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nashville public art

No art left behind

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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Forget the past

Rone

I have to say I’ve been a little intimidated to post about the big downtown projects. Not entirely, but this is “official” stuff organized by people who know what they are talking about as opposed to what they can find on Google. Plus – it’s really hard to get good pictures of the downtown murals. So much traffic, so many cars, terrible shadows. But here we go. This 2016 piece is by Tyrone Wright, an Australian artist who goes by RONE. (His art is easier to view on his Instagram page.) It’s a Nashville Walls Project production – I talked about them in Guitars and automobiles (and I need to set up a category for them). I use the title “Forget the Past” because there is a 2015 RONE print by that name that is very similar to the piece above, which I’ve not been able to track down a name for. RONE does a lot of these giant faces of mysterious women. They certainly catch your attention.

Located at 530 Church Street. There’s a parking lot right in front (common for downtown art), but like most of the nearby parking, it is not free. There is free parking for patrons of the downtown branch of Nashville Public Library you see in the background, but you need validation. So do some research and enjoy the art!

Bend and twist

MarthonPilatesMain

Marathon Pilates of East Nashville brings us two kinds of art, energetic and serene. “Energetic” is the graffiti style sign on the side of the building brought to us by Troy Duff, a Nashville artist known for his energetic and often graffiti-inspired pieces. His work has been on this blog before, such as Eastern Pizza, just a few blocks away. “Serene” is the Marathon Pilates logo, found on the front and the back of the building (see below). The logo is a two-dimensional representation of a structure Buckminster Fuller described as an example of vector equilibrium. Here, let Bucky describe it for you! Here’s Wikipedia on the topic, where it’s called a cuboctahedron. Many people seem to think it has spiritual or cosmological implications.

Located at 966 Main Street. The Duff piece is in the alley on the east side of the building, while the logos are prominent on the front and back. Marathon Pilates has parking in front and back, as do neighboring businesses, though this is tricky during weekday work hours, and much easier on the weekend. There is a pay lot a couple doors to the east on 10th Street.

Memories of battle

BattleRealty

When does a simple sign become public art? Well, that’s a judgment call, of course. Here, I use a few criteria. Is it cool looking? Would it make a nice portrait/selfie if you were standing in front of it? Is it a well-established neighborhood fixture? The Battle Realtors sign meets all three. It appears prominently on the wall of a large, historic brick home at the top of the hill where Jefferson sails over 40/65. It’s absolutely unmissable. And it’s certainly a survivor. I’m not sure if it dates back to 1984, but I know it’s been there for at least 15 years. Its future is uncertain. Donald Battle, the proprietor, passed away in 2014, and it’s not clear what the status of the business is. The website has been allowed to expire, and there’s no other evidence of activity, on the internet at least. Call this endangered art. Get your selfie soon.

Located at 1033 12th Avenue North, at the corner with Jefferson Street, on the west side of the bridge over I-40 and I-65. The sign is very visible from Jefferson. There’s a mini-car wash directly in front of it. Parking can be found just to the west of the car wash.

Corner styles

MajorDiscountEast

It’s been a while since I’ve posted some straightforward graffiti. On both sides of the southeast corner of the Major Discount Liquors building on Dickerson Pike are two large installations. (The store seems to go by multiple names – see another example below.) Above, on the east wall, is a UH Crew installation that mixes angular and fluid elements. Below, on the south wall facing Hart Lane, is a much more spiky piece. The one below seems to read “LETS YM” to me, but that’s just a guess on my part. The one above is even more cryptic. That’s how many graffiti artists like it, though not all.

Major DiscountSouth.

Located at 2913 Dickerson Pike, at the corner with Hart Lane. Both of the installations are visible from Hart Lane. There is plenty of parking in front of the store and a driveway behind you can park in for a brief view of the art.

Must have been a cool party

Retrograde

This is an ad for a party. A party you probably missed. Though the video makes it look like it was fun. The party was put on by Concept 56, a Jägermeister sponsored (hence the deer) program which “puts together a team of 5 talented creatives, aged 21 and up, to go through a process of 6 months during which they design and produce the event of a lifetime.” Otherwise known as a party. The party took place October 8 of last year, so how long this art stays up is anyone’s guess. I’ll call it endangered art. There are pictures of the event and the performers on Concept56’s Instagram page, even one of the mural being painted. This piece is unusual in being painted on three roll-up doors. It is possible one or more might be rolled up when you visit.

Located at 822 Third Avenue South, home of ST8MNT, “a boutique Nashville brand agency,” and across from 3rd and Lindsley. After hours and on the weekends when nearby businesses are closed there’s plenty of parking, though maybe not as much when there’s a show at 3rd and Lindsley. Get your brand boutiqued and enjoy the art!

Legends

Legends

There is plenty of public art that takes some work to find. This is not an example of that. Located prominently at the western end of Lower Broad, this mural of some of the best-known country and Nashville musicians, put in last December, is hard to miss. Given that it’s essentially an advertisement for the Legends Corner bar, that’s kind of the point. It’s no doubt a major backdrop for selfies and portraits. The artist is Tim Davis, a painter, muralist and wall finisher whose business is based in Mt. Juliet. Based on the gallery of murals on his website, most of his work is actually indoors, with this being an obvious exception. Unlike most outdoor murals, this one is a set of panels attached to the wall. And take a look at it on Google Street view – Google’s algorithms have hilariously blurred many of the faces.

Located at 428 Broadway. The mural actually faces 5th Avenue North, on the west side of the building. This is downtown, in the heart of the tourist zone. Plenty of parking if you walk a ways, none of it free. You’re better off taking a taxi or rideshare. Make it part of your next bachelorette party, and enjoy the art!

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