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Obie’s no more?

Pizza Mural street art Nashvillle

Of late, Nashville’s “Rock Block,” located along Elliston Place, has been under threat. First, Gold Rush closed. More recently, there was a controversial move to rezone the lots at Elliston Place and Lousie Avenue, currently the site of three small buildings collectively known as the Louise Douglas apartments, to allow a 15-story hotel to be built on the spot. Such a building would tower over longtime music venues The End and Exit/In and radically alter the character of the neighborhood, not to mention eliminate some of the only reasonably affordable housing left in Midtown. After much public outcry, the rezoning measure was withdrawn, though the long-term future of the area remains uncertain. One troubling feature is the apparent closure of Obie’s Pizza, which lies in front of The End and just east of the apartments. It hasn’t been open in a couple of months or so. There is a sign on the door that says they will reopen soon, but the number at that link I gave for them has been disconnected, and there’s no sign of activity. So their mural, made for them by Tyler Z. Key, in all likelihood will disappear sooner than later. Call it endangered art. The mural has been edited at least once. On Key’s Instagram page, you can see that the mural once had a large signature at the bottom reading “TiiKii Art.” If you look close, you can see where it’s been painted over next to the blue hand. Key apparently decided to go with a more subdued signature, reading “TZ Key.” Either way, check it out soon while you still can.

Located at 2217 Elliston Place. The mural is on the west side of the building. There’s some free street parking in the area, but not a lot. You can probably get away with parking in the lot in front of the mural for a short time if you just want to grab a picture.

Elliston Parking Garage – Part 4, Oner-Folek

Oner Folek mural street art Nasville

In my ongoing series on the Eliston Parking Garage, I’m getting a little out of order because it seems my photo collection is not complete (probably because there were cars in the way). So I’m skipping some first-floor art for now and moving to the second. This piece is on the north-facing wall, and is signed by Mobe Oner (aka Eric Bass) and Folek Kelof, who signs his work “Folek.” This, and the other murals in and on the building, are part of the Elliston Parking garage project organized by the Nashville Walls Project. In revisiting the garage, I realized the mural I featured in Part 3 (see below) was part of a three-part wraparound mural, so I’ll be updating that post as soon as I get more pictures.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Located at 207 Louise Avenue, just off Elliston Place. This piece is on the second floor on the north side of the building (there are stairs and an elevator). Most of the parking in this area is pay parking. The garage is permit parking, at least on workdays.

Elliston Parking Garage – Part 3, Folek

Folek mural street art Nashville

This mural is a slight departure for this blog, as it in some sense inside. But from the lighting, you might notice it’s exposed to sunlight on one side. This piece by Folek Kelof, who signs his work with just “Folek,” is part of the Elliston Parking garage project organized by the Nashville Walls Project. The first two (see below) and the ones on the top floor are fully “outside,” while the rest are “inside” the parking garage, but ae very much exposed to the elements, and you don’t need a key or even to open a door to see them, so I think they fit. The mural seems to be flowers done in a style that implies graffiti. I don’t know any mural in town that looks quite like it.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 4

Located at 207 Louise Avenue, just off Elliston Place. This piece is on the bottom floor on the south side of the building. Most of the parking in this area is pay parking. The garage is permit parking, at least on workdays.

Elliston Parking Garage – Part 2, Zidekahedron

Zidekahedorn mural street art Nashville

This is probably one of the better-known murals in town, at least for those who follow murals. For part 2 of my series on the Elliston Parking garage, I’m featuring one of two on the outside of the garage, besides the ones on the roof. I do intend to do the interior, which is a little different thing for this blog, but it’s an indoor/outdoor space, so I think it counts as “outdoor art.” This is unmistakably the work of Chris Zidek, even without his usual signature,  Zidekahedron. Colorful intertwining geometric forms and plenty of negative space is characteristic of much of his work. This piece, in particular, uses similar themes to that found in another work of his featured in One mural down, one mural up. It makes me a little antsy to have cars in this picture, but a) this is a perfect crop for sharing to Facebook and b) good luck not finding cars there. This is in fact how it usually looks, and the mural is not obscured, so I’ll live with the cars. As noted in Part 1, the Elliston Garage project was organized by the Nashville Walls Project.

Part 1 Part 3 Part 4

Located at 207 Louise Avenue, just off Elliston Place. The mural is on the east side of the building. Most of the parking in this area is pay parking. The garage is permit parking, at least on workdays.

Elliston Parking Garage – Part 1, Audie Adams

Audie Adams mural street art Nashville

There are a handful of major art installations I haven’t gotten to, like the Berry Hill portraits, or the cartoon murals at Sadler and Grimrose,  or this one, the Elliston Parking Garage. Recently, I finally finished the Nations Wall project. I want to fill these obvious gaps because I am thinking of expanding the reach of this blog. Not that I need to for material – I have at least a hundred folders in my “Future Blog Posts” folder. But I’m beginning to think that restricting this blog to just Davidson County is artificial. A visit to Dallas-Ft. Worth, also known as the Metroplex, made me realize that I could never do a “just Dallas” or “just Ft. Worth” blog – they and the other many communities there are too intertwined. And it’s obvious that the art scene in Nashville is deeply connected to the arts in the surrounding counties. Many of the artists featured in this blog have done work in those counties, and the outdoor art scene in Nashville has definitely inspired work in those counties. So, this blog will be expanding – but not before I fill some obvious gaps.

About the mural and the garage – for years, the Elliston Parking Garage on Louise Avenue has been a giant canvas for graffiti taggers. This is a major reason why the owner offered the garage to Nashville Walls Project. Murals do curb graffiti. Taggers tend to be respectful of murals (not the least because there is an overlap between local muralists and local taggers). The installation of murals in this garage, however, has not eliminated tagging, but it there is less than before. This mural here is one of two murals on the outside of the garage (besides the ones on the roof level) – there are several inside. It is by Audie Adams who also goes by Audroc. He’s also part of the Thoughts Manifested collective, responsible for a number of murals in town. The birds and the font used are both common in his work.

Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Located at 207 Louise Avenue, just off Elliston Place. The mural is on the south side of the building. Most of the parking in this area is pay parking. The garage is permit parking, at least on workdays.

The Gold Rush, R.I.P

Gold Rush Mural street art Nashville

News has just come down that The Gold Rush, a fabled bar long=resident at Elliston Place, has closed for good. It’s a bit of a stunner for anyone who knows the history of this neighborhood, but change in Nashville stops for no one. So the fate of the wagon train mural on the back of the building is uncertain. Coincidentally, I got this car-free picture just a week or so before the news broke. Because The Gold Rush’s website and social media is also shuttered, I’ve been unable to really research the origin of this unsigned mural. If anyone knows who made it, drop me a line. Someone has written across the Sun in the mural, “You are not a rock star. Shut up. Be humble.” (see below) I don’t know if that’s original or not. Also in this parking lot, there is a small mural of a marijuana plant on the east side, and on the west, some graffiti art (actually on the wall of The End), at least part of which was done by Troy Duff. There is a small image of a crying cat (?) partially obscured by the graffiti art. In the slideshow below, I’ve included a full version of that image I took some months ago, along with the other art around the parking lot.

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Located at 2205 Elliston Place. The art lies faces the alley behind the bar, on the north side. Most of the nearby parking is either in a pay lot or uses a parking meter.

Exit In at 45

ExitInCentralDetail

I wouldn’t ordinarily use a detail shot like this as the header photo, but this Bryan Deese piece at Exit/In is so badly hemmed in by a porch at Hurry Back next door that the only way to take a shot of the full mural is at an extreme angle. (See below) This is the central part of the mural, the rest is in a slideshow at the end of this post. The mural honors the 45th anniversary of Exit/In, featuring images of just a handful of the luminaries who have played there over the decades, many of whom were still working to make a name for themselves when they took the stage at Elliston Place. Some of them are also name-checked on a wordy mural on the front side of the venue (See the slideshow). This is a neighborhood that I have largely neglected on this blog, in part because of the difficulty of finding any of the art without cars parked in front of it. 12th Ave South and Hillsboro Village present similar problems. I need to hit all these places bright and early in the morning!

ExitInFullSideways

Located at 2808 Elliston Place. The mural is on the west side of the building. Parking in this neighborhood is hard. Most street parking anywhere nearby is metered, and the venues and shops themselves have limited parking. Grab a ride share and make it part of your pub crawl!

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