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nashville public art

No art left behind

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Unusual

Have I got a deal for you

SamsWarehouseMain

I have wanted to write about this particular mural for some time. It’s prominently visible if you are driving north on upper Nolensville Pike, it’s a weird mix of cheesy and minimalist, and it seemed to have been around a long while. What’s not to love? Sadly, there always seemed to be at least one car parked in front of it. So when I saw it car-free, I knew I had to get my shot quick. Sadly for this mural, the reason I found it car-free may also spell its doom. The furniture and appliance store whose goods it advertises has moved. Sam’s Mattress Furniture Warehouse doesn’t have much of an internet presence (other than a couple of bad Yelp reviews), but a sign on the door lists three new addresses, two for furniture and mattresses, one for appliances, all closer to downtown on Nolensville. The murals are as I guessed, survivors. All are signed by Mark E. Witte, a name I have not been able to track down. Witte seems to have worked fast giving each of them a separate specific date in April 2009. But they are out of order. Going left to right, they are dated April 26, 27, 28, 25 and 30. So he did the sofas first, then went back to the washing machine and worked his way back down the wall. Started on a Saturday, finished on a Thursday for a productive week. But with Sam’s closed, the fate of this mural seems uncertain.

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Located at 3312 Nolensville Pike. It faces south, towards Chilton Street. It is possible to park across the street on Chilton, and there is of course parking at Sam’s until developers get a hold of it.

Migration

MIgration

Nolensville Road is home to some striking outdoor art, and one of the most notable pieces is the colorful tile mosaic installation atop Casa Azafrán. Casa Azafrán describes itself as “28,800-square-feet of community empowerment, nonprofit collaboration and global grandeur.” It houses several non-profits, many with ties to the Latino community, notably Conexión Américas, which helps Latino families integrate into the Nashville community. The mosaic, titled “Migration” and unveiled in January 2013, was designed by Jairo Prado, a Columbian born Nashville artist. The design and materials are in keeping with the traditions of both Latino and Muslim culture (there are Muslim community non-profits housed at Casa Azafrán as well). Tile mosaics have a long history in Spain, stretching back through the Moorish period of Muslim rule and into the Roman era. When the Spanish came to the Americas, they brought their tile mosaics with them, where they encountered an already rich mural tradition in Mexico and Central America. Both art forms, often intertwined, spread across Latin America, and it is only natural that they have found their way in such a bold and bright manner to Nashville’s main immigrant corridor. The mosaic also represents the community focus of Casa Azafrán. More than 300 volunteers helped cut and install the tiles. You can see some of the process by which it was made in this video.

Located at 2195 Nolensville Pike. There is a fair amount of parking at Casa Azafrán. If the front lot is full, there is also parking at the back of the building. Get involved in some community non-profits and enjoy the art!

 

Help Puerto Rico

SanJuanAngel

I’ve been a bit slow posting of late because of many things going on, but also because I’ve been a bit preoccupied with Puerto Rico. In early August this year, I spent eleven days going all over the island, including a visit to Culebra off the east coast. As you might imagine, I photographed a lot of public art. A lot. The street art scene in Puerto Rico is amazing. I have to say that while we have some very good artists in Nashville, we have a ways to go to catch up. While this is a very Davidson County blog, I decided to post some of my favorites here to encourage giving to Puerto Rico – and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This page maintained by Los Ambulantes has a lot of good options for Puerto Rico. I gave to Unidos por Puerto Rico, which is organized by the island’s First Lady (the link is in English). Here is a list of possible places to donate for the USVI, and this one seems to be run by the USVI government. Do your research before giving. Below are just a tiny fraction of my favorites. The file names indicate where they are from. I fear that some of these have been lost, particularly the ones near water. What I don’t show here is all the bronze statues. Puerto Ricans, or at least their government, looooooove bronze statues. They are all over the place. Obviously, not parking information this time. Go when you can, when it makes sense.

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It’s all in the details

HarmonMiddle

Art always looks different seen from far away, nearby, or close up. But the three portraits adorning the walls of the Harmon Group take those distinctions to a higher level. All three portraits (see the others below) are done using a photo mosaic technique, by using thousands of smaller images to produce a larger coherent image, though one that tends to disappear the closer you get to the image. (See closeups below.) Harmon is a marketing and advertising firm, and I’ve been able to identify a least a couple of the smaller images as ones on their website gallery, while the others all seem to be in the style of one or another of the campaigns they feature on their website. It makes for attention-getting images, which no doubt was at least part of the intent. People stumbling at night out of 3rd and Lindsley might not fully appreciate them, but you can visit in the daylight to get the full effect. The murals themselves are mounted on thin boards and bolted to the wall.

HarmonMain

Located at 807 Third Avenue South, across from 3rd and Lindlsey, where 3rd is cut off by I-40 and Lafayette. There is parking at Harmon and nearby businesses, particularly right now as the office next door is empty. Get a professional consult on your marketing strategy and enjoy the art!

You sure that was just a sugar pill?

FullMikeShinemural

Down on Roy Acuff Place, across the street from historic RCA Studio B, a surreal scene may make you doubt your sanity. Two singing cowboys, one atop a crawfish, the other astride a snapping turtle, adorn the south wall of the building that holds Carnival Music and Little Extra Music. The surreal scene is brought to us by artist Mike Shine, who’s work often reflects a world just a little off-kilter, and often a whole lot. The mural itself is part of the Nashville Walls Project, which I described in Guitars and automobiles. You can see a slideshow of Shine working on the mural on the NWP website. Just lay off the peyote, ok?

The address of the building is 24 Music Square West, but the mural itself faces the 1600 block of Roy Acuff Place. This is a tough neighborhood to park in, though easier on the weekend. You might have to walk a bit, or catch it on a guided tour of Music Row!

SnappingTurtleandCowboyCrawdadandCowboy

Careful on that turn!


As you can see if you look close in the larger picture, those are post office trucks down that alley. Unclear from the picture, the fence is angled at the corner to create more room, while this metal safety pole is bent towards the fence, like possibly something hit it. This is a well trafficked alleyway, and not just because of the post office. Just two blocks from Five Points, all kinds of people drive down this alley, or just turn around in it, hence the need for the pole to protect the fence.

Google Maps shows this pole as black and white striped with an “S” or “5” on top, so this is recent, perhaps in anticipation of next month’s Tomato Art Fest. I’ve seen that signature (andee) on some murals, and the style fits. Update: I do believe this is Andee Rudloff, a local artist who is responsible for various public projects.

Located on the west side of the 100 block of North 12th, between Wooldland and Forrest Avenues, right at the alley entrance. Easy parking, except on very busy weekends.

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