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nashville public art

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

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Come together

TOMSWooden

Sometimes I blog about art that’s a few years old and doesn’t exist anymore. And sometimes I blog about art less than a week old. There has been a mural explosion on Gallatin Pike, and I could easily spend the next week or two just blogging about all the new murals on that road. One of the newest is this one, “Come Together” by Brian Wooden, he of the headless suits/suits with rose heads. It’s part of a national campaign against gun violence called “End Gun Violence Together” sponsored by Blake Mycoskie and the company he founded, the shoe and apparel company TOMS. This is one of two murals related to the campaign by Wooden in town – the other is in The Gulch and will probably be on this blog someday. It might have been finished earlier if not for the incessant rains of late. It’s part of a national mural campaign promoted by TOMS and Mycoskie. Here’s an example of another take on the design by Ruben Rojas. You can find many more examples on the Instagram page of Tyler Ramsey, an artist who is helping TOMS promote the mural campaign. (Neither his page nor anything at TOMS or on Mycoskie’s page makes clear who made the original design.) I should note this is the second time I have featured gun politics related art. The Dog is a work by Ryan Barbour that supports gun rights (and apparently there are newer sculptures at that site I hope to feature later.)

UPDATE: The other mural is here: Come together, again

Located at 2905 Gallatin Pike. It lies on the south side of the building that contains  Nicoletto’s Italian Kitchen and The Bowery Vault. The lots around this building and nearby businesses are mostly pay lots (except in the front), but there is some free parking in the alley behind.

Playlist

Groove

And the award for the thinnest mural in Nashville goes to The Groove! This is, in fact, a great use of space, matching the available canvas to the identity of the business it’s attached to. The Groove is, as the sign says, a source for new and used records and CDs (you may find their Facebook page more helpful). Something of a Nashville institution, The Groove has been at its current location since 2010, but only acquired the mural in May. Created by Dakota Jernigan and the artist who goes by ArtBarfer, the mural features a number of album covers, including classic covers from Charlie Mingus,  The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Captain Beefheart, King Crimson, Yes, Stevie Wonder, ELO, Prince, Grace Jones, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Björk, MF Doom, Gorillaz, Christina Aguilera, and David Bowie. Jernigan has a video and slideshow of the creation of the mural on his Instagram page, as does The Groove (photos, more photosvideo).

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Located at 1103 Calvin Avenue, near the intersection with Gallatin Road. Street parking is available. If you want to see it without cars parked in front, try early morning on the weekends.

Flowers of Walden

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Murals come and murals go. This was once the site of a hoppy mural featured in Have a beer! A really big beer!. But the sponsoring bar, The Hop Stop, closed. Soon, a new bar called Walden came to occupy the space. A new bar, of course, meant the need for a new mural. This explosion of flowers is the work of Tara Marie Aversa, and from the looks of that page, flowers are a common theme in her paintings. There’s a photo of her at work on this mural, and she also did a flower themed mural inside the bar.

Located at 2909-B Gallatin Pike. There is plenty of parking, but it’s a pay lot. There is no nearby free street parking.

Abracadabra

HPMain

This is a tale of two murals and two stores. The Hokus Pokus mural by Music City Murals on Gallatin advertises the vape store of the same name. The MCM guys must be really proud of it, as they use it as the cover art on their Facebook page. Hokus Pokus has also used the design in a billboard farther south on Gallatin. Before this mural, however, there used to be a graffiti art mural here with the “Betor” tag, he of Betor Forever. I thought I had my own photograph of it, but I can’t find it, so I’ve posted a Google street view shot below. But wait, there’s more! Sage and Serpent is a tattoo parlor in the same building, and below I include their interesting sign and an image that is posted on the back of the building. I don’t know who did either, but I would hazard a guess it’s one or both of the two artists who own Sage and Serpent.

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Located at 4118 Gallatin Pike. The main mural is on the north side of the building, while the Sage and Serpent sign is on the front and the image of a hand is on the back side. There is plenty of parking in front and back of the building.

 

Long lost

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This is a story about lost origins. The art is there, but its story is a mystery. There’s a neighborhood a little ways south of Rivergate Mall, on the west side of Gallatin Pike, that is unusual. It was clearly built as a residential neighborhood, but many of the houses have been converted into shops and offices, like parts of Berry Hill. Google Maps calls its Echo Meadows. And here we find the Goodlettsville branch of Sewing Machines Etc (there is also one in Knoxville). Besides selling and repairing sewing machines, Sewing Machines Etc has fabric and other sewing supplies and teaches sewing classes as well. What does any of this have to do with the mural of a fist grasping drawing and painting instruments? Nothing, as it predates the sewing store. Inquires inside reveal only that there was some kind of store that sold paint here in the past. Online tax records are no help either. The work is signed by Lee Long, which doesn’t lead anywhere. The sewing place opened in 2015, so the mural is older than that. It’s right across a driveway from some thick bushes, hence the angled shots. The current owners don’t seem inclined to remove it, and so it sits, testament to a forgotten store, and a hard to find artist.

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Located at 808 Meadow Lark Lane. There is parking in front and back of the store. Take a class or two and enjoy the art!

Choo-choo!

InglewoodHardwareTrain

This is another of those “why I have I waited so long to post about this one” posts. Certainly, anyone in the habit of driving north on Gallatin in East Nashville is familiar with the train on the side of Inglewood Hardware, more properly known as Inglewood True Value. (The first link is to local store’s Yelp page, the second to corporate.) This is obviously an Eastside Murals piece, professional home of Ian Lawrence and Sterling Goller-Brown. The mural went in last year. Why a train? Perhaps because of the train tracks that run back behind the store. It does provide good color on a very busy road, and makes the store hard to miss.

Located at 3214 Gallatin Pike. The mural is on the south side of the building. There is parking in front and on the mural side of the building. If you park in front, you’ll be backing up onto Gallatin when you leave. Load up on home improvement gear and enjoy the art!

 

Betor Forever

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Several weeks ago, a major installation appeared on the 2600 block of Gallatin, on the Penny Recycling building. It’s one of the larger murals in town (though smaller certainly than the giant ones downtown.) I haven’t been able to get to it before because of cars parked at the Hairworld next door. Over a portrait of a young man in a hat surrounded by flowers and spray paint cans, the mural declares “Betor Forever.” Betor was the nom de plume of Ronald “Ronnie” Bobal, who died last December, a couple of weeks shy of his thirtieth birthday. Bobal was a prolific graffiti artist who worked with the UH and ICR crews. You can see some of his work and tributes to him herehere and here. The mural itself is signed by Sterbo and Tierdo.  Sterbo has also memorialized Bobal in the mural of colored spheres mentioned in Arctic colors. There are some other, smaller pieces at this site. I’ve included them in the gallery below.

Located at 2611 Gallatin Pike on the south side of the Pocket Money Recycling building, near the corner of Carolyn Avenue. Your best bet for parking is the Hairworld next door. All the images are on the south side of the building, though the camera is on the back of some construction debris so it may not be very permanent.

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Arctic colors

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This is one of those miracle shots, a mural that always has cars parked in front of it momentarily free. Around the corner, you’ll find Nomzilla and Pepperfire, two popular eateries with not nearly enough parking, so cars are a near constant at this spot. But the mural itself reflects another business in the building, Friendly Arctic Printing & Design, a company that makes custom t-shirts, hoodies and more. The mural represents a step in the printing process. Members of the Friendly Arctic team put the mural up a little over a year ago, and their Instagram page has a set of videos detailing the process.But wait, there’s more! Walk around to the back side to find a completely different but also quite colorful mural (see below). This work is signed by Sterbo, a tag used by a prolific local artist. The signature also contains the phrase “Betor Forever.” Betor is the tag of a prolific local graffiti artist who died last December. There is a very large memorial mural in his honor a few blocks north of these two murals which I will feature soon. (Again, cars tend to park in the way.)

Located at 1045 Granada Avenue, at the corner with Gallatin Avenue. The mural above faces Granada and is quite visible if you are driving north on Gallatin. Street parking is available, as well as parking in front and behind the building. Grab some grub, or maybe inquire about your newest favorite t-shirt, and enjoy the art!

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The OMG/Wallpaper & Designer hidden gallery (Part 1, west wall)

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Make a point of driving behind commercial buildings from time to time, especially if they are local shops, not chains. Often you find nothing, and sometimes you find a universe. The building that contains Old Made Good and Wallpaper & Designer Home Consignments is one of those universe places. This a place no one who doesn’t need to use the loading docks at W&D is likely to find. You might also notice these works if you park around back of American Tuxedo and Bridal, but this is pretty solidly hidden art. Thousands of people drive past on Gallatin every day and never notice. I’m breaking this one up into multiple posts mostly because of bad shadows on some of my pics. I will try to hit this place in the morning sometime soon to get some better shots of the rest of it. The art is these pics is less than half of what’s on site. I’m not sure of the artists behind the work on this wall, but there are a couple of Troy Duff pieces on the other walls that I’ll feature once I get some better photos.

UPDATE: I can’t change the URL, but this is the west wall, not east as I originally wrote.

Part 2

Located at 3701 Gallatin Pike. OMG has scads and scads of parking and the area behind 3701 where the art is seems to be empty most of the time.

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