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Panda sky

Panda Betor Mural

This mural appeared in the alley behind Make Nashville some months ago and is visible from the 900 block of Main Street (well, until some developer builds condos on top of Gym 5’s parking lot). But until very recently, there were a group of trailers parked in front of it stacked with what appeared to be some kind of traffic dividers, making for lousy pictures. When I realized those trailers were finally gone, I rushed immediately to get a new picture. I found that there was, in fact, a lot of new art in this alley. The wall of graffiti tags featured in Back in the alley has been replaced with a whole new set of graffiti tags, and there is a trippy new mural on the back of Gym 5 – all of which I will feature here soon. This mural above is unsigned, but the block of colors with a lion’s face poking out appears to say “Panda,” which is a tag I associate with the UH crew. There is also another Betor memorial. Betor was the tag of the artist Ronnie Bobal, who died in 2016. There is a major memorial to Betor on Gallatin Road, and his name is found in a number of murals around town. (This is the same wall that once had an interesting flower on it.)

Located at 947 Woodland Street. The mural can only be reached through the alley, which runs from McFerrin to South 10th Street. It is plausible to park in the loading dock best to the mural. Otherwise, there is street parking on McFerrin.

Principality: Artis et Scientiae

LaRosa mural street art Nashville

Such is the name of this mural on the backside of PopStart on Gallatin Road. PopStart is a new gallery (you’ll find their Facebook page and their Instagram page more informative than the website). Dävid La Rosa is an artist featured at PopStart who produced this mural. Much of his work features animals and sacred geometry. This piece, with its butterfly shape and its geometric designs, seems to be something of both. “SDG” is a reference to a long quote about gratitude you’ll find on his webpage: “I am thankful for the inexhaustible Love that surrounds my going out and my coming in, for the good health that I enjoy; for the possibilities of realizing worthy goals. I am grateful for the endless creativity available to me by the sempiternal wisdom of the Name, for being led to fields of green pastures daily. I am grateful today and always, that I am indeed wealthy”  -SDG. The damaged hashtag should read “#limbism.”

Located at 4110 Gallatin Pike. The mural lies on the back side of the building. There are narrow driveways on both sides of the building that lead to some limited parking, and there are a few spaces in front. You could also conceivably park at the Mapco next door.

Grimm Rudloff

Grimm Rudloff Full Right

This colorful mural is a product of a Sister Cities of Nashville project, which brought artists from some of Nashville’s many sister cities to collaborate with each other and with Nashville artists back in late October and early November last year. One of those artists was Max Grimm from Magdeburg, Germany. (Here’s a profile in English.) He partnered with Andee Rudloff to create this colorful mural behind Smith & Lentz Brewing on Main Street. Rudloff, of course, has done many murals in Nashville, including one more-or-less across the street (and the first of her murals featured on this blog). The fence belongs to Urban Ecovillage – East Nashville, which describes itself as a “pop up community.” Rudloff and Grimm also partnered with another artist, Gabi Bianchi from Mendoza, Argentina to create another mural on Natchez Trace that I hope to feature on the blog soon.

Located at 900 Ramsey Street. The mural faces an alley that lies between Ramsey and Main Street, at the corner of North 9th Sreet. There is some street parking along 9th.

In my beautiful balloon

Street art mural of balloon with basket East Nashville

Some outdoor art is explicitly designed to be portrait and selfie-friendly, and that’s certainly the case with much of Kelsey Montague’s work. You can see that clearly on her Instagram page. Certainly that’s true with the wings down in The Gulch, also her work, and like this tagged #WhatLiftsYou. The wings are probably are most famous Nashville mural out of town – locals may be a little more familiar with the multiple I Believe in Nashville murals, particularly the one on 12 South. This Montague work, found on the east side of The Cleo apartments is not likely to attract as many lines as any of those murals, as it’s not in a highly touristed area, though it’s only a few blocks from Five Points. It’s also a bit problematical for portraits because it’s in a narrow alley/driveway, and because even though there are no designated parking spots, it’s not all that unusual to find someone parked in front of. Best bet for getting a nice pic in the gondola is probably early morning. Notably, there is another mural visible from Gallatin if you are south of The Cleo, up on the roof level of the garage. What can be seen looks nice, but it’s not really public art since only the ground floor of the garage is open to the public.

KMBaloonDetail

Located at 1034 West Eastland Ave, near the corner with Gallatin Road, across from the Rite Aid. It’s very visible if you are on Gallatin coming from the north. There is some guest parking at the Cleo, and it’s usually possible to park across the street.

Donut art in East Nashville

Oakley

I would like to lose weight – this ain’t going to help. Donut Distillery is setting up shop in East Nashville, just a few blocks from my house. Originating as a food truck, Donut Distillery is going brick-and-mortar and bringing new life to the old Mrs. Winners on Gallatin near Five Points. Though not open just yet, it’s already sporting a spiffy new mural by Kristy Oakley, who does business under the name Where the Art Is. Oakley has been on this blog before, for her work in Donelson. This mural most resembles the main mural she did that is featured in Welcome to Donelson, with the large block letters filled with images of local symbols. There are references here to the streets that form Five Points (“E”), East Nashville Magnet (“A” – alma mater long ago of Oprah Winfrey and also just across the street), Mas Tacos Por Favor and Pharmacy Burger Parlor (“T” – Mas Tacos is another food truck now settled down in four walls), The Treehouse (“A”),  the Tomato Art Festival (“S”), Five Points Pizza (“V” – clever – the Roman numeral 5 – “V”  and a pizza slice), I Dream of Weenie (“L”)  and The Idea Hatchery (“E”). The guitar and records (“S”) might be a reference to Woodland Studios or all the music business in the area. The blue awnings in “H” have me stumped. The “L” with our zip code probably references Shelby Bottoms Park and the greenway, and the bottle of beer (“I”) all our many bars. The “N” of course is a nod to the patrons and their business. We also see the downtown skyline as seen from the east side, and the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, which connects East Nashville to downtown.

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OakleySig

Located at 311 Gallatin Avenue. There is plenty of parking, and street parking is available on Ordway Place.

 

I see purple

BDonahueForrestPurple

Back when I blogged about the Mermaid House, the former owner contacted me. She let me know that there were more murals around back. Like the mermaid in front, this mural is the work of Brandon Donahue, who, like myself, is a professor at Tennesee State University. There is also something of a surprise here. For the most part, graffiti taggers are respectful of murals, but not this time. The style of the tag is one I’ve seen around East Nashville. “Editing” is always a possibility with outdoor art. The back fence of the yard of the house next door also has a colorful mural. (See the slideshow below.) It’s not signed and does not appear on Donahue’s website, so I’m not sure who made it. One notable detail on this second mural is the small “Hunter’s” sign. Hunter’s was an auto body shop that had extravagant signage a couple blocks from these houses, signage lost in the site’s recent renovation (though not completely – it does appear some of it is being saved).

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Located in the alley behind at 1205 and 1203 Forrest Ave. Street parking is available. These are private homes, so be respectful.

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 Fly Over Tennessee

FlyOverMain

I have driven by this mural hundreds of times, as I live nearby, and finally, I’m putting it on the blog. It’s easy to take the art you see every day for granted. “A Fly Over Tennesee” is an Andee Rudloff production. As she has done with other projects, she designed and drew the mural, and then community volunteers helped complete it. The mural was sponsored by Aerial Innovations Southeast, an aerial photography company that’s right next door. The theme seems to be all the great things you can see from the air in Tennessee. There’s a video of the production of this mural produced by Allie Sultan of Green Scoot Films, with still photography by Stacey Irvin and music by Fred Wilhelm.

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Located at 1626 Russell St. The mural faces the alley between and Fatherland Street, right across from Aerial Innovations, which is at 202 South 17th Street. The fence backs up on the yard of a private house, so be respectful.

East

East

Sometimes I feature old signs. Sometimes I feature graffiti hidden behind a building. Sometimes I feature a mural in some less traveled part of town. But it’s only one time I get to feature the single most prominent piece of outdoor art in Nashville. Sure, some of the downtown and Gulch murals are of a similar size, and the old man on the silo is definitely taller, but none of those are plainly visible from a stretch of interstate that sees about 130,000 vehicles a day. (See this page for traffic history data.) Located on the (surprise!) east side of the river a couple blocks east of I-24, the giant “East” sign on the garage of the Eastside Heights apartments was designed by Riley Carroll and produced by I Saw the Sign, Meghan Wood’s hand-lettered sign company. Because of the Allinder Plumbing Company building, the mural can only be fully viewed from the air, but its placement on a hill looking down on Nissan Stadium ensures that even without interstate traffic, it gets seen by a lot of people. Not really selfie material, unless you get the Allinder people to let you climb on their roof!

Located at 120 South 5th Street. It is a parking garage, but I’m not sure about guest parking rules. Otherwise, the nearest street parking is on Russell Street, on the south side of the building.

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