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nashville public art

No art left behind

Maybe you’ve seen this one?

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I’ve often said I’m a blogger, not a journalist. Still, this is a pretty prominent mural, and it was finished almost a year ago. One issue has been photographing it. You would think something this big and visible would be easy to shoot, but given the industrial area it’s in, getting a good angle isn’t easy. And of course, that’s not whole mural – the rest is below. Sponsored in part by the Nashville Walls Project, the mural is the work of Australian artist Guido van Helten. (That website hasn’t been updated in a while. You can find his more recent work on his Facebook page.) Van Helten makes a specialty of giant portraits of people local to the community he is painting in. The gentleman featured here is Lee “LD” Estes, a 92-year-old lifetime resident of The Nations, the West Nashville neighborhood where this mural is found. The mural represents both the gentrification of The Nations and, in Estes, the longer traditions and history of The Nations. This article discusses that and has some good pictures as well. The silo itself is almost all that’s left of what was once Gillette Grain Co. Now its part of Silo Bend, a 38 acre development project of Southeast Venture that includes both housing and retail. Southeast Venture planned on keeping the silo from the beginning, and commissioned the mural, and now the silo and the mural feature prominently in the development’s branding. You can watch a series of day by day videos documenting its creation, and there’s also a time-lapse video for the whole project.

SiloKids

Located near the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and 51st Avenue North. The portrait of Estes can be best viewed from the parking lot of the shopping complex that includes a branch of White Bison Coffee, located at 5202 Centennial. Getting a clear view of the two children is tricker, and might be considered trespassing, though it’s not marked as such. Go north on 54th Avenue from Centennial, and cross the railroad track, turning right immediately. This is a construction staging area at the moment. The gravel road paralleling the railroad goes right up to the silo. No one stopped me when I did this. Hopefully, once all the construction is finished, proper public access will be available.

Off the wall (Part 6)

Quilt

The Off The Wall project on Charlotte, which had been going slowly, has taken off like gangbusters in recent weeks. One mural is left to be finished, and the space will be completely filled with art. This mural, called “The Nashville Quilt,” is not one of the new ones, but has been up for a few months. (I’m an historian, not a journalist!) While the background is by Jake and Hana Elliott of What. Creative Group, the various “patches” are by artists from non-profits that partnered with What.Creative. Lily Clayton Hansen did profiles of each artist for Word of Mouth, with photography by Elizabeth Ratliff. I encourage you to check them out. For one, this post would be impossibly long if I tried to write up each artist, and Hansen and Ratliff have already done a superior job.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 7 Part 8

Located at 3020 Charlotte Avenue. This mural actually faces 28th/31st Avenue North. Your best bet for parking is perhaps across the street at Cross Fit Nashville or street parking on 31st Avenue north of Charlotte.

Honey

Miel

That’s what “miel” means in Spanish. And if you look close at the mostly mushroom-themed mural, you’ll see a bee in the upper center area. Miel is the name of a generally well-reviewed restaurant found in Sylvan Park just off Charlotte Pike. Miel prides itself on using local ingredients and maintaining sustainable practices. It’s a foody kind of place where you should probably get reservations. The mural is by Andie Estes (@byandie on Instagram), who besides the mural seems to also be responsible for much of Miel’s branding. Based on Miel’s Instagram account, this seems to be a very recent mural, having gone up in late July.

UPDATE: I have been told by the artist that “the mural is an abstract representation of the garden the owner has built onsite.”

Located at 343 53rd Avenue North, within sight of Charlotte Pike, behind Bobbie’s Dairy Dip. There is some limited street parking. Miel’s is not open for lunch, so in the morning and early afternoon, you can probably park in their small lot. Get some quality grub and enjoy the art!

Hidden cow

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Once there was a cow on the side of a supermarket. But an addition was built, which hid the cow, at least in part. But then a new cow appeared, and there was rejoicing in the land. Ok, maybe not. But it’s obvious from the picture above that there is a partially hidden mural at El Pueblito Super Mercado, which for better or worse was left in place when a storage shed was built in front of it. The shed advertises Los Potrillos Caniceria, which presumably provides meat for El Pueblito. To the best of my knowledge, “potrillo” means “colt,” but I doubt they are serving horsemeat. The Potrillos mural is signed by José F. Vargas, he of many other Latino grocery murals.  The half-hidden mural seems to be his style as well. There is a display of meats and fruits on the front that is probably also by Vargas, but it isn’t signed.

Located at 948 Richards Rd, at the corner with Antioch Pike. The market has lots of parking. Fill up your grocery bags and enjoy the art!

Eastland graffiti

EastlandDuff

It is becoming more and more evident that Nashville business owners understand the importance of art as part of their self-presentation. The Eastland is yet another of the many upscale apartment and condo buildings that have been sprouting like weeds in the current Nashville real estate market. It’s all crisp modern lines, muted whites and greys, but then you turn into the little tunnel that links the parking lot to the road and you encounter this vivid splash of color, courtesy of Troy Duff. There are the obvious neighborhood nods, like “615” and “37206.” It’s also a sign. Look closely under the arrow, and you’ll see “The Eastland.” It isn’t signed, but following a hunch that it was his work, I found it on Duff’s Instagram page. That post is dated August 27, 2017, making the piece about a year old.

Located at 1035 West Eastland. There is parking at the apartment building and some limited street parking, as well as an adjacent parking garage.

Impermanent, The Nations

MPSouthFull

And the blog is back! How about a whole lot of art to celebrate? Back in April, there was an art show at an old warehouse in The Nations whose only indication of its past is a damaged sign that seems to have once read “Motor Parts.” The show was carried out by Impermanent, which bills itself as “a collective of artists who are displaying their talents in the world of subversive and immersive art within an uninhibiting environment,” and was done in partnership with Nashville Civic Design Center and The Oasis Real Foundation. The show produced art both inside and out at the warehouse. This blog covers outdoor art, but you can see some of the creations inside in this video. Some of the work on the outside features tags associated with the UH crew. There is one piece signed by Brandon Donahue (look for the “ink blot” image that is the second image in the South Wall slideshow below). On the Impermanent website the orange face above is credited to Sterbo, and based on style, the mouse on the south wall and the mouse and head on the north wall appear to be the work of Adam Hale, while the ice cream colored scene around the orange face fits the style of Kevin Bongang. Presumably, the other artists listed on Impermanent’s Who page were also involved in producing the outdoor art. (I really should have gone to this show – I’d be better informed. It must have been laundry night!) Go check it out soon. An abandoned warehouse in the go-go-go real estate market of The Nations won’t last long.

East Wall, left to right.

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South Wall, left to right.

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West Wall, full, then left to right.

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North Wall, left to right

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Located at 1211 57th Avenue North. Street parking is available.

The blog pauses

MapofCarib

Your intrepid blogger is taking a bit of a trip, to Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname. So the blog goes on hiatus for a week or so. I’ll be looking for outdoor art while I’m there, of course. You’ll find some of it on my Instagram and Facebook pages. Back soon!

Hide Out

HiCHMain

This is one of the first murals I photographed when I was beginning to think about this blog (though I’ve misplaced those pictures, this one is new). There is so much art out there, sometimes I don’t get to stuff for a while. This piece is by the artist behind Deathspan Studios and is on the back side of High Class Hillbilly. HCH is a vintage clothing store owned by singer-songwriter Nikki Lane, and it was on her Instagram account I was able to track down who the artist was. It dates from September 2015 and is sort of hidden, but you can see it from Gallatin Pike if you take your eyes off the road. There’s also a couple of interesting signs on a nearby wall, one for HCH and the other for Beautiful Tan & Hair Design. If you look real close at the Beautiful sign you’ll see a faint hand applying nail polish to the “a.”

HCHSigns

Located at 4604 Gallatin Pike. The main mural is on the back side of the building facing south, while the signs are on the south wall that is closest to Gallatin Pike. There is plenty of parking in front and behind the building. Get your nails done, grab a vintage jacket, and enjoy the art!

 

Garage colors

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I don’t usually do new work, but this is fairly new. The building appears to be part of Hunt’s Garage in The Nations. That’s what the gentleman working there seemed to indicate when he came out and joked that taking pictures of the mural would cost me $20. While the mural is unsigned, the same ma told me that the artist who did this also painted an old trailer (of the big rig kind) for him. Well, that trailer (see below) has the “Rasmo” tag on it, which is a tag commonly found on UH crew installations. So call this a UH crew project, or at least UH adjacent. That’s where I’ll put it on the Artists page until I hear otherwise.

Located on 52nd Avenue, between Lousiana and Pennsylvania Avenue. The trailer sits at the three-way corner of 52nd, Centinneal Blvd, and Pennsylvania.  Street parking is available.

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