nashville public art

No art left behind



In Concert in Donelson!


“In Concert,” by Randy L. Purcell, is a difficult mural to photograph. I chose not to stand in the middle of a busy section of Lebanon Pike near the crest of a blind hill, so the main photo is a bit askew. The mural itself was a community project, part of Metro Arts Commission’s 2012 “Artober” celebration. All across it are the names of individuals who donated to the project, which was also meant to serve as something of a gateway to Donelson. It has its own Facebook page, and you can also watch a time lapse video of its creation. The building it sits on used to be Johnson’s Furniture. These days it’s empty, with a sign outside promising offices coming soon – in 2015. It’s hard to imagine though that future occupants would want to tamper with it. Purcell has shown up on this blog before. He also was commissioned to do one of Metro Art’s bicycle racks, the one featured in Bee Cycle.

Located at 2620 Lebanon Pike. The mural lies on the south side of the building, facing a section of Lebanon Pike that is pedestrian unfriendly. Parking at nearby businesses on Old Lebanon Pike (on the north side of the building) is possible. The property is partially fenced, but it’s reasonably easy to access the mural.


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On your side


In some neighborhoods, lots of business owners have concluded that public art is important for their brand. In others, it goes more slowly. So kudos to Eric Pirtle of Eric Pirtle Insurance Agency in Donelson for being a pioneer. Outdoor art is a little unusual in Donelson, but there are a few prominent examples (like this one). There is no signature on this work, but the artist does manage a little bit of trompe l’oeil, with some illusion of depth.

Located at 2630 Old Lebanon Road in Donelson. The mural is on the east side of the building, facing the railroad tracks. There is plenty of parking at the agency and nearby. Get a quote on your car insurance and enjoy the art!

Paint the town


Donelson is not a neighborhood overflowing with public art, but there are still some impressive pieces.  Near the junction of Old Lebanon Road and Lebanon Pike there are not one but two large murals celebrating community. This one specifically celebrates Donelson, while the other, which I’ll feature later, is more loosely focused. Here we see all the landmarks a Donelsonian would be familiar with — at least I imagine so, as I don’t live there myself! The mural, located on the east wall of Treasures Consignment,  is cryptically signed KOEL 2014. A little sleuthing (asking inside) reveals that KOEL is, in fact, Kristi Oakley Elswick, who works under the handle Where the Arts Is and apparently goes by just Kristi Elswick these days. A perusal of her page suggests that murals are not her main focus, but she has done at least one other for The Pub of Donelson. You can, if you choose, get a print of the mural above at Treasures, which reveals it is called “Paint the Town.”  I did, and you can see it below!

Located at 2628 Old Lebanon Road, in a building Treasures shares with Hues Salon and Southern Honey Workshop. There is parking in front and at nearby businesses. Get your hair cut, browse the antiques and knick-knacks and enjoy the art!

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