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

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A bull on Charlotte

This bull with the peony in his mouth perched high above the Cumberland appeared on the outer wall of Elemental Arthouse’s factory store a few weeks ago. Why this bull is apparently standing on one of the arches of the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge is unclear, but images of animals, often surreal, are common in the work of the artist, Jessica Fife. A bull with a peony in his mouth also evokes the story of Ferdinand, the peacefull bull who had no interest in fighting, wanting only to smell all the pretty flowers. Elemental Arthouse has more to do with iron bridges than peaceful bulls. They bill themselves as people who “turn homes and businesses into a work of art,” though wood and metalworking. Signs, furniture, and all kinds of decorative designs are made in the warehouse building this small storefront it attached to. The hashtag that both EA and Fife use for this mural is “#bullsitwall.” I tried to come up with a clever blog title around that but didn’t come up with anything I was comfortable using. Apparently, the plan is that EA will make a bench to go in front of the mural so people can sit and have their photo taken. Hence, “bullsit.”

Fife, who teaches art at Austin Peay University, also has written that she has recently bid on more murals in Nashville, so hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of her animals in odd places!

Bullsit mural street art Nashville

Located at 4206 Charlotte Avenue. The mural faces west, away from downtown. Street parking is available on 42nd Avenue, and to some extent on 43rd. The mural lies between these two streets.

The avocados of Avo

Avo Mural avocados street art Nashville

The mural at Avo, a vegan restaurant on Charlotte, shows up a fair amount on social media. It helps that it’s across the street from the Off the Wall project,  which packs together fourteen high-quality murals in one place. Anyone doing a serious mural tour of Nashville will definitely check that group out, and they won’t be able to miss the raining avocados across the street. Also, its fun, poppy design naturally lends itself to lots and lots of Instagramready photos. Now the mural isn’t signed, but if you dig deep on Avo’s Instagram page, you’ll find a picture of the artist hard at work and credited as @moldymonk – a link which is dead. Good thing I recognized that handle because Seth Prestwood has changed his IG handle to @sayyyeth. And then it clicked – Prestwood also did the very first piece of the Off the Wall project! (That link has links in it to all my posts on the series.) Anyway, go get your Instagram shot and definitely eat your veggies.

Located at 3 City Boulevard #200. The mural is on the north side of the building and faces a large parking lot that lies on the 3000 block of Charlotte Avenue.

The Owl and Rose

On the Charlotte Avenue branch of the local chain M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers (so named because their original location is in the Melrose neighborhood) you can find this mural of an owl and a rose. As in L Rose. Mel-Rose. M(Ow)L Rose. It’s kind of like “M.L. Rose,” and M.L. Rose does use an owl in its logo.  The piece is by two artists who have been on this blog a lot, Nathan Brown and Eric Bass, aka Mobe Oner. The rose is reminiscent of the rose Brown did for Topgolf, though less sharply geometric. The owl has more of the geometric shapes Brown is known for, though for what it’s worth, that side is signed by Mobe Oner. (Which may mean nothing at all.) I have to say I debated whether the owl was, in fact, an owl or a cat until I remembered that an owl is part of M.L. Rose’s branding. To take the picture above, I had to climb a low wall and get up on the landscaping. Below is the best view from the sidewalk. There is a tree that blocks a direct view.

Rose Owl Mural street art Nashville

Located at 4408 Charlotte Avenue. The mural is on the west side of the building facing 45th Avenue North. There is paid parking as well as M.L. Rose’s parking, and some limited street parking in front of the fire station behind M.L. Rose.

Don’t fight, build

There used to be a mural of the Nashville skyline on this wall whose creator I never identified. With this new mural, there is a name – Marlos E’van. According to his Instagram page, this boxing-themed mural is one of three murals he’s done recently in Nashville. I don’t know the location of the other two, but I’ll be looking for them. E’van is the co-creator of the McGruder Social Practice Artist Residency, which is housed in the C. E. McGruder Family Resource Center in North Nashville. Much of E’van’s work focuses on social critique, and according to this Burnaway interview with E’van, his book “Skull Microwave”  was once mistaken by TSA officials as terrorist propaganda. The picture above is not of the full installation, because a covered seating area blocks a full view. To the right of the two boxers there is a motto (see slide show below) – “Don’t Fight With 1 Another, Build With 1 Another” – hence the title of this blog post.

 

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Boxing Mural street art Nashville

Located 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!

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.

Hands of creation

I seem to be on a bit of roll with religiously-themed art on churches, having recently done Set Free and Hands of charity. But, it’s also obvious that churches in Nashville are beginning to branch out with their visual presentation, jumping into Nashville’s mural scene. Zeal Church on Charlotte has recently gotten into the game. The work is by a Texas artist named Chloe Bennett (not to be confused with the actress Chloe Bennet, whose name only has one “t” in it). Two easily recognized themes are included, the hands of God and Adam found in Michelangelo’sThe Creation of Adam“(1512) found on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, floating before a stylized Nashville skyline. Unlike many other depictions of Nashville’s skyline, this work does not depict the skyline in full, but rather just a few recognizable buildings, including, of course, the Batman Building (cleverly including a door on the wall). To my knowledge, this is Bennett’s only work in Nashville. The Zeal pastor, Jd Ost, studied in Texas and that may be the connection. Zeal also has a giant “Z” on its east wall (see below). I don’t know who did it, but there is a picture of the artists working on it on Zeal’s Instagram page. UPDATE: I have since learned that Bennett also did the “Z.”

Zeal Z sign street art Nashville

Zeal is also aware of the social media game. On the sidewalk in front of Bennett’s mural, there’s a helpfully placed box where you should stand to get an ideal photo (see below). You know, in case you weren’t sure.

Zeal Instagram sign street art Nashville

Located at 5807 Charlotte Pike. The mural is on the north side of the church facing Charlotte. The church and the nearby Kroger have plenty of parking.

Off the Wall (Part 14)

 

Erlenborn Mural Nashville street art

This is the last in the Off the Wall series, as it was also the last mural completed in the Off the Wall project. This particular piece is by Tess Erlenborn. There’s a picture of this mural in sunnier light on her website. (I tend to take a lot of photos on grey days to avoid shadows.) I encourage you to explore her site and her Instagram page. I happened to catch her working on this mural just as she was getting started (see image below). The Off the Wall project itself was the brainchild of Tinsley Anne Dempsey, and it took some time to finish. It was well worth the effort, producing a mural gallery that is a must see in Nashville, and a very important piece of the Nashville visual landscape. This is also the end of this numbered series. I keep saying I won’t do one again, but the Nations Wall, the Elliston Garage, and the Berry Hill music murals pretty much demand it.

Tess Erlenborn street art Nashville

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13

Located at 3020 Charlotte Avenue. This mural actually faces 28th 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.

Off the Wall (Part 13)

Donate Life mural street art Nashville

The Off The Wall project ultimately produced fourteen murals (and a large sign) on the 3000 block of Charlotte Ave and the 400 block od 28th Ave North. This is the thirteenth one on this blog. Almost done! This mural was actually one of the earlier ones to appear. It’s by Eastside Murals, who are prolific and have been on this blog several times. This particular mural promotes Donate Life Tennessee, an organ and tissue donor registry.  As they note on their website, twenty people die every day waiting for transplants (that is apparently a number for the whole United States). You can register here if you choose. Learn more about the Off the Wall Project in Part 1 or on their website.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 14

Located at 3020 Charlotte Avenue. This mural actually faces 28th 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.

Eat Like a Champion

Fish & Pig mural street art Nashville

Sometimes art can be near a very busy spot and still be a little hidden. This piece by @maczorgan apparently went up in August 2017 and lies on a very busy stretch of Charlotte I drive down a lot. But, it faces away from Charlotte. Had I not had to take a detour, I would not have seen it. I thought about titling this post based on some riff about lipstick on a pig, but I couldn’t figure how to get the catfish in. So I went with The Ridge’s slogan instead. The Ridge is a primarily a pork barbeque and fried catfish place, but they have other stuff as well, like fish tacos. I can personally vouch for their Mexican street style corn.

Located on 333 54th Avenue North, just south of Charlotte Avenue. Technically, the mural is on the property of the Citgo next door, which is on the corner of 54th and Charlotte. There is street parking on 54th and parking at The Ridge, so grab some grub and enjoy the art!

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