hacienda, as well as parking behind La Hacienda off Grandview Avenue.

Village

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Art breeds art. That seems to be very true in the burgeoning outdoor art scene in Nashville. When Darek Bell of Corsair Distillery and Bell and Associates Construction bought the Continental Machinery Movers complex on Centennial Boulevard, he told the Nashville Post of his plans to include art in the development.

To recognize the evolving character of the neighborhood, Bell said he plans to work with local artists to add a large mural on the building’s Centennial Boulevard face. He pointed to the Silo Bend mural, located nearby, as an “instant landmark that garnered national attention” as a model of sorts.

Village Realty is an early client in the building (that story is at this moment behind a paywall), thus the “village” of this very new mural by Eastside Murals. The mural references a number of well known Nashville sights: the Ghost Ballet sculpture (more commonly known as “the thing down at the river that looks like a broken roller coaster”), the sign outside The Nations Bar and Grill, the Betty Boots sign, the Batman Building, the Ryman, and our very own Greek temple, the Parthenon at Centennial Park. This is the first time I have seen the Stix sculpture referenced as a local landmark in a Nashville mural. Maybe people are getting used to it!

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Located at 4717 Centinneal Boulevard. At present, the parking lot is fenced though usually open. The nearest safe street parking is on 49th Avenue North.

Tiger, tiger, burning bright

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Once upon a time, there was a muffler shop at 935 4th Avenue South called Tiger Muffler Center. It is no more. It would appear there is now an auto repair store at that address called Los Partners, though they don’t have much of an online presence. Why they or whoever owns the building decided to erase “muffler center” but leave the rest of the sign is unknown to me – maybe they just like tigers. It does change the meaning of the sign. Instead of telling us “This is the name of the muffler store,” it now says to us “Yes, that’s a tiger. The individual holding a muffler is indeed a tiger.” Ghost signs from lost businesses are of course nothing new, such as the Dutch Maid sign. “Los Partners” is an odd name, given that in Spanish the word for “partner” (as in “business partner”) is “socio.” Signs of an emerging hybrid culture, I suppose. The tiger image, however, must be considered endangered, like its natural counterpart, given that the store it supported is long gone. Check it out while you can.

Located at 935 4th Avenue South. This is a tricky place to park, particularly on a weekday when the businesses on this stretch are all open. The nearest street parking appears to be on 3rd Avenue South.

Bud’s Liquors and Wines

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I was going to call this post “a bottle of red, a bottle of white,”  but I already did that before. This Micheal Cooper mural, he of Murals and More, doesn’t show up in a lot of tourists’ selfies. Not many of them go to Bud’s Liquors and Wines, the liquor store on the back side of the Green Hills Kroger. But placed right at a key intersection where a major commercial district intersects with a wealthy residential area, it gets seen by a lot of people. The date on the mural is “6.09 (redux).” That implies it was remade in 2009. That makes sense. I’m not sure when I first saw it, but “before 2009” feels right. It’s certainly one of the survivors, an early mural that predates the current boom.

Located at 2139 Abbott Martin Rd. The mural faces Hillsboro Circle. Bud’s has parking, and in a pinch, you could park at the Kroger next door. Grab a bottle of your favorite and enjoy the art!

Pastaria

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Pastaria in One City is a branch of a St. Louis restaurant of the same name. Which is why the art outside the building was designed by Atomic Dust, a St. Louis branding agency. The script and figures of children are clearly much the same as from the original 2012 project in St. Lous. When the Nashville branch opened, Atomic Dust relied on 12 Point Sign Works and Brand Imaging Group for much of the local production work. There’s photo in this Atomic Dust blog post about the Nashville Pastaria projet that shows three men installing the mural above, one of whom has a “Brand Imaging Group” t-shirt, so they presumably did the installation. Since doing this work in 2017, Brand Imaging Group has become independent and is now know as Big Visual Group. It’s not clear if the “8” made up of words from a quote by Jane Jacobs is part of the Pastaria branding or not. The quote, which discusses urban design, would seem to fit the mission of One City, but as it also discusses children’s play, either is possible.

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Located at 8 City Boulevard, in the One City center, which is on the east side of the 28th/31st Street Connector, just south of Charlotte Avenue. There is free street parking and free garage parking. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

An old key

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The scope of this blog includes not only murals and sculpture, but also “interesting signs.” And the sign for the old Key Motel definitely counts as interesting. There are at least a couple other of these old survivors on Dickerson, left over from the days before the interstates were built when Dickerson Pike, know also at US Highway 41, was the main route from the north into the city. Currently, the Key Motel is undergoing renovation, hence the fence. While it will reopen as a hotel, the developer is noncommittal as to whether he will keep the name, much less renovate the sign, so the future of this survivor is uncertain. Get your selfies while you still can. The southern side of the sign is actually in better condition, but it’s also partially obscured by vegetation. See below.

UPDATE: I Saw the Sign has been commisioned to restore and update the sign with a new name, The Dive Hotel. I’ll post some photos when I get a chance.

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Located at 1414 Dickeson Pike. On the weekends you can park at the school next door. Otherwise, your best bet is the laundry a little farther north.

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