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I believe in Basement East

I believe Nashville mural street art

Perhaps the most famous mural in Nashville, the most famous piece of art, period, is not one but multiple. It’s three, or four or even more, depending on what you decide to count. There are two completely official “I Believe in Nashville” murals, one in 12 South and one in Marathon Village (neither of which is on this blog yet). I say “completely official,” because those are the ones you find on IBelieveInNasvhille.com, the I Believe in Nashville Facebook page, and on the I Believe in Nashville Instagram page. There is also one on Shelby Street done by a local homeowner and not the original artist, Adrien Saporiti of DCXV Industries. There are takeoffs like the I Believe in Petsville mural by Leah Boorse, and an I Believe in Smashville mural by Saporiti himself. This one, on the west wall of The Basement East, is not signed by Saporiti, nor does it appear on any of his websites or social media, but it does sport the IBelieveInNashville.com website and Instagram page addresses, so I’ll call it semi-official. I didn’t see it scrolling through several pages of the #ibelieveinNashville hashtag on Instagram, though interestingly, one that does is the wings mural by Kelsey Montague, featured in Sometimes you have to be obvious and easily the biggest rival for Internet fame to the I Believe in Nashville series. I think that’s odd because the Basement East version is the best one for taking an actual selfie because it’s up high, and thus you can angle your phone and get a decent shot. The wall it’s on features a rotating series of concert murals and one other “permanent” mural of a skeleton. This mural, by the way, will be the 500th pin on the blog’s map. It’s not the 500th blog post – that honor went to 500 Pink Elephants back in July. Early in the blog, I was in the habit of using only one pin where there were multiple works of art, thus the discrepancy, but now I don’t do that and pin every piece. Note that not all of the pins on that map are for art that still exists – check the relevant blog post before making a special trip – but it does give you a good idea of where to find outdoor art in Nashville.

Located at 917 Woodland Street. The mural is on the west wall, facing downtown towards the river. Parking is complicated in this area, given the many businesses and that Basement East is a concert venue. There is street parking on the nearby side streets, 9th Street and McFerrin Avenue.

La Rosa’s birds

While Charlotte Pike is bustling, it remains the mix of old Nashville and immigrant Nashville that it’s been for many years. Full-scale gentrification is hitting north and south of the corridor, particularly in The Nations, but Charlotte retains a lot of its older character. Meaning there’s a lot of local businesses and thus a lot of opportunities for outdoor art. It has the potential to be as prolific as lower Gallatin, but it’s not quite there yet. One artist doing his part is JamersonSGC, who frequently tags his pieces “Low Key Art” (though not this piece). Here his style is more loose and cartoony than the majestic work in Day Dreamin, which is perhaps appropriate for La Rosa Cafe, a night club and hookah bar that also serves up wings and pizza. There used to also be a frightened chicken on the front wall (which may be by someone else), but it has since been painted over (See below).

Located at 6317 Charlotte Pike.  There is plenty of parking here.

Tailgate Brewery, East Side

A couple months ago, I featured a small mural linked to Tailgate Brewery in A hoppy place to tailgate. That small, two-color mural, by Drew Lord, is part of Tailgate’s Demonbreun Street location. Recently, they expanded to lower Gallatin, right next to Nashville Biscuit House. And here Lord, who is Tailgate’s art director, has produced something much bolder and much more colorful. You have the tailgate, you have the brewer breaking open a barrel that sprays out multi-colored beer, and you have an umbrella to protect you from that spray. (The umbrella kind of looks like a made-to-order Instagram target.) When you go to check it out, walk abound to the backside of Nashville Biscuit House. There’s a hidden mural back there.

Tailgate mural street art Nashville

Located at 811 Gallatin Avenue. The mural is on the south side of the building. There is parking behind Tailgate, and at the Biscuit House after it closes in the afternoon. There is also street parking on Petway Avenue on the north side of the building.

A hoppy place to tailgate

Happy mural street art Nashville

I was genuinely fooled. I thought it said “My happy place,” and I named the photo file “Happy mural.” Nope, that says “hoppy,” not “happy.” Which makes sense as its an image of hops and this is at the Demonbreun Street location of Tailgate Brewery. The piece is signed A. Lord, which turns out to be Drew Lord, who is Tailgate’s art director. Good for Tailgate for having an art director. There is a massive mural at their 7300 Charlotte Pike location that I would guess is by him also, and there seems to be a lot of indoor art he’s done as well. I’ll post the Charlotte mural whenever I can get out there bright and early before the parking lot fills up with cars. The mural above is dated 2017, but I think I never noticed it

Located at 1538 Demonbreun Street.  The mural is in a small parking lot next to the traffic circle where the Musica statue is. There is parking in this area, but most of it is either pay lots or belongs to nearby businesses. Grab a brew and enjoy the art!

The Cobra (Part 1)

Cobra mural street art Nashville

Another series! This will be a short one, as there are only three Cobra bar murals. This one is the largest, on the south-facing wall of The Cobra. A product of Eastside Murals, it went up in September 2016. The cobra motif is obvious, but why all the skulls? I have no idea. And then there is the unlabeled but obvious Pabst Blue Ribbon can. I suppose the marketing permissions did not come through. When I photographed this recently, there was a small shrine on the far left of the mural (see below), perhaps to someone named “Bart.”

Shrine street art Nashville

Located at 2511 Gallatin Road. There is plenty of parking, particularly early in the day when the bar is closed (and it is less likely cars will be parked in front of the mural).

Mystery bird

Bird mural street art Nashville

Some months ago, this mural caught my eye while I was driving down Fourth Avenue, just before it merges with Second and becomes Nolensville Pike. It turned about to be on the back side of a building at 1281 Third Avenue. The building seemed to be under renovation, and some research shows that it is supposed to become Bar1281, a “pop-up” backyard bar with Hawaiian and  Japanese style food. It’s part of a larger development on this street being developed by Bento Box. It was also slated to open last October, but that date has come and gone without an opening. The mystery comes in the signature, which is probably “Stenz Art” but might be “Steitz Art.” Both have been complete rabbit holes to try to track down. While the bar is late in opening, construction on the back patio continues, and this shot is impossible to get any more, as the mural is now partially obscured.

Located at 1281 Third Avenue. There is some limited street parking on Third. As this is an active construction site, it might be best to wait until Bar 1281 opens to come and view the mural (and when you get some food and drinks to go with your art).

The Gold Rush, R.I.P

Gold Rush Mural street art Nashville

News has just come down that The Gold Rush, a fabled bar long=resident at Elliston Place, has closed for good. It’s a bit of a stunner for anyone who knows the history of this neighborhood, but change in Nashville stops for no one. So the fate of the wagon train mural on the back of the building is uncertain. Coincidentally, I got this car-free picture just a week or so before the news broke. Because The Gold Rush’s website and social media is also shuttered, I’ve been unable to really research the origin of this unsigned mural. If anyone knows who made it, drop me a line. Someone has written across the Sun in the mural, “You are not a rock star. Shut up. Be humble.” (see below) I don’t know if that’s original or not. Also in this parking lot, there is a small mural of a marijuana plant on the east side, and on the west, some graffiti art (actually on the wall of The End), at least part of which was done by Troy Duff. There is a small image of a crying cat (?) partially obscured by the graffiti art. In the slideshow below, I’ve included a full version of that image I took some months ago, along with the other art around the parking lot.

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Located at 2205 Elliston Place. The art lies faces the alley behind the bar, on the north side. Most of the nearby parking is either in a pay lot or uses a parking meter.

El Nuevo Amanecer

Bar mural street art Nashville

The new dawn – that’s what El Nuevo Amanecer means. An interesting name for a bar, particularly since it’s not clear it’s even a going concern. Their Facebook page shows that they had a couple of shows last year, but nothing since September. The only review is from someone complaining about the noise. And this site that keeps track of business licenses lists Nuevo Amanecer as “Inactive Dissolved.” The artist is also mysterious. While I would guess whoever did this is likely one of the artists who specialize in decorating Latino businesses, those artists not only usually sign their work but add their phone number as well, in case you want to hire them. There’s nothing on this one. Given this is just a few blocks from the future soccer stadium, I imagine some developer will snatch it up soon enough. Get your selfies soon.

Located at 398 Rosedale Avenue. This is at the corner of Nolensville Road, along the 2200 block behind Restaurante El Paraiso. There is plenty of parking.

Tin Dog

Nashville street art mural "Welcome to Old Nashville"

Welcome to Old Nashville. That’s an interesting greeting for Tin Dog Tavern to make. On the one hand, it’s relatively new, having opened in 2014. But it’s also true that there’s been a dive bar on this corner of 4th Avenue South for a while. Before it was Tin Dog, it was Purple Heys, and before that, it was TC’s Triangle (the building is triangle shaped). Tin Dog sits in an interesting place. It lies on the border between Wedgewood-Houston and Chestnut Hill, two rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods that still have significant chunks of their older versions. Warehouses, factories, auto repair places and low-income housing sit side-by-side with art galleries and some of the newest high-end housing in town. Just south, the Fairgrounds are poised to become home to Nashville’s major league soccer stadium. Compared to all that, Tin Dog is very much Old Nashville. It’s anyone’s guess how long it, or some succeeding dive bar, will stick it out. The sign is an Eastside Murals creation. On the other side of the building is a graffiti installation that bears tags from the UH crew. (See below).

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Graffiti street art tags Nashville

Graffiti street art Nashville

Graffiti street art Nashville Tin Dog

Located at 1401 4th Avenue South, at the corner with Rains Avenue. The Welcome to Nashville mural faces Rains Ave. The graffiti mural is on the south side of the building, facing an alleyway. Tin Dog has parking, much of it right in front of the mural. If you want to find the mural car-free, try early in the morning.

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