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El Metate

Mexican Restaurant street art mural Nashville

Ordinarily, I try to put the full art experience in the header photo and put the details in photos down below. But the art on El Metate Authentic Mexican Restaurant is placed in a way that makes that impractical. Here, artist José F. Vargas gives us a romanticized scene of Old Mexico. Just below, on the windows, are images of actual metates, the traditional curved stones used in Mexico and Central America to grind corn and seeds. On another window, there’s a simple cactus, and around the corner, you’ll find a beach scene. Vargas’s signature is hard to see, but it’s in the lower right, just behind the woman in the mural. And includes his phone number!

Located at 1805 Dickerson Pike. There’s plenty of parking, so fill up on tacos and enjoy the art!

An old key

KeyNorth2

The scope of this blog includes not only murals and sculpture, but also “interesting signs.” And the sign for the old Key Motel definitely counts as interesting. There are at least a couple other of these old survivors on Dickerson, left over from the days before the interstates were built when Dickerson Pike, know also at US Highway 41, was the main route from the north into the city. Currently, the Key Motel is undergoing renovation, hence the fence. While it will reopen as a hotel, the developer is noncommittal as to whether he will keep the name, much less renovate the sign, so the future of this survivor is uncertain. Get your selfies while you still can. The southern side of the sign is actually in better condition, but it’s also partially obscured by vegetation. See below.

UPDATE: I Saw the Sign has been commisioned to restore and update the sign with a new name, The Dive Hotel. I’ll post some photos when I get a chance.

KeySouth

Located at 1414 Dickeson Pike. On the weekends you can park at the school next door. Otherwise, your best bet is the laundry a little farther north.

A very sturdy 4th

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I don’t know who built this wooden flag at the Nashville office of Summit Roofing. Probably some of the fine folks featured on their Facebook page. But I bet it’s designed to hold up in all kinds of weather (as it should). These are roofers, after all. Happy 4th of July everyone!

SummitFllagFull

Located at 655 North Main Street (aka Dickerson Pike) in Goodlettsville, a few blocks north of the intersection with Riverside Parkway. The flag is on the north side of the building. Summit has some parking, but it might be better to park at the Phillips 66 next door.

Camels and jellyfish, naturally

CamelMain1

I don’t usually take photos from this far away, but I would have a very stretched out photo if I’d gotten closer. This Murals and More work by Michael Cooper is kind of gargantuan. And of course with murals, there’s not a lot you can do to adjust the canvas. The canvas here is the south-facing wall of Camel Express Car Wash. This is, of course, the long tunnel that the cars pass through, and if the client wants the whole wall done, this is the shape of the mural you will get. And it’s no doubt a good investment. Anyone headed north on Dickerson Pike is going to get a clear view from a good ways off, just after they pass under I-65 and Briley Parkway. Cooper deploys his usual trompe l’oeil technique in a particularly colorful way here. I’m not sure I’d want my car to actually go through the process displayed, however! Camel Express features some “making of” photos (dated in mid-March, 2018) on their Facebook photo page (there are more than the ones I linked). One thing you can see is that while Cooper’s name is on the mural, he had other people working with him.

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Located at 3430 Doverside Drive. This is off the southern entrance road that leads to the Lowes and Wallmart that are just north of Briley Parkway on Dickerson Pike. Your best bet for parking is probably the Murphy Express next door. There is a sidewalk on Doverside, so you could walk from the Wallmart parking lot, or just scramble down the hill. Get your car spiffed up and enjoy the art!

 

Mi casa es su casa

MCMain

There is a certain style to Latino markets, and Mi Casa Supermercado on Dickerson fits the bill. We have the display of items available in the store, the woman working with…well, it looks like she has a potato in her hands, but next to her is a traditional stove top for cooking tortillas and what might be a brewing pot of pozole. Pozole is basically Mexican pork-hominy stew. It sticks to the ribs and cures all illnesses — or at least makes you feel better! The artist is José F. Vargas who, as is traditional with these Latino market murals, give us his phone number, in case you want your own pastoral Mexican mural. In the slideshow below, I include the door (with its Nashville theme) and the fruits and vegetables on the front windows.

Located at 2917 Dickerson Pike. Lots of available parking. Load up on all your Mexican fiesta needs and enjoy the art!

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All Around and outta here

AllAroundFull

One thing this blog seeks to do is document art before it’s gone. There is a rezoning sign out in front of this property. This low wall and concrete floor is about all that’s left of All Around Pressure Washing on Dickerson Road. So while it sits and awaits replacement by some mixed use development, it’s become a canvas for taggers. The requested zoning is MUL-A, which, according to Metro, is for “Mixed Use Limited, intended for a moderate intensity mixture of residential, retail, and office uses.” The “A” is meant for walkable neighborhoods. On this stretch of Dickerson I’m not sure what this means, but maybe a stretch of sidewalk will go in. I can’t decipher the tags, but the one on the right is the same style as the one found in V! Something. There is an apparent signature – “Ask Noss V.” In any event, I imagine these tags are not long for the world. Call it endangered art.

Located at 3968 Dickerson Pike, on the west side of the road, a little north of Clean Quick Carpet Service (at 3492). When I was there is was possible to pull in and park on site.

I’d like to teach the world to sing

On the north side of the Star Market on Dickerson, across the parking lot from Piggly Wiggly, there are two murals that I think are probably from the same artist, though there’s no signature as far as I can tell. The Coke piece made me immediately thing of that song from that Coca-Cola ad long ago, given the subject of the mural that’s just a few feet away from it. The Coke ad also seems to have been damaged as the result of a repair to the wall.

Located at 903 Dickerson Pike, on the north side of Star Market. They face a parking lot, so, lots of parking.

Oh give me a home

Down at the very southern end of Dickerson, there is a herd of buffalo. Sure, they’re bronze, but still, we’ve got buffalo! Installed in 2009 as part of a joint Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency and Tennessee Department of Transportation funded revitalization project for Dickerson Pike, they harken back to the road’s origin as a trail used by buffalo to get to nearby salt licks. They are certainly an eye-catching addition to the neighborhood. The artist is apparently a person or company named  “Cembrock,” but I can find no more information on that.

Located on the traffic island just south of the intersection of Dickerson and Grace, where First Street and Dickerson merge. Access is tricky, as you have to cross Dickerson on foot to get to the island. The nearest parking is at the Nia House Montessori school, but when school’s in session you’ll need to park at the convenience store at the intersection with Grace.

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Big Blue

Blue Big Bobs mural street art Nashville
Up on Dickerson Pike, next door to Joice Market lies Big Bob’s Tire Repair. As I’ve noted before, auto repair places are frequent canvases for public art, though here the art is very much in service to the store, essentially a giant beautiful sign advertising the shop. Convenience stores are also often good places to find public art, but so far Joice’s has stuck with the more normal decor of neon signs and advertisements.

UPDATE: This piece has been painted over.

Located at 1409 Dickerson Pike, Parking is easy — grab a drink at Joice’s and enjoy the art!

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