nashville public art

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



Hillsboro Village

What did you do on Christmas Day, 2020? I photographed murals. This mural has been around since 2012, and there have been cars parked in front of it pretty much every day since. But on pandemic Christmas, I stumbled on it car-free.

It is of course by Andee Rudloff. Anyone who reads this blog should recognize her style immediately. Like a lot of her work, this mural was a product of community collaboration. It was sponsored by Kay-Bob’s Grill and Ale, and sits on the side of their building. If you watch the time-lapse video of the mural’s production (produced by Stacey Irvin), you’ll see how it was made, which is typical of Rudloff’s work. She drew a black-and-white outline of all the figures, and completed all of the parts of the the mural that required a boom lift. Then, community volunteers helped complete the lower part of the mural.

The plaque on the mural, which includes a QR code that leads you to the video, thanks the Hillsboro Village Art Walk, an art and music crawl that used to be a monthly event in Hillsboro Village. Presumably the community volunteers in the video were participants in the Art Walk. It would have been one of the last Hillsboro Art Walks. The mural went up in the summer of 2012, and the last Art Walk was in September of that year.

The mural is a jumble of imagery, but the road at the top leads to green hills in the distance. If you drive down 21st Ave from the mural, yes, you’ll get to the Green Hills neighborhood. But it’s south, not west, and the sun shouldn’t be rising or setting in that direction. Oh well, it’s art! The mural has received a little wear in eight years, but it’s still standing. Hopefully, it will be around for many more.

(Note, Rudloff does not link to her Instagram page on her website, so here it is.)

Located at 1602 21st Avenue South. The mural is on the north side of the building, facing Caper’s Avenue. This is Hillsboro Village, so lots of parking, but not much of it free.

Arcade Animals

Across the street from the Hillsboro Village dragon mural is a whole cast of animals, thirty one to be exact. No, I didn’t count them, the artists did. This is another of the many Eastside Murals works around town. The playful animals fit the location well, as the mural sits on the side of Arcade, a children’s store that sells clothes and toys aimed primarily at the under-six set.

Arcade Mural Nashville street art

In contrast to giant, fleshed-out dragon across the street, the Arcade animals are much more simple, built out of abstract digital lines and a poppy but limited color palette. It doesn’t look like anything else Eastside has done, but besides having a certain preschool aesthetic, its fits the style of the company that designed the mural, Fuzzco. (You can get a better idea of their work from their Instagram page.) They are a branding company with offices in Charleston, SC and Seattle, WA. This is hardly the only example of local artists being hired to execute a design by an out-of-town firm. Indeed, on the other side of 21st Avenue is another mural by Eastside that was designed by Donald Robertson, a New York-based artist who has recently moved to Santa Barbara.

Arcade Mural Nashville street art

The mural went up in the summer of 2019 when Arcade opened in this location. Genie Lockwood, the owner, has noted that “the magical and mysterious childhood world” was an inspiration for the store, and the animals seem designed with that spirit. The mural is also practical. The ruler attached to the tall giraffe on the right of the mural (see below) is intended to be used as a growth chart.

Arcade Mural Nashville street art

Located at 1721 21st Avenue South, at the corner with Belcourt Avenue. It’s right next to Belcourt Theatre. This is Hillsboro Village, so lots of parking, very little of it free.

Arcade Mural Nashville street art

The Dragon Mural

It’s a little odd to be adding this mural to the blog now. After all, it did first appear in 1995, making it one of the oldest outdoor murals in Nashville, and it was restored in 2015. But this is another pandemic post, because being in the heart of Hillsboro Village, popular with tourists and locals alike, just a hop-skip from Vanderbilt (which happens to own much of Hillsboro Village), there are cars parked in front of it pretty much 24/7/365. The quarantine takes away, but it also gives. The mural was originally done by Adam Randolph and David Glick, and originated as a community project that included students from nearby by Eakin Elementary. The inspiration for the design was the dragon in Fannie Mae Dees park, itself the recipient of a recent restoration. But time took its toll on the mural (see the first link in this post). Vanderbilt, which owns the building (there’s a reason that first link is to a Vandy PR site), the Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood Association and several Hillsboro Village businesses came together to sponsor the refurbishment, working with lead artist Andee Rudloff. (Glick and Randolph are no longer active artists, but were happy to see the work restored.) Also contributing to the restoration were the artists Ian Lawrence and Sterling-Goller Brown (the artists behind Eastside Murals), Stacey Irvin, and Novelty V. Habit. Like when it first went up, the community got involved. On October 31, 2015, there was a “Dragon Refresh” event that drew in community members to help in the restoration.

Dragon Mural Nashville street art

One notable difference between the original mural and the newly updated version is the sign. “Hillsboro Village Est. 1920” is a new addition of neighborhood pride.

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Located at 1801 21st Avenue South, at the corner with Belcourt Avenue, on the side of the building currently occupied by Posh Boutique. The mural faces Belcourt. This is Hillsboro Village – plenty of parking, almost none of it free. Free street parking is available if you are willing to walk a few blocks.

Flower power


I have written before that chain stores are the worst places to look for public art. So I was surprised to find what looks like permitted art on the back of the Green Hills CVS. This could, of course, been put up without permission, but that seems unlikely. The style, the placement, the rust stain, and the fact that Google street view shows it’s been up since at least February of last year suggests permitted art. It is on the part of the building that is a separate retail space from the CVS (currently unoccupied), so that may have something to do with it. It is a rare piece of public art on a stretch of road dominated by chains, professional offices and high-end retail, none very conducive to public art. Given all the people stuck in traffic most of the time on that stretch of Hillsboro, some more art might improve people’s mood a bit.

UPDATE: This work has been painted over, presumably sometime in early 2018.

Located at 3801 Hillsboro Pike. The flower is on the back of the building, facing the Orange Theory gym on Crestmoor, and is not visible from Hillsboro Pike. There’s CVS parking around the building, and a parking garage under the gym. Fill up on unnecessary plastic objects and enjoy the art!

Another Indian restaurant, another mural

India mural street art Nashville restaurant
Want to enjoy the sites and food of India while watching insane Green Hills traffic at the same time? Shalimar has got you covered! I wonder how many of the thousands of people who drive, or rather crawl slowly, past Shalimar never notice the mural?

Located at 3711 Hillsboro Pike near the corner of Crestmoor Road. It’s Green Hills — park where you can. Heck, park in Shalimar’s lot and get some grub with your art!

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