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Last year’s heartthrob

HeartMural.jpg

There’s a new mural in the 12 South neighborhood that’s been cropping up a lot on social media lately. People stand in line to get their picture taken in front of it. This is not it. But this is the place. When I do a Google image search for “Nashville mural,” this mural pops up first. Now, you might get something different, but it’s still likely to come up high on the list because for a long time, this Eastside Murals piece promoting the American Heart Association’sNashville at Heart” campaign featured in a whole lot of Instagram photos. Today, May 31, 2018, there is a marker on Google Maps for the “Nashville at Heart Mural.” Not too many murals get that level of recognition. But one day you’re at the top of the charts, and the next week you can’t get a gig at the Holiday Inn. Now “Nashville at Heart” has been replaced with an even jazzier mural. Do a search for #PeaceLoveGoodDeeds – you’ll find it. I suppose I’ll put it on this blog someday if I can get myself out of bed early enough to be there at dawn before the lines form. That’s how I got the picture above.

Located (formerly) at 2707 12th Avenue South, at the corner with Dallas Avenue, on the south wall of the Corner Music building.  This is 12 South – parking isn’t easy, though if you are willing to walk a block or two, there’s free parking on some side streets. You might want to ride share over. While this piece is gone, the surrounding neighborhood has lots of interesting art. Many will have lines – Just a few gents is unlikely to have one. Be original.

If you’re left alone

GirlFull

Entropy is real. All things eventually decay, all information is eventually lost, all art goes away. But sometimes it’s a little hard to take. I first saw this Norf Art Collective piece at 16th and Buchanan back in November. It was late in the day, and the shadows were long, and I didn’t think the light did the piece proper justice, so I put the photos in my “Needs to be reshot” file and made vague plans to shoot it again. Today was overcast, and I thought I’d try again. At first, unable to find it, I thought I had forgotten where it was. But then I realized I did remember where it was. It’s just that this entire wall and all the doors are now painted white. Sometime since November, whoever owns this building decided that a blank white space was better than this piece. I can’t imagine how that could be, but so it goes. I’m glad I have these pictures, that, after playing with filters, I think will give you a good idea of what used to be. The title of this post comes from the text on the right – see below.

Located (in the past) at 1510 Buchanan Street. There’s plenty of free street parking in this neighborhood, and some other art worth seeing on both Buchanan and Dr. D. B. Todd Blvd.

That boat has sailed

PropShop

I was going to post this a few days ago, but I thought I would visit Prop Shop Sales and Services and see if anyone inside knew who had painted this piece. Sure, it’s not the most beautiful piece of outdoor art in Nashville, but it has some goofy charm, and it’s been a landmark on Main for many years. Well, it’s gone, and so is Prop Shop. I was never quite sure why a boat shop was on Main Street, as we are not exactly on the water. But for many years, Main Street and Five Points were where you came to get your car fixed in Nashville, and Prop Shop apparently did mostly rotor repairs, and so at one time, it fit the neighborhood just fine. Now, most of the auto repair shops have left, many of their buildings now housing restaurants and bars. The Prop Shop building has been gussied up and put up for sale, the goofy boat mural replaced with a business-friendly shade of green. Whether it becomes the nest trendy bar remains to be seen. Prop Shop doesn’t seem to have much of an internet presence, which is just as well given that, like the mural, it is no more.

Located (formerly) at 719 Main Street. Plenty of parking, if you’d like to get your portrait done in front of a green wall of a shade one might find in an office-sharing place.

300

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This is post number 300. For this post, I’m updating on the art I know is now gone. The photo above is an Emily Miller piece once found at the corner of Main and McFerrin. Much of Miller’s work is deliberately temporary, drawn on paper and glued to outdoor walls. Her pieces are more durable than you might think, however, and in fact, this one was deliberately removed when the building was repainted. That’s the fate of most of the works listed here – they have been painted over. Others are gone because the building they stood on is gone.

The blog itself is getting a little better all the time. Statistics wise, since I started it in July 2016, 5450 people have visited the blog for a total of 11,006 page views. Modest, but it has been growing. From a couple hundred views a month when I got started, 800 and 900 has become common, it looks like the blog is about to close in on the second month in a row and third overall for more than 1000 views. The empire grows slowly.

All art is temporary, outdoor art in particular. A list, probably incomplete, of art I have chronicled that is gone or substantially erased. (I will be updating these posts in the coming weeks):

Ask not who the wrecking ball calls for (one building destroyed, another painted over)

The Vape USA Gallery (painted over)

The doomed graffiti wars of Madison Mills (painted over)

Unsafe at any speed (painted over)

Ch-ch-ch-changes! (removed – the Miller piece above)

The Carquest Gallery, Part 1The Carquest Gallery, Part 2 (partially painted over)

Where you at?! (painted over)

Color me gone – soon (building destroyed)

The ghost of craft beers past (painted over)

A flower grows in East Nashville (painted over; replaced with new mural)

Going, going gone (painted over)

Sorry you missed the show (painted over)

Children’s Art on Jefferson Street (removed)

Super visible, very temporary, hard to reach (replaced with a billboard)

Woodland creatures, Part 1 (severely deteriorated, and then removed)

The Zoop Gallery on 8th South (removed and/or deteriorated, replaced)

The ruins of 21st and Linden (lost to construction)

Oz Arts Inside/Out, Part 2 (removed)

On imagined seas (painted over, replaced with new mural)

Big Blue (painted over, replaced with new sign)

Frutas! (partially painted over, replaced with new mural)

Wanda (painted over, replaced with new mural)

One mural down, one mural up

ZidekMural

Some time ago, many months ago, I remember driving down 12th Avenue past Whiskey Kitchen and catching out of the corner of my eye a large mural of a human figure. I thought, “Need to come back and photograph that.” I was slow about it, and when I finally went back I was quite surprised when instead of a human figure, I saw this geometric mural instead. Had I imagined the other mural? Had I misremembered its location? No, just testimony to the ephemeral nature of outdoor art. The piece above is by Chris Zidek, who signs his work Zidekahedron. He’s been featured here before, in such pieces as the octopus in Uncovered! And he has other new work which I’ll be posting about soon. This particular piece was sponsored by the local office of Google Fiber, which as I have mentioned before has been busy sponsoring outdoor art. The human figure was a piece by Brian Wooden, he of the headless well-dressed men. The picture below is a February 2017 Google street view image. You can also see it on Wooden’s Instagram page. Art comes, art goes.

Located at 118 12th Avenue South. The mural actually faces the 1100 block of McGavock Street, downhill from 12th. Most of the parking in the immediate area belongs to local businesses, though there is free one-hour parking a few blocks south in the Gulch proper, as well as paid lots. Make it part of your visit to one of the bars and restaurants within view of the mural!

WoodenMural

The pig abides

MuddyRootsPig

For some time now, the Live True Vintage building on Gallatin has advertised Muddy Roots Records and its festivals. (The link in the picture is dead.) Furthermore, there was some interesting graffiti art on the wall facing Elvira and the back of the building.  But Live True decamped to Old Hickory early last year, and the new occupants have finally gotten around to repainting the building. All the art is gone, except for our banjo playing pig and the sign right above. And he’s now against a black background, a photo I’ll have to add later, as there’s been a truck in front of it recently. The purpose of this blog is not just to celebrate and inform, but also to archive, as outdoor art is particularly ephemeral. I’m not sure about the artists. The tags and hashtags don’t lead anyplace useful. If the new occupants add new art, I’ll be sure to blog about it. UPDATE: I have been contacted by Jason Galaz and Milton Chavez, who tell me they painted the pig.

UPDATE: All but the pig has been painted over except for the pig.

MuddyRootsNorthLocated at 3121 Gallatin Pike, at the corner with Elvira Avenue. The surviving musical pig is on the south side of the building, easily visible from Gallatin. At present, it is possible to park in back, and in a pinch, you could park at Plasma Biological Services across the street.

Going, going gone

MainOuterWall

I had intended to post about the graffiti installations on the small building next to Plaza Art a few days ago. If I had, I would have posted about it while the art still existed. I drove by yesterday, and the building was in the process of being painted blue, with just a little of the graffiti art still visible. Some of this art was fairly old, old enough to have started peeling at least, though there is also a 2016 date on one piece. The tags KOG, 3XM and N86 were once visible here. KOG is a graffiti team out of Los Angeles and San Fransico, while the other tags are associated with Nashville artists. I’m not sure if the art on the fence wall is also being painted over, but I imagine it is. Archiving art before it disappears is part of the mission of this blog.

Located on the south side of Middleton Street, next to Plaza Art. The art is gone, but there is a major mural next door (at least for now) that I plan to post on soon, and Plaza Art has acquired a large mural of its own. Plenty of parking.

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Every canvas has an owner 


I take an ecumenical approach to public art, and definitely include graffiti. There are large, complex installations around town that were obviously commissioned or at least allowed by the building owner, because they were obviously not put up quickly in the middle of the night. But there’s plenty of freelance tagging and the like, and not every building owner welcomes such contributions.

I played with filters to make the painted over graffiti a little more visible. This is on Dickerson Pike at Douglas Avenue, on the south side of a padlocked building across from Hester Battery Services.

Nashville Public Art – A Blog

This is a blog meant to document public art in Nashville. By public, I basically mean “outside.” While I am interested in “official” public art, like “Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks,” otherwise known as “that weird red thing down by the river,” I’m more interested in the “unofficial” art – murals on the side of auto body shops, posters slapped on walls, huge graffiti displays, some commissioned, some not. I am by trade an historian, and here I want to play the part of archivist, keeping a record of what is often ephemeral, and by definition fragile.

I’m not much of an artist myself (and the art I make stays very much in my own house) nor do I have much connections to the art world in Nashville. But I am fascinated by what I see every day in this town, and there seems always to be more and more. If I post once a day, I’ll never get to all of it. I’ve been posting on Pinterest and Instagram as theroncorse, and some of those photos will appear here as well. I’m very interested to talk to the artists involved, and am always on the lookout for new items.

I suppose it appropriate to start with a piece of art that is now gone, the old “Welcome to Nashville” mural that once graced the side of the building that now houses Eastside Cycles. Its loss and replacement have been a little controversial, and even resulted in vandalism of the new mural, but that’s the thing. Public art is always changing, always in danger, and always a thing of discussion.

 

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