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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.

Irises for The Iris

There’s long been a hotel on Iris Drive just off Thompson Lane. But recent renovations have produced a very modern version of a boutique hotel. The Iris Motel is a hotel you could visit and easily never see any staff. As they say on their website, “communication is mostly virtual.” There is no front desk, and the lobby is really just a common area for guests. To add a little life to this hyper-digital form of lodging, a giant mural of irises, naturally, has been provided by Folek Kelof, who signs his work with just “Folek.” Perhaps in keeping with the digital nature of the hotel, Folek’s irises are angular and blocky. They look to me something like English irises, but there are so many varieties of irises, there are many potential candidates. The mural is a little hard to photograph, as it faces a driveway that is bordered by another building on the other side. You can’t quite get the whole thing with a front-facing view, which you can see below.

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Located at 656 W Iris Dr. There is free public parking across the street. 

The Owl and Rose

On the Charlotte Avenue branch of the local chain M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers (so named because their original location is in the Melrose neighborhood) you can find this mural of an owl and a rose. As in L Rose. Mel-Rose. M(Ow)L Rose. It’s kind of like “M.L. Rose,” and M.L. Rose does use an owl in its logo.  The piece is by two artists who have been on this blog a lot, Nathan Brown and Eric Bass, aka Mobe Oner. The rose is reminiscent of the rose Brown did for Topgolf, though less sharply geometric. The owl has more of the geometric shapes Brown is known for, though for what it’s worth, that side is signed by Mobe Oner. (Which may mean nothing at all.) I have to say I debated whether the owl was, in fact, an owl or a cat until I remembered that an owl is part of M.L. Rose’s branding. To take the picture above, I had to climb a low wall and get up on the landscaping. Below is the best view from the sidewalk. There is a tree that blocks a direct view.

Rose Owl Mural street art Nashville

Located at 4408 Charlotte Avenue. The mural is on the west side of the building facing 45th Avenue North. There is paid parking as well as M.L. Rose’s parking, and some limited street parking in front of the fire station behind M.L. Rose.

Flowers of Ma’Kai

MaKai Mural Nashville street art

One muralist who has been popping on this blog a lot recently is Tara Marie Aversa (who also uses the name Tarabella Aversa on Instagram.) And why not? She’s been very productive of late. Back in July, she painted this mural for Cafe Ma’Kai on Wedgewood. Ma’Kai is Hawaiian for “towards the ocean,” so the classic surfer’s wave and the collection of tropical flowers make sense, partirulay since so much of Aversa’s work features a lot of flowers. Interestingly, if you peruse Ma’Kai’s Instagram page, you’ll see they’ve been taking photos of food and customers in front of this wall long before they got a mural. Now they have a more colorful background to work with. It’s also another example of Aversa successfully working with a difficult canvas. Here it was very rough stone, and in Living Waters, it was a corrugated metal wall. On her Instagram, you can also see a couple of production shots.

Located at 1210 Wedgwood Avenue, just west of 12th Avenue South. There is a small parking lot at this shopping center, and there is street parking on Wade Avenue just to the north. The mural faces Wedgewood, on the south side of the building.

A door of many symbols (Joy’s Flowers)

Recently, Joy’s Flowers, a local florist with a history that goes back to 1877, moved from its long-time location on West End near Vanderbilt University to new digs on Gallatin, in a building that once held Wayne’s Unisex, a beauty salon. To liven up their stone facade, Floral Designer Lori Warren painted the five doors that punctuate that wall, notably the one above. It’s not just a pretty collection of plants and animals, but also a catalogue of sorts of a number of Tennessee state symbols. Naturally, the mural includes the two state flowers, the iris, the state’s cultivated flower (really a group of related flowers) and the state wildflower, the purple passionflower. An eastern box turtle, the state reptile is seen near the bottom, as well as the state amphibian, the Tennessee cave salamander. Along the border of the door, we find the state tree, the tulip poplar (a tree with many other names), in which sits a mockingbird, the state bird. Warren has also included a couple other species that are not state symbols but are found in Tennessee: the blue-tailed slink and the tiger lily (that name is used for a lot of different flowers, but I could not find one specific to Tennesee – however, there are orange and red lilies native to Tennesee, such as this one).

Joy's Door murals street art Nashville

The other doors are decorated more simply. Right to the left of the door above is an abstractly colored door with “East Nashville” emblazoned on the bottom, while the main entrance of the building there are hand painted letters spelling out “JOYS.” (Look close at that door, and you’ll see the mail slot still reads “Wayne’s Unisex.”) The remaining two doors have similar abstract coloring. In the slide show below, the doors go left to right, or west to east.

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Located at 400 Gallatin Avenue, between East Nashville Magnet High School and a Firestone. Parking is a little complex – it’s plausible to park in the little alley between Joy’s and the school. Also, you can park on Ordway Place across Gallatin.

The Fountain of Juice

Juice mural street art Nashville

On rapidly developing 51st Ave North in the heart of The Nations, you have to work to stand out. The Fountain of Juice is hard to miss with this mural by North Carolina artist Alyson Record. The Fountain of Juice makes and sells, guess what, juices, and uses raw fruits and vegetables grown organically from local sources. The mural thus is a representation of the raw materials Fountain of Juice uses to make its products. It’s reminiscent of a similar mural that’s just a few blocks away on the side of Miel. It too features the locally grown produce used in their menu and features mushrooms and flowers as well. It is somewhat blocked in this picture, but the mural is signed @ajoy.art, which leads to Record’s Instagram page, where you can find a story showing the process of producing the mural.

Located at 901 51st Avenue North. There is some parking in the back of the building, and street parking on Michigan and Illinois Avenues, north and south of the building. The mural is on the north side of the building. Get you some health juice and enjoy the art!

Keep a breast

Skye Mural street art Nashville

Some weeks ago, two giant murals by California artist Skye Walker appeared on Gallatin Road. There’s also a face by the same artist in an alley off the 200 block of 3rd Ave North that went in at the same time. This particular piece was done in collaboration with Keep A Breast, a non-profit that promotes breast cancer awareness and testing through art and through an app. The main figure in the piece is shown doing a stylized breast self-examination. Encouraging women to do monthly self-exams, and in particular young women, is a major focus of Keep A Breast’s work. Appropriately, it is found on the north wall of the Hair World Beauty Supply at 2503 Gallatin, given that it’s a business whose clientele is mostly women. The branch at 500 has the other new Skye Walker mural, which I will blog about later.

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Located at 2503 Gallatin Avenue. In the day, it’s possible to park behind The Cobra next door if you don’t want to obscure the mural.

 

Flower balm

UPDATE: Some months after this post went up, the artist expanded on the original mural. The original is below.

Back when the spot now occupies by Walden was home to The Hop Stop, there was a first a mural for The Hop Stop on the building housing the bar, and then later another Hop Stop mural appeared across from it on the building where the East Tattoo Collective is found. Now Walden has followed suit, with another Tara Marie Aversa mural to go with the one on the Walden building. (There’s also one inside.) The hashtag is #flowerbalm, hence the blog title, but I did try to come up with something clever about the Rolling Stones. Did you know they had an album called Flowers? News to me – learn something new every day!

Lip and flowers mural street art Nashville

Located at 2913 Gallatin Pike, on the south side of the building. There is plenty of parking, but it’s a pay lot. There is no nearby free street parking.

Import Flowers, Part 1

ImportFlowersMain

Drive down Murphy Road from the west, and you will come to one of the best-known murals in Nashville, the sunflower mural on Import Flowers. It’s not on 12 South or in the Gulch or Downtown, but it shows up in a lot of articles telling you what murals you need to visit in Nashville. The owner of Import Flowers, John Farrel, says that their parking lot is often half full with cars of people getting their picture taken in front of it – the other half by cars of people coming to battle at a Pokemon hot spot right behind their dumpster. Hopefully, some of those folks buy flowers! The mural is by Mark Palen. Tim Ghianni did a profile of him for The Nashville Scene a few years back, or you can see him talk about his art and career in a video as well. Palen has at least two websites, one displayed on the mural that he may not be updating anymore, and another that seems more current. You can also find him on Instagram. There are a couple of hidden elements, at least. Look real close to find Lisa Simpson, and there’s a word hidden in the flowers. This Scene article will help you find it. There is another mural on the other side done by local youth artists some years ago – I’m working on researching their identities, and I’ll post about it when I find them.

Located at 3636 Murphy Road. The mural faces 37th Avenue North. Import Flowers has parking, as mentioned. Buy some flowers and enjoy the art!

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