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Nashville murals, street art, graffiti, signs, sculptures and more

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The Colors of Capital City Computers

Right at the end of last year, a new mural appeared on the Capital City Computers building on Gallatin. For some time, this wall had held a mural promoting Muddy Roots, the music festival and record label, though I never wrote about it. You can see it here.

This new mural is by the artist who goes by Sterbo. Its use of lines and colors reminds me to some extent of another one of his works, which I featured in the post Line It Up. But while that piece is frenetic and energetic, this is a calmer and more soothing work, and is also even more abstract. While the Line It Up piece played around with three-dimensionality, this piece is more about the uses of color. It creates a set of optical illusions, such that some of the stripes you see on this mural look as if they were shadows cast on the wall by some weird, alien trees.

For such a small place, the Capital City Computer building is pretty festooned with murals. While the Sterbo mural is on the north side, the south has long hosted what I call the Young Warlords mural, a portrait of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as they looked back in the 1980s that was done by Bryan Deese. Capital City uses it on their webpage. And there’s another mural by Jack Coyle on the back I haven’t written about yet that looks to have gone in the same time the Sterbo piece did. Hey, get your computer fixed and take in a gallery of murals in one go!

Located at 1106 Gallatin Ave. The mural faces north towards an alley halfway between Sharpe Avenue and W Greenwood Avenue. Publix is across the street. There is parking at Capital City, particularly in back.

A Colorful Abode

As more and more business owners in Nashville come to see art as an essential part of their operation, the trend will spread to more kinds of businesses. For some time, it was almost entirely local retail that sought to decorate their outer walls with murals and graffiti art, and really only in certain neighborhoods. Bars, restaurants, and auto repair places were among the early adopters, as well as a number of immigrant-owned businesses. But now the movement has spread to all kinds of businesses, both local and national, including apartment buildings.

Gallatin House Mural Nashville street art

The current (March 1, 2021) Google Street View of the apartment building at 3811 Gallatin Pike shows it as a drab, grey building (the photo is from June 2019). Out front are two signs – one advertising rentals, the other stating that a “handyman painter” was wanted. I don’t know if the artist who goes by Sterbo answered that particular ad, but he’s the one who turned the drab building into something much more colorful. As you can see from the pictures above and below, the mural actually wraps around the building a bit.

Gallatin House Mural Nashville street art

There was a time when the building next door, at 3807, was also quite colorful, with a number of pop-art portraits on it. But that was when it was the hookah bar called Cloud IX, which got shut down a few years ago. Now it’s a bar called Henry James, which has a small, more debonair mural in keeping with its namesake, which I’ll feature later.

Located at 3811 Gallatin Pike. While there is parking, it might be best to park at one of the businesses near by. This building is home to a number of people, so be respectful if you visit.

Wooden at 1767

For a couple of years, one of the most popular posts on this blog in terms of page views was “Beto Forever,” about a large mural on Gallatin memorializing the graffiti artist Ronald “Ronnie” Bobal, who used the name “Beto” in his work. But no mural lasts forever, and perhaps it was simply time, or the new building owner wanted to go in a new direction, and now that mural has been replaced by this riotous image by Brian Wooden.

Wooden is also known for his images of headless, sharp-dressed men, but here he has given 1767 Designs (a company that makes art and furniture from material recovered from demolished homes) a much more colorful and cartoony work, with a tightly-packed mish-mash of machinery, faces and flowers. If you look on his blog, linked above, or his Instagram page, you’ll see that while he’s worked in this style for a long time, lately he’s been focused on it more.

If you want to know more about how this mural was made, there are a couple of videos on Wooden’s IG page that show him working on it.

Located at 2611 Gallatin Pike. The mural is on the south side of the building. Parking is readily available.

Dolly by MuckRock

There’s been a spate of Dolly Parton murals lately. Sadly, the one by Bryan Deese was painted over right after I posted about it, but the one by Kim Radford still greets me whenever I drive down my street to get to downtown. And of course she’s on one of the fences by Scott Guion in Berry Hill. And now you can find her on Gallatin Road.

Jules Muck, who signs her work “MuckRock” is a New York artist who now lives and works in Venice, California. She has work all over the United States and around the world, and is currently touring the States leaving murals wherever she goes. She was here in mid-October to do the Dolly portrait, and is apparently travelling with a dog. (Scroll her Instagram page – the pup shows up in several places.)

Parton’s portrait is found on the south wall of Blue Door Framing, painted with poppies in her hair, as Parton is known to do. Parton’s hair spells out “Nashville’ and “MuckRock.” Muck also did some poppies on the front of the building.

(By the way, the funny crop on the lead photo is entirely a Facebook thing. They have really dumb cropping rules for shares.)

Dolly Parton Mural Nashville street art

Here you see them together.

Dolly Parton Mural Nashville street art

I imagine it’s only a matter of time before more Dolly murals appear in town. Wildflowers don’t care where they grow, after all.

Located at 2809 Gallatin Pike, at the corner with Burchwood Avenue. The main mural faces south towards downtown, while the flower faces Gallatin. Blue Door has limited parking, and it’s possible to park on the side of the building towards the back. There’s street parking a little ways down Burchwood.

The East Room

One thing the ongoing pandemic has not stopped is the outdoor art scene in Nashville. Certainly some commissions never materialized as some businesses cut costs and others closed. But new art is still appearing. A few months ago, this new mural appeared at The East Room on Gallatin. It’s by Matthew Depew, who also used the label “Popcorn Art,” and the mural carries the hashtag “#popcornmurals.” I don’t know why he uses that name, but the mural, which is on a set of panels, is highly textured. It’s depiction of a road leading off into a surreal landscape is reminiscent of the yellow brick road mural by Anthony’s Billups for The Griff Apartments.

There’s also a pretty impressive sign on the side of the building, but I don’t know the artist.

East Room Sign mural Nashville street art

Of course, like all our public venues, The East Room is struggling. As of press time, their calendar is blank, though they do have an announcement for a series of virtual concerts they are taking part in over the next two months. Recently, the Metro Council approved a $2 million grant to help keep small, independent venues afloat. The National Independent Venue Association is running a lobbying campaign called “Save our Stages” to try to get Congress to step in to save an industry that is in serious trouble. Let’s hope they are successful.

Located at 2412 Gallatin Avenue. There is limited parking on site for the other businesses in this building. Street parking is available a short distance north on Chester Avenue.

The Tool of Tools

I’ve been watching this mural since sometime in June, but wasn’t sure if it was finished. Well it wasn’t, but a signature recently appeared, so I believe it’s finished now. It’s by Thomas Halloran, and he calls it “The Tool of Tools.” Halloran is a Boston artist who now resides in Berlin, so this mural is a sign of the extending reach of Nashville’s outdoor art scene. While it’s located on the side of the Nashville branch of Status Dough, it’s an obvious reference to the artist spaces and galleries in the complex at 919 Gallatin Avenue, which it faces. 919 Gallatin includes Delgado Guitars, The Red Arrow Gallery, Tournament Studios, and others, and is a major part of the East Side Art Stumble, East Nashville’s art crawl. Thus Halloran’s theme of the tools of creation and the hands that wield them makes good sense here.

Halloran also created a sign on the Gallatin-facing side of the 919 complex, and is working on a second “hands” mural on another 919 building. I’ll feature both later. There’s also a no-littering mural semi-hidden by 919’s dumpster – I’m researching who did it.

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Located at 921 Gallatin Avenue (that’s the address of Status Dough). It faces south towards 919’s parking lot, where parking is of course available.

Terra-Drift

About a year and a half ago, the California artist Skye Walker came through town and did three murals as part of his Sea2Sea Mural Tour, which you can follow on his Instagram page. (Check the hashtag #sea2seamuraltour.) The first one, featured in Keep a Breast, is on the Hair World Beauty Supply at 2503 Gallatin and promotes breast cancer awareness and testing. The second, Gaia, is part of a beautification project by merchants and residents of 2nd and 3rd Avenues North. This one, which Walker calls “Terra-Drift,” found at the Hair World at 500 Gallatin, came about because the owner of Hair World liked the Keep a Breast mural so much, he commissioned another mural for the second location. The picture above actually crops the mural, which is very long and thin, and hard to photograph because of obstacles, as you can see below. The artist has a nice drone shot that takes it all in on his Instagram page.

Hair World Mural street art Nashville

In some way, this is a tornado-related post. Hair World stays busy, and there are always cars parked in this lot and along the length of the mural. But the store lost power for a few days, and I was able to shoot it car-free for once. This mural lies only about four blocks north of Five Points, where there was so much damage from the storm.

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Located at 500 Gallatin Avenue, at the corner with Mansfield Street. The mural is on the north side of the building. For now, there is a large parking lot available, but the closed bank that goes with the parking lot is for sale, so the future of the lot is uncertain. Street parking is available nearby.

 

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