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Art among the ruins

When I wrote about the aftermath of the March 3rd tornadoes (What we lost in the stormStorm damage, Germantown and North Nashville) I said that artists would be an important part of the rebuilding of Nashville. Already that is clear – within days the Nashville Strong mural went up on the side of Boston Commons at Five Points on a wall exposed by the destruction of the storm. Another victim of the storm was Jerry’s Artarama on Main. The store’s front end was torn apart by the tornado that barreled down Main Street, devastating a mural that spread across the storefront, which had been done by Hannah Holgate and Marshall Hall.

The smashed wall was boarded up, with only scraps of the original mural surviving. Recently, two local artists, Herb Williams and Andee Rudloff, have turned some of that drab plywood into colorful art. Williams did the stylized Tennesee flag, with birds and butterflies circling the stars in the middle, while Rudloff did the colorful array of Picasso-style faces. Look close and you can see three remnants of the original mural in surviving brick columns. The two bordering the flag are a little hard to see as they fit in with the color scheme of the new murals, but the blue and white strip at the far right, which is all that’s left of an image of paint tubes, is more easily discerned. Piled in front of the flag is much of the rest of the remnants of the old mural. Below, you can see how the new ones fit in with the whole facade, and you can see more clearly the extent of the destruction and what’s left of the previous mural. Obviously, this is temporary, but then, isn’t all art, ultimately? When the building is restored and new art goes up, you’ll find it here.

Jerry's Artarama Murals Nashville street art

Located at 713 Main Street. For now, the parking lot is open. That may change when reconstruction starts, but there is parking at nearby businesses.

Butcher & Bee

Butcher&Bee mural Nashville street art sign

This may not seem like another tornado-related blog post, but it is. For one, Butcher & Bee, while not particularly damaged, was one of the Main Street businesses shut down by the storm. They did, however, reopen yesterday, with a limited evening menu. No word when they’ll be back to full-time business, but every opening, every repaired roof, is a giant leap forward. But the picture itself was made possible by the storm. I’d wanted to feature the Butcher & Bee sign, made by I Saw the Sign, for some time. But there were often cars parked in front of it, and more importantly, to get the best picture, you kind of need to stand in the middle of Main Street. Well, last week, you could do that! So here it is in all its glory. Look close, and you can see Butcher&Bee’s logo, a bee with two butcher knives.

The reality is, Main Street, and the rest of the places damaged by the storm, have a long road ahead. Greko Greek Street Food opened as well, but other damaged businesses on Main won’t be open for months – if ever. Something else will take their place, but the fabric of Main will always be changed.

Located at 902 Main Street. Parking is tough here in the best of times, and there isn’t much nearby street parking, so you may need to walk a few blocks.

A return to the alley

Almost a year ago (I took these pictures last March) a set of UH crew tags replaced the UH crew tags that once been on the backside of Main Street Liquors and Main Street Market, and which I featured in Back in the alley. The style of these new tags is distinct from the earlier ones, but UH is a versatile crew. This alley and nearby spaces feature several examples of their work. Sadly, one of their best, a trippy mural which I featured in Panda sky, which was on the back of what used to be Make Nashville and is just steps from the tags above, has recently been largely destroyed in a renovation project to its building, 947 Woodland. Change is a constant, and that’s certainly true for outdoor art in Nashville. One change – the building these tags are on used to also include a repair shop called Transmission Exchange. Now it’s been replaced with Crazy Gnome Brewery. The Five Points area used to be the place in Nashville you got your car repaired. That legacy is almost gone.

UPDATE: This mural was damaged by the March 3, 2020 tornado. Its fate is uncertain. See What we lost in the storm.

Main Street Tags graffiti street art Nashville

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Located at 944 Main Street. The installation is in fact in the alley, which can be accessed from 10th Street or McFerrin Avenue. There is some parking in this alley if you are just visiting.

 

A colorful HOME

This is a story of a missing mural. I am certain that next to the front door of HOME there was once a small mural that contained music motifs, including a saxophone, that I both photographed and posted about. I can find no evidence of either. That’s how much art is out there – even stuff I drive by every day I can lose track of. This mural, found on the east side of Center 615,  is relatively new – it went in a few months ago – and is by Atlanta artist Kevin Bongang. He’s done at least three other pieces in Nashville in this same colorful style, including one of the Off the Wall murals on Charlotte. As for the host of this mural, HOME stands for “Helping Our Music Evolve,” and it’s a music industry incubator, where music professionals can connect, collaborate, and get access to production facilities, office and rehearsal space. Now if that ain’t modern Nashville, nothing is.

HOME mural street art NashvilleHOME Main Mural street art Nashville

Located at 615 Main Sreet. The mural is on the lower floor on the east side of the building, facing North Seventh Street. Street parking is available on 7th. The mural does face a small parking lot, and there are often cars in front of. Maybe try very early in the morning.

Seen today, hidden tomorrow

Unknown artistr mural street art Nashville

When the building at 912 Main street was torn down (a building I talked about in A few words and then who knows), this part of the east wall of 914 was exposed. It’s the same wall that contains the mural featured in  Or you could just watch the video, which is on the long-exposed south part of that wall. It’s a Jack Coyle piece, and I decided to go ahead and put it on the blog because I imagine this space will soon be a construction site. Note also that the clearance of the site at 916 (formerly Holleman Transmission) makes the mural in A few words and then who knows much more visible (I put new photos up), but all the murals here might be threatened, either with destruction or simply being hidden by whatever comes next. For that matter, it 914 is ever town down, the mural featured The cats are loose would be lost, as it’s on the backside. So check all of them out soon, as you may not be able to for long. Call them all endangered art.

Located at 914 Main Street. The mural is on the west side of the building, facing downtown. There are a few spaces in front of 914, though your best bet is probably parking across Main on McFerrin, and there’s a light to help you cross.

Molly Green

This building at the corner of Main Street and McFerrin has undergone a lot of changes in recent years. It’s been a couple of failed clubs and a boutique clothing store. It’s been completely white and completely black – at which time it served as a canvas for one of Emily Miller’s wheatpaste creations. For the last couple of years, it’s been home to a branch of Molly Green, a local fashion line. And perhaps befitting the lively styles that Molly Green sells (and no, that’s not actually the name of a person associated with the fashion line), the building now sports a very colorful mural from Eastside Murals. As I mentioned in my post about their mural for Bearded Iris Brewing, it has a passing resemblance to that mural, with the many dots and the snaking lines. But here those dots and lines are found on a tie-dye canvas, as opposed to the crisp black one at Bearded Iris. The mural actually wraps around the building, so there’s much more than seen in the featured photo (see slide show below). If you look close on the right, you can see a piece of the graffiti art mural featured in A few words and then who knows.

UPDATE: This building was destroyed by the March 3, 2020 tornado.

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Located at 918 Main Street, at the corner with McFerrin Avenue. There is street parking on McFerrin, more of it on the north side of Main. When Molly Green is open, the west-facing side and the back end of the east side the building often have cars parked in front of them.

We Are Seeds

The giant mural that appeared this fall on the back of Center 615  began as an idea to bring together the many non-profit groups in Nashville. Southern Women for Civil Rights planted the seed, as it were, for what became the We Are Seeds Community Mural + Block Party, resulting in the mural above. Center 615 offered its back wall, which is separated by an alley and a fence from the Parkway Terrace Homes, an MDHA affordable housing complex. For the SWCR and the artists who became involved, it was important to engage that community and not simply present them with a fait-accompli. So the artists, including Catlin Mello, Omari Booker, Elisheba Israel Mrozik and Woke3 (Here’s a photo set of them as they got started planning), began by engaging the Parkway Terrace community. Some of them worked with children from Parkway Terrace in portrait-drawing classes. As the mural began to grow, with the theme “They tried to bury us but we are seeds,” many of the kids from the community got directly involved, helping to paint and signing their names. The lower reaches of the mural are covered with names and even a few handprints. Some of them needed a little help. A few of the kids are even featured in the mural (see below). Adults and children from communities and non-profits from around the city also got involved. Painting the mural took about a month When the time for the block party rolled around (September 22, 2018), 500 to 600 people representing communities and non-profits from around Davidson county participated in games, put the finishing touches on the mural and shared free food and drink (provided in part by Center 615) – and maybe also bought some lemonade to support the Malala Fund. The mural itself demonstrates the diverse styles of the main artists. Woke3 did the waves, flowers, and tree on the far left of the mural, Mello did the lettering (with an assist by Troy Duff), the women in the center were done by Mrozik, and the children and flowers on the right were done by Omari Booker. All I can say is wow, and I’m sorry I missed the party.

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Located at 615 Main Street. The mural lies on the north side of the building (the opposite side from Main) along an alley that runs between North 7th and North 6th Streets. During the workweek, there are often cars parked in front of the mural, so it is probably best to visit on the weekend. Street parking is available on both Sixth and Seventh.

Jerry’s Artarama

Of course an art supply store has a mural. This is particularly true if that art supply store is in Nashville. When the Nashville branch of Jerry’s Aratama moved from Antioch to East Nashville two years ago, it acquired a mural even before it opened. The mural appropriately features many of the colors you might want to create art from, pouring out of tubes of the primary colors, red, blue and…wait, yellow? Ok, not actually the primary colors. But you can get green from blue and yellow, so close enough. The main mural is a joint work by Hannah Holgate, who has been on this blog before, and Marshall Hall, who is making his debut here. Both Holgate and Hall work in the frame shop at this store. I live in this neighborhood, and pass this mural every day, so why has it taken two years to put this very obvious mural on the blog? I got pictures of it a long time ago, but after that, the artists added their signatures, so I needed new ones. And the combination of an empty parking lot and good light eluded me for months. But it is just as well, as I can add the tubes of paint Hall recently put in every parking space (minus the handicapped spaces). There are eighteen in all, and all a little different. This is a very art dense spot, and as a result, this may be the most image dense article on this blog! It’s worth noting that Jerry’s Artarama is a national chain, breaking the rule that national chains don’t so local outdoor art. But of course, this is an art supply chain, and that rule is beginning to break in Nashville anyway. The slideshows below are 1) closeups of the mural and 2) four sets of the paint tubes, running east to west. There are also some signs in the parking lot, painted on artist’s palettes. You might notice some pallets (not the artist kind but the moving stuff kind) in a couple photos – those seem to be a permanent feature of the site.

UPDATE: The main mural on the wall, including the corrugated metal door, was severely damaged in the March 3, 2020 tornado. Most of it was lost, and what’s left of it will probably have to be replaced. One of the signs was damaged, but the parking lot is fine. See What we lost in the storm.

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Located at 713 Main Street. Obviously, there is parking, though you will inevitably park on top of some art. A good strategy is to get there before they are open (10:00 am every day except Sunday when they open at noon) and park next door.

Never quiet your roar

MK Fitness mural street art Nashville

A few months ago a small mural appeared on Main Street next to the entrance door to MK Fitness, run by personal trainer Mike Krajewski. It’s by Rachel Deeb, a photographer, artist and graphic designer who has appeared on this blog once before, in the post Put up your dukes!. That too is a mural linked to a physical training place, though in that case for Title Boxing Club. While that mural was very clearly about boxing, this one is more abstract. If you scroll down to “Prints” on this page from Deeb’s site, you’ll see a very similar print to this design. The tag, which I’m using for the title of this article, seems to indeed be the title of the work, as that’s the only thing it’s associated with on Instagram. Included in those links is a video showing Deeb creating the mural.

Located at 715 Main Street. The mural is on the front of the building at the east end, and it faces west, towards downtown. If no parking is available in front, there are for now two closed shops next door (to the east) you can park at.

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