Search

nashville public art

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

Tag

#music

Happy Notes

One of the more significant works of outdoor art in Nashville doesn’t get much attention. It’s seen by thousands of people every day (even in the pandemic) and yet hardly anyone talks about it. In part, that’s because its not easy to photograph, and it’s impossible to see the whole thing at once. That said, not many artists featured on this blog have their own Wikipedia page.

Happy Notes Mural Nashville street art

Along the west side of the tunnel that runs under Music City Center is a 165-foot mural-mosaic by Canadian artist Bob Zoell (who resides in Los Angeles). It was installed in 2013 and is called “Happy Notes,” and features many birds and musical notes.

“Besides flight, little birds are synonymous with songs and singing. How delightful it is that our everyday life is filled with the music and songs of these little creatures that project joy in their songs. For this reason I have chosen a theme of singing birds for the Music Center landscape mural. Little birds with their simple songs express the freedom in music that is so symbolic to Nashville history.” – Bob Zoell

Nashville Arts Magazine

The late-lamented Nashville Arts Magazine wrote about this mural in 2012, after Zoell got the commission. In their article, you can see Zoell holding up a version of the mural-mosaic, which gives you an idea what it might look like unobscured by the columns. The mosaic is a surreal journey between night, day and the passing of the seasons. Music City Center has a photo album of it being installed on their Facebook page.

I think it’s a bit of a shame that it’s not more prominently displayed, somewhere where people aren’t laser focused on getting from point A to point B. But it’s a lovely piece of whimsey, by a major artist, and it’s a delightful secret hidden in plain sight.

  • Happy Notes Mosaic Nashville street art
  • Happy Notes Mosaic Nashville street art
  • Happy Notes Mosaic Nashville street art
  • Happy Notes Mosaic Nashville street art
  • Happy Notes Mosaic Nashville street art
  • Happy Notes Mosaic Nashville street art

Located at 201 5th Avenue South. That’s the official address of Music City Center. The mural-mosaic is found on the 200 block of 6th Avenue South, which runs under MCC. Google Maps does not indicate this block of 6th Avenue exists, but it does! (It is visible on Street View in some very bad photos, but not on the regular map.) This is downtown, so lots of parking, almost none of it free. The tunnel is well lit, and there are crosswalks near each end.

Dolly by MuckRock

There’s been a spate of Dolly Parton murals lately. Sadly, the one by Bryan Deese was painted over right after I posted about it, but the one by Kim Radford still greets me whenever I drive down my street to get to downtown. And of course she’s on one of the fences by Scott Guion in Berry Hill. And now you can find her on Gallatin Road.

Jules Muck, who signs her work “MuckRock” is a New York artist who now lives and works in Venice, California. She has work all over the United States and around the world, and is currently touring the States leaving murals wherever she goes. She was here in mid-October to do the Dolly portrait, and is apparently travelling with a dog. (Scroll her Instagram page – the pup shows up in several places.)

Parton’s portrait is found on the south wall of Blue Door Framing, painted with poppies in her hair, as Parton is known to do. Parton’s hair spells out “Nashville’ and “MuckRock.” Muck also did some poppies on the front of the building.

(By the way, the funny crop on the lead photo is entirely a Facebook thing. They have really dumb cropping rules for shares.)

Dolly Parton Mural Nashville street art

Here you see them together.

Dolly Parton Mural Nashville street art

I imagine it’s only a matter of time before more Dolly murals appear in town. Wildflowers don’t care where they grow, after all.

Located at 2809 Gallatin Pike, at the corner with Burchwood Avenue. The main mural faces south towards downtown, while the flower faces Gallatin. Blue Door has limited parking, and it’s possible to park on the side of the building towards the back. There’s street parking a little ways down Burchwood.

Third and Lindsley Part 2 – Music Starts Here

There are three murals at Third and Lindsley, and all of them are by the artist who signs her work Blue Hayden Art. While one of them is a sign on a retaining wall, two of them are of what has become a common genre in Nashville, the mural explicitly designed to be the frame for a portrait, a mural that is only truly complete when someone stands in front of it to get their picture taken. I’ve taken the title of the post from a slogan written on the mural. While the one I previously wrote about is meant for multiple people, this one is more open to solo shots (though it can certainly accommodate more than one).

One notable distinction to this mural is that is not just a mural, it also sculptural elements. Right out in front of the outline that suggests either an upright bass or a really huge head of hair is a microphone implanted in the concrete. It’s pretty obvious what it’s for!

Music Microphone mural Nashville street art

Third and Lindsley re-opened on October 1, and are doing in-person shows. They even used this mural to help announce their re-opening on Twitter. Let’s hope it goes well for them. It’s hard to imagine Nashville without Third and Lindsley.

Part 1

Located at 818 3rd Avenue South, at the corner with, you guessed it, Lindsley Avenue. This mural faces Lindsley. There is very limited street parking, and a pay lot. During the day on weekends it’s easy to park at neighboring businesses.

House of Blues Fences of Fame, Part 4

Travelling clockwise around Columbine Park in Berry Hill, coming from Bransford Avenue, this is the fourth fence you come to (on the outer part of the loop). It’s also the first one that’s on what used to be House of Blues property. I say used to be, because when I started this series, I did not realize that the whole complex that had once been House of Blues was bought in January, 2019 by Universal Music Group. (That story has a picture of the artist who created these murals, Scott Guion, working on the first fence I featured in this series.) That of courses raises some concerns about the future of this art, but in the nearly two years they’ve owned the complex, UMG has taken no steps to remove any of it.

The artists featured on this fence are an eclectic group, as all of them are. Unlike the most recent fence in this series, some of these artists are still alive, namely Marty Stuart, Tanya Tucker, and the members of Outkast, André 3000 and Big Boi. The remainder are deceased and included Tom Petty, Fats Domino and Janis Joplin. As with the other fences, Guion is a little inconsistent about what age he shows these artists, even accounting for the ones who dies prematurely.

Faces mural fence Nashville street art
Marty Stuart, Tom Petty, Big Boi and André 3000 of Outkast

There’s a also a sign attached to this fence, with the slogan “I found my thrill in Berry Hill,” and obvious reference to Domino’s signature song, “Blueberry Hill.”

Berry Hill Sign Nashville street art
Berry Hill Sign Nashville street art

The art in the background is also by Guion. On the picture at the top of this post you can see a portrait of B.B. King on a wall which I’ll feature as a separate post later. Along the driveway that heads to the back of the building there are other murals, which I shot from the entrance to the driveway.

Presumably there’s more work in that parking lot, but you might want permission before going back there.

See Part 1 of this series for why I’m just now writing about these murals. Spoiler alert: You can finally park in Berry Hill.

Located at 518 East Iris Drive. The mural faces south towards the park. Parking is available around the park.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

House of Blues Fences of Fame, Part 3

Travelling clockwise around Columbine Park in Berry Hill, coming from Bransford Avenue, the third fence you come to is one of the youngest. I know from happenstance that the artist, Scott Guion, must have been working on it October, 2017, because I have a photo of from thent where the sign portion (see the photo at the bottom if the post) is white, the sign not yet painted. It’s one of several around the park sponsored by the Nashville branch of the House of Blues. The House of Blues calls them the “Wall of Fame,” but for obvious reasons, I went with “fences.”

BH Faces mural Nashville street art
Bob Marley, Minnie Pearl, Amy Winehouse

This fence is not as dense as the first two, featuring only six artists. It’s also a bit more consistent with ages, showing all of them in the middle/leat-middle stages of their careers, expect of course for Amy Winehouse, who of died young of alcohol positioning. All of them are icons of their genres. We see our first artist on the fences who is not primarily known for music, but rather comedy, Minnie Pearl. Bob Marley, James Brown, Prince, and Waylon Jennings round out an extraordinary list. One thing that is different about this fence from the fist two, it’s the first of the fences I’ve featured in which all of the artists are dead.

BH Faces mural Nashville street art
James Brown, Prince, Waylon Jennings

The blue house in the back was also decorated by Guion, as was the bit of fence in the back ground you can see in the picture at the bottom.

BH Faces Sign mural Nashville street art

See Part 1 of this series for why I’m just now writing about these murals. Spoiler alert: You can finally park in Berry Hill.

Located at 520 East Iris Drive. The mural faces south towards the park. Parking is available around the park.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 4

Dolly at The Five Spot

This mural of Dolly Parton by Kim Radford is only a little more than a month old, but’s already made quite a splash. Lots of people have posted it to social media, and the Tennessean did a story about it. The pandemic has probably stifled its reach a bit, but pandemics come and go, Dolly is forever.

The mural came about in part out of social media. Radford had a deal to do a similar mural for a downtown honky-tonk, but when that fell through, she turned to social media, and soon The Five Spot, an East Nashville music venue near Five Points, offered its wall. Like a lot of local music venues, The Five Spot remains closed. If you want to help them out, they have a GoFundMe account. As of publication, they are at $23,000 of a $75,000 goal.

Right when Radford was doing the mural, Billboard magazine published an interview with Parton in which she expressed support for Black Lives Matter.

“I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” she says. “And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”

Radford added part of the quote to the mural, starting with “of course,” and substituting Parton’s signature butterflies for the S’s in “ass.”

Kim Radford, by the way, only got really active doing outdoor murals in Nashville about a year ago or so. Since then, she’s become one of the more prolific of our local artists. In particular, she’s done a series of pieces for Grimey’s New and Pre-Loved Music I hope to feature soon.

This mural is on my street, and I might have put it up sooner, except that small parking lot in front of it is often full. You might have your best luck early in the morning.

Located at 1006 Forrest Avenue. The mural faces east, away from downtown and nearby Gallatin Road. There is street parking on the 1100 block of Forrest and other streets nearby.

Third and Lindsley Part 1 – Find Your Look

Just a few days ago, I featured a mural at the independent music venue The East Room. Today, it’s the turn of the venerable Third and Lindsley, which has been in operation for almost 30 years. The anniversary comes up in February, but in announcing their reopening for October 1, the management speculated about not holding the anniversary party until September, because they’ve been closed for six months. Let’s hope the re-opening works out for them. Any music venue shutting down would be a loss, but it’s hard to imagine Nashville without Third and Lindsley.

As any Nashville icon should, Third and Lindsley has art. In total, there are three outdoor murals, two relatively new ones by the artist who goes by Blue Hayden Art, and an older sign painted on a retaining wall. I say relatively – the two Blue Hayden pieces went in about a year ago. Both are part of a trend I’ve noted before, murals very specifically designed for people to stand in front of and get their picture taken. I’ve taken the title for my post from an Instagram post from the artist that shows people doing just that (swipe to the second picture).

This one is related to those paintings of groups of people with cutouts that you can stand behind and stick your face in. Here you stand in front, under one of the hats, grabbing one of the instruments. It’s really designed for a group to participate in, which make sense if you know how things work at Third and Lindsley. Crowds waiting to get into the venue line up in front of this wall, so for a show night, at least before social distancing, groups were already standing in front of this spot anyway!

I’ll feature the other two mural over the next couple of weeks or so. I once said I’d never do series posts again (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, etc.) but some projects really require it.

Part 2

Located at 818 3rd Avenue South, at the corner with, you guessed it, Lindsley Avenue. There is very limited street parking, and a pay lot. During the day on weekends it’s easy to park at neighboring businesses.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑