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Hanging Around

Ready for a pun? Hanging Around is a custom frame shop. And if you look at the mural, you can probably guess it’s found at the corner of 8th Ave S. and Lynwood. Back in May, the store acquired a new work by Kristy Oakley, of Where the Art Is. Oakley has produced community murals before, and while this is more focused on the store, it has some of the same elements of familiar local sights she has used in those murals. The skyline is roughly what you would see a block or so north of Hanging Around as you crest the hill on Eighth heading downtown, including the State Capitol and the Sheraton building, though large trees block out the view of the Batman Building at that spot. Look closely at the mural and you’ll see Oakley has put in a couple extra plugs for herself. Besides the main signature, there’s a “Where the Art Is” bumper sticker on the van and the luggage tag says “Kristy Oakley.” There’s hot chicken in the van and references to our local sports teams, and of course a guitar. The frame is reminiscent of a similar though less crowded one in one of her Donelson community murals.  (This is the other one.)

Hanging Around Mural street art Nashville

Located at 1508 Eighth Avenue South. The mural is on the north side of the building, facing Lynwood Avenue. There is street parking on Lynwood.

Melrose Forever

Sitting near the busy intersection of Kirkwood Avenue and Franklin Pike on the backside of Melrose Mini Mart sits this tribute to three Tennesse R&B greats: Clifford Curry, Dobie Gray, and Bobby Hebb. Curry lived in Knoxville, and he recorded in Nashville, while Ray was born in Texas and lived in Nashville as an adult, and Hebb was a life-long Nashvillian. Curry was a master of Carolina Beach Music and was inducted into the Beach Music Hall of Fame, and is perhaps best known for “I Can’t Get Hold of Myself.” Gray and Hebb had bigger, iconic hits you all know but may not know who was behind them. While Gray had other hits, it’s “Drift Away” he’s best known for, though younger audiences may know the 2002 duet/remake with Uncle Kracker better than the original 1973 edition. Hebb is the guy behind “Sunny.” That link, by the way, is to a stripped-down live version, since y’all already know what the studio version sounds like. You can hear it in your head right now, yes? All three men have passed in recent years; Hebb in 2010, Gray in 2011, and Curry in 2016. The mural is by Steve Ford, a Nashville artist who sells his work at Lazy Lane Graphics, and specializes in “Southeastern Sports Art,” i.e., art about your favorite college football teams from the South. As far as I know, this is his first mural in town.

Located at 2609 Eighth Avenue South (Franklin Pike). The mural is on the north side of the building, facing towards downtown and the Dollar General at 2605. You can usually park in the parking lot between the two stores, but any day but Sunday, cars from the auto repair place attached to Melrose Mini Mart are likely to be parked in front of the mural.

Soundbox

Soundbox mural street art Nashville

The little building on 8th Avenue South that once housed Edison Vacuum Company and has apparently recently become the home of XGTEES has long been a target for taggers. Graffiti tags would go up, and the owner would paint them over. Graffiti tags would go up again, and the owner would paint over them again. Rinse, cycle, repeat. Taggers are generally respectful of murals, though not always, so maybe this new piece by Eastside Murals will tamp down on that cycle a little. It is however probably a temporary mural, as it advertises an exhibit at the nearby Adventure Science Center, Soundbox. The interactive exhibit looks like a lot of fun, giving visitors the opportunity to play with all kinds of sound technology. And it’s the Science Center’s first new permanent exhibit in many years, so perhaps this mural will have some staying power. Also, don’t confuse Adventure Science Center’s Soundbox with Metro’s mobile park installation of the same name, which also looks like a lot of fun. It’s not surprising Adventure Science Center asked Eastside Murals to do this mural, as Eastside has done work for them before.

Located at 862 Eighth Avenue South. Street parking is available, and there is parking at the rear of the building. The mural is on the north side of the building facing downtown.

Breaking the rules

H&D

I have pointed out many times on this blog that chain businesses are the worst places to look for public art. But for every rule about human behavior, there are always exceptions. Holler & Dash presents itself as something of a neo-Southern small chain with a neighborly feel that emphasizes local produce. It may well be all that, but it is also owned by Cracker Barrel. So not only is this a chain, it’s also corporate. But the branding of this corporate chain is not centralized, which allows for local artists to get involved. The mural here is by Meghan Wood of I Saw the Sign. I learned that from Holler & Dash’s Instagram account because of course I did. Maybe local branding will become more of a trend for corporate America.

Located at 2407 8th Avenue South. I’m a little uncertain about the parking situation, as there was still some construction going on when I visited. I believe there is parking in the back, and for the time being, parking is available at the abandoned gas station next door but in go-go Nashville that won’t last. Enjoy some corporate grub trying to be local and enjoy the art!

Nashville Diverse

CilantroGuitar

Cilantro Mexican Grill has made it to this blog before. In their parking lot is a huge mural celebrating the Predators, which I featured in Smashville, Mexican style. Here we walk around to the other side if the building to find a gigantic guitar. Although it looks somewhat similar to the one featured in Carter Vintage Guitars (Part 1) (and yes, I still need to do part 2), it’s a different artist. The Carter murals are done by Vermillion Murals, while this mural is the product of Marco Vazquez. The signature, which is hard to see in the picture (below the bottom end of the guitar) also gives the name of the mural  — “Nashville Diverse” (hence the title of this blog post). Like a lot of artists who work with Hispanic businesses, there’s a phone number if you want to commision him (I haven’t found any website or social media for him). There are also a couple of traditional images more common to Hispanic restaurants and grocery stores (see below), a plate of fajitas and a molcajete mixto – two things I have never ordered in a Mexican restaurant!

Located at 2330 8th Avenue South. The guitar mural faces Melpark Drive, on the north side of the building. The food murals are found on the south side of the building, near the entrance. There is some free parking on Melpark, and Cilantro has a fair amount of parking. Chow down and enjoy the art!

Mystery of the Spheres

Colonial Liquor

Eighth Avenue South has art but is not as rich as some other neighborhoods. This is in keeping with its mix of national chains, which tend to discourage public art, and independent businesses, which tend to encourage it. A very obvious example of the later, if you are traveling south on 8th, is this impossible to miss piece on the side of Colonial Liquors. This trippy image complete with crystals and a starry firmament is a product of the ever-prolific Eastside Murals. The backside of the building has a major graffiti installation I’ll feature later.

UPDATE: This mural has since been covered over by a new mural featured in George Jones rides a lawnmower

Located at 2401 Franklin Pike (aka 8th Avenue South). The mural is on the north side of the building, facing Hillview Heights. A fair amount of parking is available at Colonial Liquor, and a great deal is to be found across the street at Little Caesars. You have to go about half a block west on Hillview Height to find street parking. Grab some wine, get some pizza, and enjoy the art!

Semper fi

MarineWeekMain

From time to time, the Marines invade an American city, not as an act of war, but for recruitment and public relations. Almost a year ago, in mid-September, it was Nashville’s turn. Marines flew over our skies, participated in all kinds of community events, and being Marines, made an amphibious assault on the riverbank downtown. You can watch some of the week’s activities here. They also painted a mural. Six Marine artists combined Marine and Nashville iconography in a prominent mural in the heart of the Eight Avenue antiques district. The linked article doesn’t name the artists, but a small portrait of six Marines gives us the names Lance Corporals Milliot, Varneli, and Sturdivant, Seargents McKelvey and Reguska, and Staff Seargent Bilicich. Oorah!

Located at 2106 Eighth Avenue South, on the north wall of the Douglas Corner Cafe. There’s parking right in front, but good luck. Some street parking and at neighboring businesses available. Shop for an antique treasure, catch a show at Douglas Corner, and enjoy the art!

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