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Have a Coke and a record deal

LaymanMural

Layman Drug Company, the drug store, has been out of business for a couple decades. Layman Drug Company the recording studio opened just a few weeks ago and has a spiffy new mural to boot. (On that link you’ll find the links to their social media pages more informative than the website.) The long shuttered Chesnut Hill drug store was purchased by Will Greig to convert into a studio. Like practically every building in Nashville, it has connections to music history, including a notable appearance on the cover of Dion’s Velvet and Steel album. The mural is by Michael Cooper of Murals and More, though the signature is painted black on black and is very hard to see. (It’s where the phone line trails out of the image.) In the slideshow below, I also include the historic sign on the north side of the building and the modern sign above the doorway, as well as a full view of the mural with the faded historic sign just above it.

Located at 1128 3rd Ave South. The mural actually faces Chestnut Street. There is plenty of street parking, as well as a parking lot across the street – which has a prominent “for sale” sign, so it may not be a parking lot much longer.

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Angels will rise

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“Angels will rise” is written on the bottom of the Seventh Letter mural found on the old Best Way Tire Service building at the corner of 2nd, Lafayette, and McCann. Some internet sleuthing suggest that the two tags read “Revok” and “Sever.” These are the tags of a couple of active graffiti artists, but perhaps because the mural is as old as it is (it is dated 2001), I’ve not been able to definitively link it to the artists currently using those handles. In any event, it’s hard to say how long this particular survivor will continue to exist. Best Way Tire Service has been closed for some time and the building is in a state of disrepair. Given that development is on the march in Chesnut Hill, and the proximity of this site to the heart of downtown, the days of this mural may be numbered. Let’s call it endangered art.

UPDATE: The Seventh Letter is a well-established graffiti crew based out of Los Angeles.

The address for the building is 206 McCann Street, but that doesn’t quite capture it. This building lies on the southwest corner of the three-way crossing of Second Avenue South, McCann Street, and Lafayette Street, about a block south of I-40. The mural faces Second, on the east side of the building. Street parking on McCann is probably your best bet.

 

We, Chestnut Hill

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If you are driving into downtown from Nolensville Road, you can’t miss it. Thousands of people zipping by in their cars (though slow down for that curve!) are urged to visit the neighborhood’s community gardens. Chestnut Hill, a small community situated roughly  between 4th Avenue South, Lafayette Street, and the Trevecca Nazarene University campus, struggles to maintain its identity in the face of gentrification. It’s a mix of modest 19th and early 20th-century homes, recovering areas of urban blight, and brand new condos and boxy modern homes. Much of it is walking distance to downtown (well, if you are in decent shape), so it will likely be tough in the long run for lower income residents to hang on. It’s definitely a place to pay attention to. The mural here is actually a canvas banner, rare but not unheard of.

Located on the northwest corner of the underpass beneath the railroad bridge near the corner of Ensley Boulevard and Carney Street. Ensley is the one-way strip of road that connects northbound Nolensville Road with 2nd Avenue South. This is the 1500 block of Ensley. The only nearby parking is across the street at Trax. Street parking is iffy on Ensley, though there’s a gravel lot about a half block down from Trax.

Unique Automotive, Part 3 (the east wall)


The back wall of Unique Automotive presents a familiar layout for permitted and/or commissioned graffiti and graffiti style art — the series of panels. Most of these are signed, but only a couple are easy to track down — because the artists sign with their Instagram accounts! Well, sort of. @bukaloop is the handle of Nashville-based artist John Buko, whose work is featured in the bottom picture in this post. @folekangelo does not seem have an account, but there are mentions, and it seems to be an alternate name for an artist who also goes by Folek. Googling the terms finds other mentions besides the ones in that link. Folekangelo’s work is in the third photo down.

Located at 1414 3rd Avenue South, up the hill from Hart Lane. Makeshift street parking. On the map, look for the pin for Part 1.

Part 1

Part 2

Unique Automotives, Part 1 (the north wall)


I’ve been sort of avoiding doing a post on Unique Automotive, simply because there’s so much art! Really, it’s a huge building, and it’s virtually covered in art, art that is frequently featured on their Instagram account. There’s an interesting story behind Unique Automotive. Its founder, Brad Miser, is a former convict who started his own business after finding work hard to find despite his determination to turn his life around. Miser has done work with local youth, and the murals got started when Miser decided to turn a negative into a positive when he caught kids spray painting the building.

Below are some closeups of the north wall. The other walls will be featured in future posts.

Located at 1414 3rd Avenue South, up the hill from Hart Lane. Makeshift street parking.

Part 2

Part 3



Ask not who the wrecking ball calls for

I had to actually pull aside a mattress that was blocking this interesting installation on a small gray building on Hart Street. Despite a “no dumping” sign, some people seem to have been doing just that. The fate of this piece is uncertain. I found it while taking pictures of the tags on the building next door, which sports a zoning change meeting sign proposing a switch from industrial-warehouse to mixed use. The building below with tags is almost certainly a goner; the fate of its neighbor and the piece above remains to be seen.

UPDATE: Not sure why I didn’t notice before, but that’s a clear TBS crew tag in the top right.

UPDATE: The building below has been demolished, and the building above has been painted over.

Located on the west side of the building at 1260 Hart Street. The building below is at the corner of Hart and 2nd Avenue South, for the time being. Makeshift street parking nearby. Up the hill on 3rd Avenue are the enormous installations on the Unique Autos building. I’ll feature those soon.

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