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nashville public art

No art left behind

Flower power

CVSFlower

I have written before that chain stores are the worst places to look for public art. So I was surprised to find what looks like permitted art on the back of the Green Hills CVS. This could, of course, been put up without permission, but that seems unlikely. The style, the placement, the rust stain, and the fact that Google street view shows it’s been up since at least February of last year suggests permitted art. It is on the part of the building that is a separate retail space from the CVS (currently unoccupied), so that may have something to do with it. It is a rare piece of public art on a stretch of road dominated by chains, professional offices and high-end retail, none very conducive to public art. Given all the people stuck in traffic most of the time on that stretch of Hillsboro, some more art might improve people’s mood a bit.

Located at 3801 Hillsboro Pike. The flower is on the back of the building, facing the Orange Theory gym on Crestmoor, and is not visible from Hillsboro Pike. There’s CVS parking around the building, and a parking garage under the gym. Fill up on unnecessary plastic objects and enjoy the art!

Sorry you missed the show

Concerrt Promotion

I’m normally a little wary about featuring concert ad murals. They get painted over quick. But this one is for a show back in March, it’s still there, the building seems only part occupied, and it’s a very nice mural, so who knows how long it will last? Still, we have to call this temporary art. BJ The Chicago Kid, Xavier Omär, and Kamau gave a rockin’ show on March 20th – or so I imagine! The artist is Bryan Deese, who has done a number of murals around town. He signs this piece with his website address, but that leads to a blog not updated since 2014. Try his Instagram account for more up to date information about his work. And if you go visit this one and it’s gone, you can still see a Bryan Deese mural across the street.

Located at 2622 Jefferson Street. The mural is on the west side of the building. There is plenty of parking at 2622 and nearby businesses. If the church on the west side is out of session, there is lots of parking there.

A bottle of red, a bottle of white

MamaMia

The building that lies at the northwest corner of Harding and Trousdale has various restaurants. There’s Donut Place and Sub House, Bei Jing Chinese, and Back to Cuba Cafe. But this mural visible from Harding on the south side of the building advertises a restaurant in a different building, Mamma Mia’s, which lies just north.  Oddly, there are no words, no indication what this mural is advertising, but it is clearly a copy of the image found on Momma Mia’s sign. I suppose you are just supposed to guess that Italian food is somewhere nearby, and you must seek it out.

Located at 735 Harding Place/4961 Trousdale Drive. The mural is on the south side of the building, facing Harding. This a small strip mall, with plenty of parking here and nearby businesses. Mamma Mia’s is next door at 4671 Trousdale Drive. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

Wake up! And have some pizza!

Slim and Husky's Wake Up

Slim & Husky’s is the happening new pizza joint on Buchanan Street. Seriously, go there off hours if you can, because long lines are common. The pizzeria is owned by neighborhood locals who are trying to be part of a revitalization of the neighborhood, but the restaurant is also symbolic to some extent of the gentrification that is changing the neighborhood. So the Dough Joe piece has a certain resonance. Dough Joe (also known as Yusef Hubb, aka Joseph Love III) has chosen for his topic the final scene in School Daze where the activist Dap (Laurence Fishburn) clangs the bell on the quad calling out the entire community to, well, “Wake up!” I don’t know who designed the restaurant logo painted on the adjoining wall. Slim & Husky’s website has this to say about the tractor in the logo: “The tractor in our company logo represents our locally sourced ingredients and locally brewed beer. It also signifies the redevelopment of historic North Nashville, something our three founders take great pride in as Nashville natives.”

Slim and Husky's Logo

Located at 911 Buchanan Street. The two murals are in an outdoor seating area that faces Buchanan on the east side of the building. S&H has a fair amount of parking, though it can get full at peak hours. Grab a beer and some pizza and enjoy the art.

Have a Coke and a record deal

LaymanMural

Layman Drug Company, the drug store, has been out of business for a couple decades. Layman Drug Company the recording studio opened just a few weeks ago and has a spiffy new mural to boot. (On that link you’ll find the links to their social media pages more informative than the website.) The long shuttered Chesnut Hill drug store was purchased by Will Greig to convert into a studio. Like practically every building in Nashville, it has connections to music history, including a notable appearance on the cover of Dion’s Velvet and Steel album. The mural is by Michael Cooper of Murals and More, though the signature is painted black on black and is very hard to see. (It’s where the phone line trails out of the image.) In the slideshow below, I also include the historic sign on the north side of the building and the modern sign above the doorway, as well as a full view of the mural with the faded historic sign just above it.

Located at 1128 3rd Ave South. The mural actually faces Chestnut Street. There is plenty of street parking, as well as a parking lot across the street – which has a prominent “for sale” sign, so it may not be a parking lot much longer.

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I say tomato

Pomodoros

The Pomodoro East mural on Eastland is one of the murals that first got me interested in outdoor art in Nashville. Not sure why I’m just getting to it now on this blog. This is an Eastside Murals work, one of their earlier jobs. The florid typography of the signature is unusual. On most of their murals, they stick to much more spare fonts when they sign their work. Pomodoro is a popular east side Italian restaurant that, yes, uses a lot of tomatoes in their food.

Located at 701 Porter Road. The mural actually faces Eastland Avenue, and is essentially underneath the restaurant. Your closest bet for viewing the mural is to park on the backside of the building, from the Eastland entrance. If you park in the lot off Porter, you’ll have a steep hill to climb down. Get you some pasta and enjoy the art!

A Soul Break

SoulBreak

Jefferson Street has more and more public art, and the stretch just before it reaches 28th has some particularly strong examples. One is this Thaxton Waters piece, called “A Soul Break,” which features Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Tony Williams, and Ella Fitzgerald. Waters runs the Art History Class Lifestyle Lounge & Gallery with his wife Deyonna. Situated for a time at 1305 Jefferson, the Lounge was an “art gallery and museum dedicated to presenting the lifestyle of Historical Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) and the neighborhoods that birthed them.” It did more than that, offering art classes, history tours, a lending library and more. Unfortunately, the building sold last summer, and the gallery is no longer there. (The story at that link has a lot more information about Waters, his work, and the mission of the gallery.) The gallery has since done pop-up activities as Waters looks for a new space.

Located at 2615 Jefferson Street, on the old Eyecatchers building. The mural is on the east wall, facing towards the interstate. There is a gravel lot right in front of the mural you can park at, and a parking lot on the other side of the building.

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