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Statues and sculptures

Corn and Tomatoes

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It’s another Metro Arts Commission bicycle rack! Seriously, there are holes in the tomatoes you can slip a chain through. This is half of a rack found on the east side of the Nashville Farmer’s Market at Bicentennial Mall. The other half is below, which you see actually has a bike strapped to it, something you don’t see much with these Metro Arts bike racks. This piece, “Corn and Tomatoes”  was done in 2010 by Lebanon metalsmith Dan Goostree and Nashville painter Paige Easter. Sadly, it is something of a memorial, as Goostree passed away in 2013 at the age of 57.

Corn

Located at 900 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard. The rack actually faces Seventh Avenue,  in front of the main entrance on the east side of the building. There is plenty of free parking around the market, though with current construction, it can be hard to park at lunchtime. Load up on local veggies and enjoy the art!

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Always on duty

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I don’t know of any labor specific art in Nashville, but firefighters certainly work hard, so this Labor Day I’m posting about the Firefighters Memorial next to the Schermerhorn Center. The first volunteer firefighter department in Nashville was founded in May 1807, and 200 years later, in November 2007, the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 140 unveiled this memorial which it had sponsored. The piece is signed by RC (“Bobby”) Hunt and Richard Thompson. IAFF 140’s video of the unveiling only mentions Hunt, so he was presumably the principal artist. Both men are listed as artists at Schaefer Art Bronze in Arlington, Texas. Hunt has since passed away. His artist’s website remains up, and the gallery includes this memorial. The memorial may seem to be in an odd spot, but it is the original site of Nashville Fire Station Numer 9, now found a few blocks south.

UPDATE: Of course there’s labor specific art in Nashville. And that’s a post that I’ll update soon, as the art in question has received a very nice refurbishing.

Located at 1 Symphony Place. The memorial itself is on the north east side of the center, on the 100 block of Third Avenue South, in a small alcove just a little south of where the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge connects with Third. This is downtown, so there is lots of parking, none of it free. Most days, the parking across the river on the other side of the pedestrian bridge is free. Make it part of your Lower Broad crawl, your night at the symphony, or your stroll along the river.

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Cock-a-doodle-do!

McDougals

What is with chicken wing places and big metal chickens? It definitely seems to be a thing. Indeed, the chicken above, found atop McDougal’s Chicken on White Bridge Road, looks remarkably like one of the two chickens found atop Smokin Thighs near the fairgrounds. They might both be products of A Rustic Garden, which will sell you chicken statues made from recycled metal from about $139 to nearly a thousand dollars. From the looks of it, if this is where they came from, both McDougal’s and Smokin went with less expensive models. Hey, let’s all get one!

Located at 316 White Bridge Road. Plenty of parking, though not so much at peak hours. Maybe McDougals’s will last longer than some of the other restaurants that have inhabited this spot!

Play time!

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Shelby Bottoms Park is an enormous and fantastic network of playing fields, greenways, nature trails, and even a small golf course at Vinny Links. The Nature Center is an educational and information center where one can learn about the vast flora and fauna found in the park. Nearby the center is the Nature Play area, an area designed for small children to enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment. Two pieces of art are found in the Nature Play area. The small mural above on a small storage shed features animals that might be found in the park. And above the entrance gate is a crawfish (or maybe you call it a crawdad?).

Located in Shelby Bottoms Park, a little northeast of the Nature Center building. There are various entrances to the park, notably off of Davidson Street and at Lillian and 19th. The closest parking to the Nature Center and the play area is on the east side of the railroad bridge. Just drive under it and park. The center and the play area will be to your left, south towards the river. If you don’t have kids the right age, it’s just off the entrance to the Greenway and the nature trails, so make it part of you next hike!

Lobster

Lock it up

Emerge

Would you believe this is a bike rack? That’s what Metro Arts says it is. “Emerge” (2010) by Matt Young is one of a number of bike racks Metro Arts has commissioned, including, of course, the rack featured in Bee Cycle. I don’t think I have ever seen a bike attached to any of these racks, but I’m not monitoring them 24-7. Young is a prolific artist, including designing some interesting furniture.

Located in Chuch Street Park, on the 600 block of Church Street, at the corner with Capitol Boulevard, across from the main Nashville Public Library. This is downtown — plenty of parking, not much of it free. The library has 90 minutes free parking with library validation, so grab a book and enjoy the art! (The picture below was taken during the 2017 March for Science.)

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Memorial Day

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As it is Memorial Day, it’s a good time to present art honoring the fallen. The United States Colored Troops Monument (2006) by Roy Butler sits on a low hill in the Nashville National Cemetary. The cemetery was founded in 1866 to bury Union dead, though it has long been open to veterans of all conflicts. Some two thousand African American troops from the Civil War era are included in the burials here. The idea to build the USCT monument in part came from two African American veterans and USCT reenactors, William Radcliffe and Norman Hill. Hill at the time was head of the Tennessee Historical Commission, which became one of the major donors to the project. Also involved were the United Association for Black Veterans and Creative Artists of Tennesee. Butler used Radcliffe as the model, wearing his reenactment gear. You can learn more and see a video about the statue here.  This monument is one of only sixteen in the country dedicated to the USCT and only one of two found in a national cemetery.

Located at 1420 Gallatin Road South. To find the statue, go under the railroad bridge in the middle of the cemetery and then look to the left. The statue is central to the southern part of this half of the cemetery. There are only a handful of proper parking spaces, but it is easy to park along the roads in the cemetery. Please be respectful.

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Boom Boom Pow

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Around the world, landmines and unexploded munitions from wars recent and long ago are a serious problem. Every day, people are killed or maimed by this deadly detritus of war. Here in the United States, we think of these things as the problems of other countries, but there have been major wars on our soil, and live ammunition from the Civil War is still out there. In 1999, when excavations for the foundation of the building now known as the Baker Donelson Center were underway, workers discovered a number of Civil War cannonballs, and not dead weight cannonballs, but the kind meant to explode. They were still live and ready to detonate. Fortunately, none of them went off. After munitions experts defused them, Nashville artist Joe Sorci incorporated them into this piece, “Timeless” (2002), which sits in front of the entrance to the Center. Go ahead, bang on the cannonballs. I’m sure nothing bad will happen.

Located at 211 Commerce Street, in Commerce Center Park. The sculpture is right next to the sidewalk. This is downtown Nashville, so lots of parking, almost none of it free. This is also just half a block from Lower Broad, so incorporate it into your next bachelorette party!

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