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nashville public art

No art left behind

Well Mr. Twain, there’s always this place!

PrimmingsMain

Supposedly Mark Twain, often photographed with a cigar, once quipped, “If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in heaven than I shall not go.” So perhaps he would have liked Primings Cigar Lounge and Bar, which opened in the summer of 2016. According to their website, Primings seeks to appeal to serious cigar connoisseurs, and it has its share of liquor as well. The mural, a Music City Murals work by Anthony Billups, includes the hashtag #handcraftthemoment, which is used by Four Roses Bourbon. Four Roses bottles are featured in the mural, and yes, it is on the menu. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicholson, Salma Hayek and Michael Jordan, all known for their love of cigars, grace the mural. There is also a small mural featuring a bottle of Four Roses and a cigar on the north wall (see below).

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Located at 701 4th Avenue South, at the corner with Elm Street. There is some free street parking on Elm, and there is a paid lot across the street from the main mural, which faces 4th. The bourbon and cigar mural faces Elm Street, on the corner.

Nashville Diverse

CilantroGuitar

Cilantro Mexican Grill has made it to this blog before. In their parking lot is a huge mural celebrating the Predators, which I featured in Smashville, Mexican style. Here we walk around to the other side if the building to find a gigantic guitar. Although it looks somewhat similar to the one featured in Carter Vintage Guitars (Part 1) (and yes, I still need to do part 2), it’s a different artist. The Carter murals are done by Vermillion Murals, while this mural is the product of Marco Vazquez. The signature, which is hard to see in the picture (below the bottom end of the guitar) also gives the name of the mural  — “Nashville Diverse” (hence the title of this blog post). Like a lot of artists who work with Hispanic businesses, there’s a phone number if you want to commision him (I haven’t found any website or social media for him). There are also a couple of traditional images more common to Hispanic restaurants and grocery stores (see below), a plate of fajitas and a molcajete mixto – two things I have never ordered in a Mexican restaurant!

Located at 2330 8th Avenue South. The guitar mural faces Melpark Drive, on the north side of the building. The food murals are found on the south side of the building, near the entrance. There is some free parking on Melpark, and Cilantro has a fair amount of parking. Chow down and enjoy the art!

Acoustic skyline

AcousticSky

Sometimes I have to really dig to get the skinny on some piece of outdoor art. Sometimes I come up with nothing. And sometimes the Tennessean does my work for me. This Division Street mural, found on the side of A+ Storage, is the work of Harpeth Middle School teacher Allison Johnson. It went up back in November 2016 (so this is not exactly breaking news). The A+ owner saw her work hanging in 3rd and Lindsley, where Johnson works part-time, and commisioned the work. The hashtag #4theloveof music615 leads ultimately to her Instagram page, while 4TheLoveofMusic is the name of her Etsy page. If you look very closely below the word “gulch,” there is a tiny signature for Drew Johnson, Allison’s brother, who helped her do the mural.

Located at 911 Division Street. The mural is on the west side of the building. It faces a large paid parking lot, which, like many of the paid lots around the Gulch, advertises one-hour free parking. Make it part of your Gulch visit and enjoy the art!

Mystery of the Spheres

Colonial Liquor

Eight Avenue South has art but is not as rich as some other neighbourhoods. This is in keeping with its mix of national chains, which tend to discourage public art, and independent businesses, which tend to encourage it. A very obvious example of the later, if you are travelling south on 8th, is this impossible to miss piece on the side of Colonial Liquors. This trippy image complete with crystals and a starry firmament is a product of the ever-prolific Eastside Murals. The backside of the building has a major graffiti installation I’ll feature later.

Located at 2401 Franklin Pike (aka 8th Avenue South). The mural is on the north side of the building, facing Hillview Heights. A fair amount of parking is available at Colonial Liquor, and a great deal is to be found across the street at Little Caesars. You have to go about half a block west on Hillview Height to find street parking. Grab some wine, get some pizza, and enjoy the art!

Just a few gents

12SouthTaproom

There’s a lot of outdoor art in the 12 South neighborhood. One of the most photographed murals in Nashville has to be the “I Believe in Nashville” mural found on the north wall of 12 South Dental Studio and sadly subject to multiple acts of vandalism. Just up the road is a very different mural which I think is at least as worthy of a few selfies or portraits, though it’s easy to miss. Tucked away in a semi-hidden driveway that wraps around the north side of 12 South Taproom and Grill one finds these three dapper gentlemen, who oddly given the location don’t seem to be enjoying a cold beer. They are the work of Jared Freihoefer, a Nashville artist who seems to specialize in black and white portraits that use the kind of shading technique seen here. Put on something snazzy and take your next selfie with these gents!

Located at 2318 12th Avenue South. The mural is on the north side of the building, facing a driveway that leads to parking behind 12 South Taproom. Parking in this area is tricky. There is free street parking on the side streets, though it’s often crowded (and a few spaces at the north end of the district on 12th). There are also a couple of pay lots, and of course, many businesses have their own parking. Make it part of your 12 South crawl!

One mural down, one mural up

ZidekMural

Some time ago, many months ago, I remember driving down 12th Avenue past Whiskey Kitchen and catching out of the corner of my eye a large mural of a human figure. I thought, “Need to come back and photograph that.” I was slow about it, and when I finally went back I was quite surprised when instead of a human figure, I saw this geometric mural instead. Had I imagined the other mural? Had I misremembered its location? No, just testimony to the ephemeral nature of outdoor art. The piece above is by Chris Zidek, who signs his work Zidekahedron. He’s been featured here before, in such pieces as the octopus in Uncovered! And he has other new work which I’ll be posting about soon. This particular piece was sponsored by the local office of Google Fiber, which as I have mentioned before has been busy sponsoring outdoor art. The human figure was a piece by Brian Wooden, he of the headless well-dressed men. The picture below is a February 2017 Google street view image. You can also see it on Wooden’s Instagram page. Art comes, art goes.

Located at 118 12th Avenue South. The mural actually faces the 1100 block of McGavock Street, downhill from 12th. Most of the parking in the immediate area belongs to local businesses, though there is free one-hour parking a few blocks south in the Gulch proper, as well as paid lots. Make it part of your visit to one of the bars and restaurants within view of the mural!

WoodenMural

There flys a peace crane

WishForPeace

For once, I’m blogging about an almost new mural. The Wish for Peace mural on the side of the Global Education building on Charlotte appeared only a few weeks ago at most. It’s a production of WHAT. Creative Group, also known as Jake and Hana Elliott. They are responsible for some other projects around town, including the mural featured in Don’t miss your ride! It was sponsored both by the local office of Google Fiber (who’ve been promoting a lot of art, lately) and the Nashville Walls Project, though it’s new enough that as of this post it isn’t yet featured anywhere on NWP’s website. I’m really ahead of the curve this time! And why origami cranes? Well, it seems that origami peace cranes are a thing. Specifically, they commemorate the life of Sadako Sasaki, who died at age 12 in 1955 of leukemia induced by radiation exposure she experienced when the bomb fell on her hometown, Hiroshima. Sadako folded cranes in her final days, as her father told her that folding a thousand of them would grant a wish.

Located at 4822 Charlotte Pike. The mural faces east, directly across from Hugh Baby’s, where Porter Road Butcher used to be. There is some limited street parking on 49th Ave, and there is parking across Charlotte at Richland Park. Or you could get a burger at Hugh Baby’s and enjoy the art!

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