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nashville public art

No art left behind

Violin dreams

DreamstreetRight

Looking like Don Quixote with a fiddle, this metal gentlemen with eyes searching the skies certainly seems to have weathered a lot of abuse at the hands of the elements – or maybe he was made that way. He sits by the side of the road outside of Dreamstreet Studios in Berry Hill, a business I’ve been able to find very little information on. This Buzzfile page suggests it is also called Dreamstreet Morganville Industries and is owned by Dennis Morgan. A little internet sleuthing turns up a book called “Pumpkin Head Harvey” by the Dennis Morgan who is in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and which was published by Dreamstreet Studios. So that mystery is solved, but not the question of who made this. There are two palm prints and what looks like “20 011 04” written in the concrete base but might instead be “2001 1 04” – or something else. Don Quixote might know, but he’s not telling.

Located at 2830 Dogwood Place. Unfortunately, it’s practically illegal to park in this part of Berry Hill. While there is a great deal of outdoor art, there is almost no street parking anywhere nearby and no sidewalks. Most of the local businesses have prominent “no parking signs.” I’ve been yelled at for parking at a closed business on the weekend. There is a small park on Columbine Place with a few spaces, but it has a sign reminding you it’s a misdemeanor to park at the park if you are not using the park.  This is not a neighborhood friendly to outsiders. There are just a few street spaces on Heather Place in front of Vui’s Kitchen and behind Baja Burrito. You might try Baja’s satellite parking lot on Columbine if it’s off hours, or the strip mall on the 700 block of Thompson Lane.

Carne de calidad

CDSouth

Carniceria Dominguez is a very new Hispanic grocery store on Nolensville, opened by Rose Dominguez, who also owns a similar store of the same name on Murfreesboro Road. The art is pretty new too, so new that it’s not made it to Carniceria Dominguez’s Instagram page yet. (Maybe it will by the time you read this). I’m using as the feature photo a mural from the south side of the store and not the front, mainly because I like it a lot and also because it has a cow in it and the art on the front is mostly vegetables and fruit. The name is “carniceria” after all, that is, “butcher.” The work is by José F. Vargas, who had done art for a lot of Hispanic businesses, such as the work featured in Gotta get that bling! and Mi casa es su casa. If you speak Spanish, this video from Nashville Noticias can fill you in on all the things you can get at Carniceria Dominguez. Very enthusiastically, I might add.

Located at 3709 Nolensville Pike. The grocery has a fair amount of parking. Load up on fresh meat and vegetables and enjoy the art!

Red, white and blue barber

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When your business sits on a street named after your competitor, who is less than a block away, and when that competitor gets business in part because of his very famous daughter, it helps to have a bright colorful sign to help you stand out. Not that Reed and Sons Barbershop needs to worry too much about the competition from Vernon Winfrey’s Barber Shop. Both have been around for quite awhile and have loyal clienteles that have in some cases been coming for decades. Founded by Carl Reed fifty-eight years ago, it is now run by his grandson Tony D. Reed. Both Carl and Tony A. Reed (Tony D.’s father) can still be found cutting hair from time to time. A 2015 photo found in the Tennesee Ledger story linked above shows the facade as being orange, so this more colorful version is recent. In a rapidly gentrifying Nashville, it’s good to see such an important local institution continuing to thrive.

Located at 410 Vernon Winfrey Avenue. The facade above faces Lischey Avenue. Free street parking is readily available. Get a trim and enjoy the art!

Fanny’s House of Music

FannysFullNorthFounded in the teeth of the 2008 financial crisis, Fanny’s House of Music has become a neighborhood icon that has gained national recognition for its place in the music business and its role in providing a comfortable space in music for all, particularly women and girls. The owners, Pamela Cole and Leigh Maples, both music business veterans. named their store after Fanny, one of the first significant all-female rock bands. They’ll sell you a guitar, and they’ll teach you how to play it, too. And they have art. The large painting is by Scott Guion, a New Orleans based artist. It features a whole host of female artists, like Suzie Quatro and Maybelle Carter, Dolly Parton and Joan Jett, and many more. You can get smaller versions inside. The Carter image on the mural is based on the same photo used as the inspiration for the mural featured in Carter Vintage Guitars (Part 2). Along the bottom of the house is a series of unsigned panels that are the work of Andee Rudloff. The text reads “Beauty is having the courage (explore) to be you.” [Parentheses mine]

Fanny's Guion Mural

Located at 1101 Holly Street. The murals actually face 11th Street. There is theoretically free street parking on 11th and on Holly and nearby streets. Good luck on the weekends and at night. A paid lot is across the street. I Dream of Weenie is next door in view of the art, so grab a dog, or buy a guitar, or both! – and enjoy the art. Warning – I got chigger bites taking photos in the grass in front of this art.

Workspace, playspace, UHspace

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Recently, a new mural appeared in the alley behind Center 615 and HOME courtesy of the UH crew, a prolific local graffiti crew. The mural features strong geometric lines, a more earth tone palette than seen in some of their other works, and familiar tags like Rasmo and Panda. There’s also a memorial to the late Ronald “Ronnie” Bobal, whose graffiti tag was “Betor.” A much larger memorial to Betor is featured in Betor Forever (where you can read more about him). Center 615 is an office and cowork space, while HOME is a cowork space specifically for musicians.

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HMBettor

Located at 615 Main Street. The mural is in the alley on the back side of the building that runs between North Seventh and North Sixth Streets. It’s conceivable to park in the alley, and there is street parking on Sixth and Seventh.

The Dog

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Outside of Lewis Country Store on Ashland City Highway, you can find this metal gunslinger. It’s something of an ode to 2nd Amendment rights, as the plaque quotes the amendment and admonished us to “Come and take it.” The store owner, Renee Lewis, has been known for taking provocative stands. Regardless, it’s a fun piece, made by Ryan Barbour of Barrel House Metal and Woodworking in Clarksville. The materials are reclaimed scraps from Richmond Machine Service, also in Clarksville. Look close – you may have already figured out the snake is made of metal, but so too are the plants. The plaque also lets us know that the statue is called “The Dog” and is dedicated to the memory of Ronald Douglas Doggett (1948-2000).

Located at 5106 Old Hickory Boulevard, at the corner with Ashland City Highway. The store and the statue face the highway. The store has plenty of parking. Load up on food and sundries and enjoy the art!

I believe in not standing in line

IBelieveShelby

One of the most talked about and photographed murals in town is the “I Believe in Nashville” mural in 12 South by Adrien Saporiti of DCXV Industries. When it was vandalized and then restored, local news covered it. It even has its own Facebook page, along with other versions of the mural found at Basement East and Marathon Village. The one in 12 South, on the north side of Archangel Esthetics, is the champ, with people standing in sometimes quite long lines to get their picture taken. Only the wings mural by Kelsey Montague featured in Sometimes you have to be obvious rivals it for Instagram portraits. The Marathon and Basement East ones generally don’t involve waiting, though they can. (The Basement East version is the best one for taking a selfie because it’s up high, and so you can angle your phone and get a decent shot.) But for the one above, I think I can guarantee you no waiting, ever. I’m not sure if this was actually done by Saporiti – it isn’t signed, and it doesn’t appear on the DCXV Instagram page or the “I Believe in Nashville” Facebook page. It’s on a retaining wall in front of a private home on Shelby, and may simply be a homage by the homeowners. Regardless, I’m listing it under Saproriti on the Artists page, as it is obviously his design. So come and get your unique, ivy-framed “I Believe in Nashville” portrait and be the envy of all your friends. And don’t stand in line.

UPDATE: Per the comment below, the mural was done by homeowner Jason T. Ryan.

Located at 906 Shelby Avenue. There is street parking on Shelby and Ninth. The mural is right off the sidewalk, facing north. This is a private home, so be respectful.

Catered art

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Sadly, Carloyn’s Homestyle Kitchen has closed, at least as a restaurant. But as a catering service and a venue for art, it’s going strong. On the north side of the building, we see a scene from the inside (taken at a weird angle because of a fence), while on the back there are portraits, presumably of some of the staff at Carolyn’s. There is also on the south wall what appears to be a “lost” portrait, which I’ve included below. No apparent signatures, and the wear and tear suggests at least some of this has been here for a while. It does look similar to the art seen in Down at the corner and Northside Auto Clean Up, both of which are a few blocks away. The Buchanan Street area is undergoing rapid change, so the long-term fate of these paintings is unknown, but as part of neighborhood history, I hope they stick around.

Located at 1601 Ninth Avenue North, at the corner of Garfield Street. The main mural is on the north side of the building, visible from 9th, while the three ladies below are on the back, visible from Garfield. The lost portrait faces Garfield. Order up some good eats for your next party and enjoy the art!

Mapping The Nations

Nations Map

One of the most prolific art scenes in Nashville is not found in any gallery or trendy neighborhood, but on the outer walls of the many Latino grocery stores scattered around town. Murals depicting the fruits and vegetables found inside or idealized images of the old country are common themes. The murals found in And another market and Mi casa es su casa are good examples. Usually, these are found in lower-income neighborhoods where immigrants tend to congregate. But what happens if one of those markets finds itself in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood like The Nations? Well, the owners of the Savemore Super Market found themselves in that position and decided to transform their market into the 51st Deli. Most of the groceries went away in favor of a deli/taqueria with a large menu. A new identity called for new art. So they asked Ruben Torres, who had done the market’s original fruit-themed mural featured in Frutas!, to come up with something new – a shout out to neighborhood pride instead of the more traditional old country pride. Torres’s map is elegant, perhaps in keeping with the clean lines of the all the new condos and modern houses spreading across The Nations. If you can’t beat the gentrifiers, join them, would seem to be the message.

Located at 1314 51st Avenue North, at the corner with Centinneal Boulevard – where the red star is in the mural! The mural faces Centinneal and often has cars parked in front of it. There is parking at 51st Deli, though at lunchtime you might have to park on a neighboring street and walk a bit. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

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