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nashville public art

Nashville murals, street art, graffiti, signs, sculptures and more

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Bubbles at Capitol View

This is one of four murals either by or involving Anthony Billups of Music City Murals that are found at the Capitol View complex: this one, the ones I featured in Spread Love and Riding!, and a set of murals at Frankie Pierce Park he collaborated on with Olasubomi Aka-Bashorun, which I will feature soon. I thought I’d put this one up now because, more so than most outdoor art, it’s inevitably temporary.

I did not realize when I posted Spread Love that both it and the bubble mural are on panels covering the windows of an empty retail space. Rather than have the windows look like part of construction site, the management at Capitol View opted for art. But of course, someday that space will be rented, and the panels will come down. I imagine the pandemic has slowed interest from retailers and restaurateurs for the time being. Note the padlock above the train engine, and you’ll realize there’s a door in this mural.

Of course, since they are on panels, it’s entirely possible that both murals will be repurposed. Hopefully, Capitol View will find some use for them once the space is rented.

The mural may not have been specifically designed for people to get their picture in front of, but there is an obvious pose! (Especially if you can jump.) The train references the rail line just a block east, and the jumble of buildings from Nashville’s skyline is roughly what you would see if you could look east to downtown without obstructions.

Skyline mural Nashville street art

Located on the 400 block of 11th Avenue North, right next to the Clean Juice at 412 11th Ave N. There’s some street parking on 11th and nearby, and you can access free parking (meant for the businesses in the building) off the alley on the east side of the building, towards the State Capitol.

Spread Love

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a Music City Murals work found a little hidden away at the Capitol View project in a post I called Riding!. This is another of their works, just around the corner and much more visible. Unlike the “Riding!” mural, this one is signed, not just by Music City Murals, but also specifically by one of their artists, Anthony Billups. I had seen this mural on social media a few times in the last few months (it was put up back in January), but perhaps because Capitol View is not completely rented out and Google still hasn’t fully incorporated this massive project into its maps, folks were a little vague as to where to find it. If you think of the downtown Publix on Charlotte as the “front” of the building in question, this is on the “back,” on Nelson Merry Street, next to the entrance of the Residences at Capitol View.

The hands incorporate several Nashville icons, such as the State Capitol, the Batman Building, Nissan Stadium, and the Sheraton Hotel with its distinctive round top. The imagery certainly lends itself to the message of “Spread Love,” as the mural is titled. Billups himself used it in a heartfelt post about Nashville’s resiliency in the face of the March 3 tornadoes. When I went to photograph it, I had to wait for a couple who seemed to be clearly taking engagement photos in front of it (Mazel tov!). No doubt it will be the backdrop for many similar photos.

Spread Love Hands mural Nashville street art

Located at 1015 Nelson Merry Street. You can access free parking (meant for the businesses in the building) off the alley on the east side of the building, towards the State Capitol. Some street parking is available.

Follow the yellow brick road

Is Nashville really Oz? It’s certainly an Emerald City in Anthony’s Billups’s mural for The Griff Apartments. The skyline is roughly what you would see looking south from The Griff’s roof, minus the yellow brick road and the poppies and trees. That’s Topgolf off to the left, and of course the Batman Building in the middle. Like the Eiffel Tower for Paris, all images of Nashville’s skyline must have the Batman Building. The brown building on the right is presumably the old meatpacking plant across the street from The Griff, which is in the habit of catching on fire. The mural decorates a utility box that would otherwise just be a concrete slab and is further evidence that more and more, Nashville businesses know they need art. Billups, who is part of Music City Murals, also did some signage in The Griff’s garage that is in a very different style (see slideshow below) from this mural. I could not discern a signature on the mural, but the staff, who informed me who the artist was, said that it is hidden in there somewhere. Maybe if you follow the yellow brick road you’ll find it and the wizard. I’m guessing the wizard lives at the top of the Batman Building.

Yellow Brick mural street art Nashville

 

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Located at 1390 Adams Street. The mural is actually on Taylor Street, on the south side of the building, facing Adams Street. The entrance to the garage is on the north side of the building, and the signs on the first floor. There is some street parking on Adams, and guest parking in The Griff’s parking garage.

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.

There once was a garden

EGFullLeft

It’s not news that Nashville has an affordable housing problem. And as I noted in my second-anniversary post, there is a relationship between gentrification and the explosion of public art in Nashville. It’s quite unlikely that the former owners of Howe Garden Apartments, which had modest rents, would have paid for Eastside Murals to put a mural on the laundry and fitness center building. But once it became Eastwood Greene Apartment Homes under new ownership, and the rents more than doubled, a mural became more likely. I’m by no means faulting the guys at Eastside Murals for taking a paying gig. They aren’t the problem. Somehow Nashville has to come to grips with this issue. We need art, and we need places artists can afford to live.

EGFillDirect

EGFullRight

Located at 1921 Greenwood Ave. The laundry/fitness center building is found on a lawn in the center of the complex, close to Greenwood Ave. The mural is on the east side of the building, and there is parking on the west side. Take a tour and enjoy the art!

Woof woof!

DogfenceMain)

Sometime more than a year ago (this blog is nothing if not on the spot!), this whimsical piece appeared on the fence of the parking lot that adjoins the apartment building at Fatherland and South 10th. As it boldly proclaims, this is an Eastside Murals project, the business name of Ian Lawrence and Sterling Goller-Brown. The apartment building is by all appearances a low-income rental, something that used to be common in East Nashville but is much less so today. Hopefully, both it and the mural have a long future, as we need lots of both art and affordable housing.

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Located at 300 10th Street South. The mural lies right off the entrance to the alley that runs parallel to and between Fatherland and Boscobel. There is street parking on Fatherland, though you might have to walk a ways. Make it part of your Five Points crawl and enjoy the art!

Nashville skyline

NashvilleSkyline

I have no clue who did this. There is a small apartment building on Fisk Street, just off Charlotte, that has this mural. It depicts the Nashville skyline and is tagged “Act Now.” This mural shows up in a Google street view from 2016, which I think is its origin year. Again, more business owners and more public officials are figuring out the value of public art, so more stuff appears.

At 405 Fisk Street. This is a small apartment building behind Fattoush Cafe and Jiffy Lube. Plenty of parking at Fattoush, so grab some grub and enjoy the art!

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