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nashville public art

No art left behind

Principality: Artis et Scientiae

LaRosa mural street art Nashville

Such is the name of this mural on the backside of PopStart on Gallatin Road. PopStart is a new gallery (you’ll find their Facebook page and their Instagram page more informative than the website). Dävid La Rosa is an artist featured at PopStart who produced this mural. Much of his work features animals and sacred geometry. This piece, with its butterfly shape and its geometric designs, seems to be something of both. “SDG” is a reference to a long quote about gratitude you’ll find on his webpage: “I am thankful for the inexhaustible Love that surrounds my going out and my coming in, for the good health that I enjoy; for the possibilities of realizing worthy goals. I am grateful for the endless creativity available to me by the sempiternal wisdom of the Name, for being led to fields of green pastures daily. I am grateful today and always, that I am indeed wealthy”  -SDG. The damaged hashtag should read “#limbism.”

Located at 4110 Gallatin Pike. The mural lies on the back side of the building. There are narrow driveways on both sides of the building that lead to some limited parking, and there are a few spaces in front. You could also conceivably park at the Mapco next door.

String theory

String mural street art Nashville

Though I have not quite finished documenting the murals associated with the Norf Wall Project, it’s worth noting that the collection of buildings whose walls host those murals have not been static canvases. New work has appeared over the last two years, some of which has already been painted over faster than I could document it. As well, at least one area of the original project has been replaced, which I will document later. This piece is fairly recent. It is unsigned, but the style looks very familiar, perhaps because this particular style of “string art” is sometimes found in the background of large graffiti installations. The three stars in the middle would seem to be a reference to the Tennessee state flag, though the rest of the design distinctly does not evoke the flag. I think it’s one of the more interesting examples of graffiti art in Nashville. How long it will last in this dynamic spot is anyone’s guess.

Located on the 800 block of 18th Avenue North, just south of Herman Street, underneath the Dr. DB Todd Jr. Boulevard bridge. The mural is on the west side of the road. Street parking is available.

Fading beauty

Beauty sign mural street art Nashville

Handpainted signs like this one are found all around Nashville. They are particularly a feature of North Nashville, in the area of the Jefferson St. and Buchanan St. corridors, long a predominantly African American neighborhood. Steady gentrification has begun to encroach on the area, and some of these signs have disappeared as a result. The stately red brick building at the corner of Monroe and 9th Avenue is a survivor, dating back at least to 1900. JC Beauty Collection has not been so resilient. The building seems to have been empty for several years. One would hope it will be renovated and repurposed. Perhaps the new tenants, should that come to pass, will preserve this old sign, as Lockeland Table did when it moved into the old Boutique Coiffures building. Interestingly, there is a JC Beauty Mart in Clarksville, so perhaps the business simply moved. In any event, this piece of the North Nashville fabric must be considered endangered art.

Located at 817 Monroe Avenue, at the corner with 9th Ave North. This is across from the Kroger on Rosa Parks Blvd. There is parking at the Kroger, and street parking on 9th.

Keep a breast

Skye Mural street art Nashville

Some weeks ago, two giant murals by California artist Skye Walker appeared on Gallatin Road. There’s also a face by the same artist in an alley off the 200 block of 3rd Ave North that went in at the same time. This particular piece was done in collaboration with Keep A Breast, a non-profit that promotes breast cancer awareness and testing through art and through an app. The main figure in the piece is shown doing a stylized breast self-examination. Encouraging women to do monthly self-exams, and in particular young women, is a major focus of Keep A Breast’s work. Appropriately, it is found on the north wall of the Hair World Beauty Supply at 2503 Gallatin, given that it’s a business whose clientele is mostly women. The branch at 500 has the other new Skye Walker mural, which I will blog about later.

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Located at 2503 Gallatin Avenue. In the day, it’s possible to park behind The Cobra next door if you don’t want to obscure the mural.

 

The Gold Rush, R.I.P

Gold Rush Mural street art Nashville

News has just come down that The Gold Rush, a fabled bar long=resident at Elliston Place, has closed for good. It’s a bit of a stunner for anyone who knows the history of this neighborhood, but change in Nashville stops for no one. So the fate of the wagon train mural on the back of the building is uncertain. Coincidentally, I got this car-free picture just a week or so before the news broke. Because The Gold Rush’s website and social media is also shuttered, I’ve been unable to really research the origin of this unsigned mural. If anyone knows who made it, drop me a line. Someone has written across the Sun in the mural, “You are not a rock star. Shut up. Be humble.” (see below) I don’t know if that’s original or not. Also in this parking lot, there is a small mural of a marijuana plant on the east side, and on the west, some graffiti art (actually on the wall of The End), at least part of which was done by Troy Duff. There is a small image of a crying cat (?) partially obscured by the graffiti art. In the slideshow below, I’ve included a full version of that image I took some months ago, along with the other art around the parking lot.

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Located at 2205 Elliston Place. The art lies faces the alley behind the bar, on the north side. Most of the nearby parking is either in a pay lot or uses a parking meter.

More wings, less waiting

Wings mural street art Nashville

It seems that Eddie’s Cee Bee Food Store on Lafayette has closed for good, but that hasn’t stopped the artist who goes by jamersonsgc from turning it into his personal canvas. The full bee (an update) is found one side, these wings on another, and there’s more of his work around back on the loading dock I haven’t blogged about yet (in part because I’m not sure if it’s finished). The “more wings, less waiting” refers both to the sheer size (see the SUV for scale) and the fact that unlike certain other wings, you are not likely to have to wait in line to get your picture with these. Of course, now that Cee Bee’s has closed, how long these wings will be there is anybody’s guess, so get your selfie soon!

Located at 109 Lafayette Street. The mural faces the parking lot, on the north side of the building looking towards Wharf Avenue. Obviously, there is lots of available parking.

Seeing Inside

Seeing mural street art Nashville

Sitting hidden behind some trees near the Rosa Parks Kroger is this Thaxton Waters piece, titled “Seeing Inside.” It is dated, but I’m not sure when it went in, as the date is given as a drawing of a cockroach and of a rabbit. I’ve tried to find a calendar that uses both of those symbols to no avail, but Google Street View shows it being there as early as February 2017.  Three named panels are separated by blocks of mandala-like patterns. “Connect” shows a young boy waving from his bicycle, “Grow” shows two hands tending a small freshly-sprouted plant, and “Unite” shows a person running behind a small dog. I’m a bit surprised this mural hasn’t gotten more attention, but it is somewhat obscured by trees and, and you’re unlikely to see it unless you park on the back lot of the nearby Kroger.

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Located at 1401 Ninth Avenue North. There is some street parking on Ninth, or you can park in the lot of the Kroger at 800 Monroe Street.

Galaxy Club

Galaxy Club mural street art Nashville

At the time of this posting, Galaxy Club on Murfreesboro gives every impression of being closed, with part of its parking lot torn up and the sign out front taken down and lying against the building. But a recent Instagram post suggests that it’s still a going concern, just beset with construction issues at the moment. So what I thought would be a post about the likely imminent destruction of this piece once a developer grabbed the property is nothing of the kind. The sign/mural is signed “Nacho,” which is not a signature I’ve seen on a mural decorating a Latino business before. Certainly, it’s one of the only space-themed outdoor murals in town. The only other one I can think of is Galactic Gardens, which features mostly flowers but does have space imagery as well.

Located at 1204 Murfreesboro Road, just a little north of Briley Parkway. During the day when the club is closed, there is lots of available parking.

Flags of the Americas

Flags & fruit mural street art Nashville

I continue to believe that one of the more underappreciated art forms in Nashville is the mural scene that plays out on the walls of many Latino businesses. This one, located on what Google thinks is Linbar Fruit Market but whose sign says Linbar Super Mercado, is a José F. Vargas work. Vargas is one of the more prolific artists in this scene, and while he doesn’t seem to have a web presence, he always includes his phone number in his signature in case you want to hire him. The flags that rise above the fruit and various drinks are, in order, the flags of Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Estados Unidos, Columbia, and Cuba. I left the door and the yellow poles in the photo because I think the whole combination is a collective work of art. They go together. (By the way, in Spanish, “supermercado” is one word. But some Latino grocery stores in Nashville break up the word. Not sure why.)

Located at 238 Largo Drive, at the corner with Harding Place. This is just a couple blocks east of I-24. Linbar Super Mercado has parking. The mural is on the south side of the building. If you drive a block or so down Largo, you’ll find some more murals by the same artist.

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