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

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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.

 

The Cobra (Part 2)

Cobra Bar Mural street art Nashville

Sometimes I report on new art, sometimes not. While not nearly as old as the art in my last post, this mural at The Cobra on Gallatin goes back to September 2016, and I posted about the larger mural on the side of the bar way back in April of last year (see below). Obviously, it’s by Eastside Murals. It continues the theme of skulls found in the mural on the side, but not the cobra or beer imagery. Here the skulls are complimented with abstract art. There is another mural altogether on the backside of the bar, one very different from the other two. Maybe I’ll post it before the end of 2020.

Located at 2511 Gallatin Road. As it faces Gallatin, your best bet for a good view is actually across the street, where there is a Walgreen’s with ample parking. The bar itself has plenty of parking, particularly early in the day when the bar is closed.

Part 1

Urban Juicer, Eastside Edition

If you think about it and are a little generous, you can say that the twisted straw on this mural spells out the word “urban.” Which makes sense, since this mural sits on the side of the Gallatin Road version of a local juice bar chain called The Urban Juicer. If you look at that website, you’ll see long, super twisty straws are part of their branding, so this colorful version hinting at all the different kinds of juice you can get fits right in. It’s by David Wright of Manecoon Sign Company, who rarely signs his work, but if you peruse that Instagram account, you’ll see that his art is all over town. The picture above doesn’t capture the whole work, as there is also a The Urban Juicer logo and slogan off to the side, but that would have made a bad header photo for this post (see below). Maybe give The Urban Juicer a try – they were voted Best Juice Bar in the Nashville Scene’s Best of Nashville poll in 2019.

Urban Juicer Mural street art Nashville

Located at 1009 Gallatin Ave. The mural is on the south side of the building. Note that the parking lot it faces is not The Urban Juicer’s parking lot. There’s is in front of and behind their building. There is also street parking on Sharpe Avenue, just to the north.

King Solomon Gyros

Solomon Gyros sign mural street art Nashville

If you’ve ever driven down lower Gallatin, you’ve seen the sign. You may even have picked up a meal or twenty there. I usually get the combo plate, but this Scene article makes me think I’ll get the gyro sandwich next time I drop by King Solomon Gyros. Sadly, I do not know who made this sign. The business has exchanged hands in the last several months, and the current owners don’t know who the sign maker was. There’s also some reason to be concerned about the future of this business, as recently this property and the old church next door were bought by James Higgins and Richard Piliponis for $1.02 million. One would hope they don’t mess with a very successful take-out place. The two men, who also own Noble’s Kitchen & Beer Hall right down the street (site of the mural featured in A noble brew), seem to be planning on turning the former New Destiny Christian Fellowship into a pub named Eastwood Assembly. Some of the nearby neighbors have read the word “pub” to mean “bar” and have voiced opposition. The Nashville Post article previously linked also notes that the church building has structural issues that have put plans on hold for now. Again, one would hope Higgins and Piliponis have no plans for King Solomon’s besides collecting a reasonable rent.

UPDATE: The sign was produced by David Wright of Manecoon Sign Company.

Located at 716 Gallatin Ave, at the corner with Chicamgua Avenue, across from Kroger. Solomon has parking, and street parking is available, but really you should admire the mural as you pass through the drive-through!

Tailgate Brewery, East Side

A couple months ago, I featured a small mural linked to Tailgate Brewery in A hoppy place to tailgate. That small, two-color mural, by Drew Lord, is part of Tailgate’s Demonbreun Street location. Recently, they expanded to lower Gallatin, right next to Nashville Biscuit House. And here Lord, who is Tailgate’s art director, has produced something much bolder and much more colorful. You have the tailgate, you have the brewer breaking open a barrel that sprays out multi-colored beer, and you have an umbrella to protect you from that spray. (The umbrella kind of looks like a made-to-order Instagram target.) When you go to check it out, walk abound to the backside of Nashville Biscuit House. There’s a hidden mural back there.

Tailgate mural street art Nashville

Located at 811 Gallatin Avenue. The mural is on the south side of the building. There is parking behind Tailgate, and at the Biscuit House after it closes in the afternoon. There is also street parking on Petway Avenue on the north side of the building.

Set Free

Madison is not awash in outdoor art, so this particularly bright and bold recent addition to Madison’s visual fabric really stands out. It’s on the side of  Set Free Church on Gallatin. Set Free, housed in an historic storefront, is a church that emphasizes charity, particularly towards the homeless. That’s appropriate, as it’s set in one of the less prosperous parts of Davidson County. The artist is Max Gramajo, who goes by Maxx242. He’s based out of Southern California in the Los Angeles area, and as far as I know, this is his first work in the Nashville area. The pastor at Set Free, Roosevelt Sargent, who goes by “Pastor Flo,” also has connections to the Los Angeles area, so it’s not so surprising this Los Angeles artist wound up doing work in Nashville. (Sargent has a picture on his Instagram feed that shows the mural in progress.) I like how even a Californian knows to put the Batman Building in a Nashville mural! Also credited in the signature box (see below) are Jason Galaz and Milton Chavez (and on his Instagram post about the mural the artist also credits “Super Dave.”)

Set Free Mural street art Nshville

Signatures

Located at 505 Gallatin Pike South.  The mural is no the north side of the building facing Harris Street.

The Cobra (Part 1)

Cobra mural street art Nashville

Another series! This will be a short one, as there are only three Cobra bar murals. This one is the largest, on the south-facing wall of The Cobra. A product of Eastside Murals, it went up in September 2016. The cobra motif is obvious, but why all the skulls? I have no idea. And then there is the unlabeled but obvious Pabst Blue Ribbon can. I suppose the marketing permissions did not come through. When I photographed this recently, there was a small shrine on the far left of the mural (see below), perhaps to someone named “Bart.”

Shrine street art Nashville

Located at 2511 Gallatin Road. There is plenty of parking, particularly early in the day when the bar is closed (and it is less likely cars will be parked in front of the mural).

Part 2

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