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

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#hotchicken

Slow Burn

Continuity and change – it’s one of the most honored, if not hoary ideas in the study of history, the idea that as much as some things change, there are also things that remain consistent. As this Nashville Scene article notes, the little cinderblock building as 726C McFerrin has been host to a series of small joints that served up hot chicken, from The Birdhouse to Ruby Ann’s and now Slow Burn. The East Nashville spot is Slow Burn’s second, the original is up in Madison. The building, as you can see, has a mural for a sign, a mural that practically comes with its own hashtags, with shoutouts to local colleges and other institutions. It’s by an artist who goes simply by Cora, at least in her life as a professional artist.

Slow Burn Mural Nashville street art sign

Like every restaurant right now, Slow Burn is takeout only (and only cards, no cash) to minimize the danger of spreading COVID-19. These are difficult times for our local restaurants. If you are going to get takeout, do what you can to keep out local places afloat.

Located at 726C McFerrin Avenue, near the corner with Cleaveland Street. There is limited parking at this complex.

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.

No, I didn’t need my taste buds, actually

BoltonsAbstractChicken

Maybe you’ve heard we have this thing called hot chicken in Nashville. Maybe? Of course you have. There is the famous story of the cheating man who prompted the creation of hot chicken. But that was only the beginning of a long history. First, there was Prince’s, founded in the 1930s. In the late 1970s, one of Prince’s cooks, Bolton Polk, left and started his own restaurant, originally called Colombo’s. Both restaurants have been forced to move repeatedly because of development, gentrification, and deliberate efforts of city government to push African-Americans out of valuable property. Colombo’s was forced to close when the Titan’s stadium was built. In 1997, the family reopened in a little concrete box on Main Street, under the name Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish, later expanding into a larger building behind the box. More recently, they’ve added new branches on Franklin Pike and in Chatanooga. The Main Street location is covered in art. Two main styles predominate. The older art has a more cartoon style, with jumping fish and hot plates of potatoes, while the newer works are more abstract, with chicken and fish surrounded by and belching flame. Which you will be doing when you get your food. I get the medium. It’s medium in the sense a Category 3 hurricane is medium compared to a Category 5. It’s still a hurricane!

Located at 624-B Main Street. The smaller building is right on the street and impossible to miss. Officially, the parking next door is for Center 615, though on weekends and evenings you’re fine parking there. Otherwise, you’ll need to walk a bit. Get some grub, buy some beer and milk, and enjoy the art!

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