nashville public art

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




Readers Bronze Statue Front Nashville Green Hills Library

I’ve driven past the Green Hills Library many times, but only recently noticed this statue, even though it was installed in 2000. Sometimes art blends into the background. And it seems appropriate for what will be my last post until after Christmas, a grandfatherly gentleman and a young child enjoying a moment together over the love of reading. The piece is by Russ Faxon, who has some other pieces in town, including the sculpture featured in Chet Atkins, C.G.P.. Commisioned by the library, the sculpture was funded by the Sally and Allen Beaman Foundation, from the same family that owns Beaman Toyota.

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Located at 3701 Benham Avenue. The sculpture lies on the northeast side of the library, facing the road. There is free parking at the library. Grab a book and enjoy the art!

Building who’s Nashville?


Ordinarily, I like to keep people out of the pictures I use on this blog. But for this particular mural, done by Michael Cooper of Murals and Moore, that’s not easy. Church Street Park, known also as Library Park, has become a gathering ground for homeless Nashvillians. Some of this is because it lies across from the downtown Main Library, which has made efforts to reach out to the homeless. Not surprisingly, the presence of homeless people in such a prominent spot has raised controversy. That controversy is probably behind the willingness of Mayor David Briley to back a controversial proposal to allow developer Tony Giarratana to build a commercial high rise tower on the property in exchange for also building an apartment complex for the homeless on James Robertson Parkway. Ten years ago, the city bulldozed and rebuilt the park to rid the park of pesky starlings. Now they might just demolish it so they can rid it of the homeless. Whether the deal with Giarratana goes through remains to be seen. If it does, Cooper’s mural suggesting an unfinished but growing Nashville will almost certainly disappear. Call it endangered art.


Located at 600 Church Street, across from the downtown library. This is downtown, so plenty of parking, almost none of it free. The library parking garage has reasonable rates, including ninety free minutes with validation. Peruse the stacks and enjoy the art!

Heavy reading

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“La Storia della Terra,” (1999/2001) otherwise known as “the big pile of stone books next to the downtown library,” is the creation of Anna Wilmsen and the late Wolfgang Kubach, German artists who created many other stone book towers. The plaque at the bottom indicates the twenty-six books (representing the letters of the alphabet) are made from stones that came from five continents, and that also seems to have been characteristic of their other works. Actually, Nashville didn’t quite get the full deal, because at least one of the book towers on their gallery page says it has stones from seven continents. You’re not supposed to take rock samples from Antartica except for scientific work, so I’m not sure how they got that seventh stone. Maybe it’s just as well we don’t have any Antarctic rock in ours! The statue was paid for by Judy and Noah Liff. Mr. Liff made his money in recycling and the Liffs donated generously to a number of arts-related causes around Nashville.

Located on the northwest corner of the Main Library downtown, near the corner of Seventh and Church Street. The library’s official address is 615 Church Street, but the building takes up the entirety of the 600 block. It’s hard to miss. The library has its own parking garage, and there is plenty of paid parking in lots and garages nearby. Check out a book and enjoy the art!

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