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nashville public art

No art left behind

For that perfect smile

Crest

I have to wonder how long this one is going to be around. Located near Plaza Art on Middleton, it lies right next to a major graffiti installation that was just painted over. This part of SoBro/Pie Town has been fairly resistant to gentrification, but that can’t last. The market forces are very powerful. I believe this says “Crest.” There’s one very much like it in Cheltenham, PA, on the north side of Philadelphia. (As of this posting, third row on that page. Look for “Crest Graffiti Cheltenham”.) I suspect it’s the product of an out of towner, because I don’t think I’ve seen this tag elsewhere, and the DayGlo color scheme is unusual here in Nashville. Even if it survives gentrification, for the time being, it’s peeling, likely because it faces the afternoon sun every day unshaded.

Located at 617 Middleton Street. Nearby parking is easy. The mural is on the west side of the building, facing Plaza Art.

Go, go gorilla!

WorldGymGorrila

Hey, it’s a gorilla! With weights! Not much to say about this except that it’s further evidence that Nashville business owners are more and more understanding the importance of public art on their facilities. The placement on the corner is unusual. This is on the new World Gym in the Gulch, and the gorilla appears to be a symbol of the national chain.

Located at 114 George L. David Boulevard. The mural actually faces Grundy Street, about a block west from Chauhan Ale and Masala House. Street parking and parking at the gym available. Break a sweat and enjoy the art.

 

Mmm, pizza!

Italia

There are signs, and there are better signs. Italia Pizza and Pasta, known to everyone just as “Italia,” recently acquired an impossible to miss mural advertising its scrumptious pizza. Seriously, you have to look hard to find bad reviews of this place. Most people love it (and I say for good reason). Once housed in the old Dairy Dip (now occupied by the Urban Cowboy Public House), Italia has been at 16th and Woodland for several years now. Maybe success has paved the way to art, but it’s also true that right across the street is Lockeland Table, one of the very best restaurants in town, in Tennesse for that matter, and which also serves pizza. In fact, they are very different places and both very much worth a try if you haven’t yet. Italia has tables but is more of a take-out place, while you should get reservations for Lockeland. The mural is signed “MCM/Music City Murals Tomasek.” We’ve seen Tomasek before – that’s the nom de paintbrush of Anthony Billups, and as noted before, at least one other artist in town uses the brand name “Music City Murals.

Located at 1600 Woodland, at the corner of 16th. There’s parking in back and some street parking. Order up a pizza or maybe some lasagna (or both!) and enjoy the art!

Memorial Day

USCTMounmentFront

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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New Life Records

NewLifeFull

Sometimes large things can hide in plain site. I have driven past this mural many times since it went up 2006 but only noticed it recently. And it’s very visible from a busy stretch of Charlotte, ensconced on the east wall of New Life Record Shop. The brain is a peculiar thing. New Life sells vinyl records, posters, shirts, and various music-related equipment and paraphernalia. It’s been in business since 1976, and the interior has a certain throwback vibe. The owner says that he allowed the mural to be put up, but was a little disappointed it mostly featured the tags of the artists. The duck in sunglasses is, however, the New Life mascot. There is a second mural/tag on a recessed wall next to the main mural (see below).

Located at 5343 Charlotte Avenue. There is parking at New Life and neighboring businesses. Grab some vinyl and enjoy the art!

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Quiero dulces, por favor!

ColmenaFull

This is a tale of two murals, side by side. One is a sign, done in a cartoon style, while the other is an abstract play with colors. La Colmena Mexican Candy has had a presence in Global Mall (formerly Hickory Hollow) for a couple of years, but they recently moved to Nolensville Road, offering, as it says, baked goods, ice cream, and candy. So, diet food! (As I like to say, I had kale for lunch – it was shaped like a patty melt and fries. Here, the kale is shaped like candy.) The beehive mural bears a strong resemblance to images you find if you do a search for “beehive clip art.” (“Colmena” means “beehive.”) If you are not familiar with Mexican sweets but like all things sugar, give it a try! Some of it is quite different from what is typical in the U.S., so you might find something new you love. (The title of this post come from a Spanish version of “trick or treat!”)

Located at 2424A Nolensville Pike, about a block south of the 440 exit. If you are driving south, the double mural, on the north side of the building, is very visible. There is parking in front of La Colmena, and makeshift parking around back where you’ll compete with the neighboring auto repair place. Grab some pan y dulces and enjoy the art!

ColmenaSignColmenaAbstract

Going, going gone

MainOuterWall

I had intended to post about the graffiti installations on the small building next to Plaza Art a few days ago. If I had, I would have posted about it while the art still existed. I drove by yesterday, and the building was in the process of being painted blue, with just a little of the graffiti art still visible. Some of this art was fairly old, old enough to have started peeling at least, though there is also a 2016 date on one piece. The tags KOG, 3XM and N86 were once visible here. KOG is a graffiti team out of Los Angeles and San Fransico, while the other tags are associated with Nashville artists. I’m not sure if the art on the fence wall is also being painted over, but I imagine it is. Archiving art before it disappears is part of the mission of this blog.

Located on the south side of Middleton Street, next to Plaza Art. The art is gone, but there is a major mural next door (at least for now) that I plan to post on soon, and Plaza Art has acquired a large mural of its own. Plenty of parking.

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