Sitting hidden behind some trees near the Rosa Parks Kroger is this Thaxton Waters piece, titled “Seeing Inside.” It is dated, but I’m not sure when it went in, as the date is given as a drawing of a cockroach and of a rabbit. I’ve tried to find a calendar that uses both of those symbols to no avail, but Google Street View shows it being there as early as February 2017. Three named panels are separated by blocks of mandala-like patterns. “Connect” shows a young boy waving from his bicycle, “Grow” shows two hands tending a small freshly-sprouted plant, and “Unite” shows a person running behind a small dog. I’m a bit surprised this mural hasn’t gotten more attention, but it is somewhat obscured by trees and, and you’re unlikely to see it unless you park on the back lot of the nearby Kroger.
Located at 1401 Ninth Avenue North. There is some street parking on Ninth, or you can park in the lot of the Kroger at 800 Monroe Street.
At the time of this posting, Galaxy Club on Murfreesboro gives every impression of being closed, with part of its parking lot torn up and the sign out front taken down and lying against the building. But a recent Instagram post suggests that it’s still a going concern, just beset with construction issues at the moment. So what I thought would be a post about the likely imminent destruction of this piece once a developer grabbed the property is nothing of the kind. The sign/mural is signed “Nacho,” which is not a signature I’ve seen on a mural decorating a Latino business before. Certainly, it’s one of the only space-themed outdoor murals in town. The only other one I can think of is Galactic Gardens, which features mostly flowers but does have space imagery as well.
Located at 1204 Murfreesboro Road, just a little north of Briley Parkway. During the day when the club is closed, there is lots of available parking.
I continue to believe that one of the more underappreciated art forms in Nashville is the mural scene that plays out on the walls of many Latino businesses. This one, located on what Google thinks is Linbar Fruit Market but whose sign says Linbar Super Mercado, is a José F. Vargas work. Vargas is one of the more prolific artists in this scene, and while he doesn’t seem to have a web presence, he always includes his phone number in his signature in case you want to hire him. The flags that rise above the fruit and various drinks are, in order, the flags of Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Estados Unidos, Columbia, and Cuba. I left the door and the yellow poles in the photo because I think the whole combination is a collective work of art. They go together. (By the way, in Spanish, “supermercado” is one word. But some Latino grocery stores in Nashville break up the word. Not sure why.)
Located at 238 Largo Drive, at the corner with Harding Place. This is just a couple blocks east of I-24. Linbar Super Mercado has parking. The mural is on the south side of the building. If you drive a block or so down Largo, you’ll find some more murals by the same artist.
It’s not often I post about a brand new mural, but this one was finished within the last few days. I know it was largely complete last weekend, lacking mainly the barn sign and the billboard. So one of the dry days last week, the last touches must have gone up. It’s an Eastside Murals project, who’ve taken to signing their work “Out East Boys.” The Mountian Dew theme explains the “It’ll tickle your innards” on the billboard, as that comes from a 1960s Mountain Dew ad campaign. While internet research shows that there are other Mountain Dew muralsoutthere, it doesn’t seem to be a major campaign. “Born in Tennessee” is right, as Mountain Dew was invented in the 1940s by Tennesseans Barney and Ally Hartman as a mixer for whiskey. As this lies on the side of a shuttered Family Dollar store, it’s anybody’s guess how long it will last, depending on the owners’ plans for development. Get your selfie now. I should note when I went to photograph this, I had to wait my turn, as a father-daughter pair were doing their own impromptu shoot.
Located at 1000 Woodland Street. The mural lies on the east side of the building, facing 10th Street South. The old Family Dollar parking lot is now a paid lot, but if you are willing to walk a block or two, you can usually find free street parking nearby.
When Metro decided it was time to renovate both the West Park Pumping Station and West Park itself, plans called not only for new facilities for the dilapidated park but, oh yeah, also a 210-million gallon overflow tank to deal with major storms. That is, a 37 foot high, 260-foot diameter tank, plunked right on park grounds. That’s not exactly something you can hide. So to soften the blow a bit, the city hired Eric Henn to brighten up an otherwise drab concrete monstrosity. (See the second slide show below for what its unpainted older twin off park grounds looks like.) I think I can say this is the largest mural by far in Nashville. Plug the numbers into the formula for the area of the side of a cylinder, 2πrh, and the mural, which goes all the way around the tank, comes out to about 30,222 square feet. (“r” would be 130 feet, half the diameter, and “h” is the hight, 37 feet. The roof, by the way, which Henn and his team also painted, adds about 53000 square feet.) The silo painting of the older man and two kids is about 200 feet tall, but even with a base of 30 feet or so on each side, that only gets you to about 6000 sq ft for the man about a third of that for the kids, so 9000 or so. The Nations Wall that is only a few blocks from West Park, and which I have not blogged about yet (you can see a few pictures here) is probably less than 9000 sq ft all together, and the Off the Wall project in its entirety is in a similar range. The big murals downtown also top out at 10,000 sq ft or less. So yeah, this one is big, and you have to a bit of hiking to see all of it – 816 ft plus a little more, since you can’t hug right on the wall. Henn has an album on his Facebook page detailing the production of this mural, as well as a video of one of his colleagues struggling to stay out of the mud. His web page in incomplete, but it does suggest water tanks are something of a specialty. You can read here about all the improvements to the park, and here is an infographic about what the tank and the pumping station do. The first slideshow is a walk around the tank going clockwise from the featured picture above. The second shows some more distant views, the unadorned twin, and a closeup.
Located at 6105 Morrow Road. There is plenty of parking at the park. If the spots next to the community center are full, there is another lot past the water tank.
Many people have seen the hemp mural by Mobe Oner (No of course it’s not marijuana! Why would you think that?) on Gallatin on the north side of the CBD oil dispensary LabCanna. Less visible is the much larger mural on the backside of the building, done around the same time. This mural has many artists, including Mobe Oner but also Chris “Zidekahedron” Zidek and Folek, and apparently others. There are some signature tags on the west side (see detail below). The bespectacled man with the two laser-eyed kittens on his shoulder is Bubbles, part of the cast of the Trailer Park Boys, something of a multi-media comedy crew. I’m calling this hidden art just because you’re unlikely to see it if you don’t drive down the alley behind LabCanna. There’s a lot of art in town found in less visible places.
Located at 1006 Gallatin Ave. There is parking in front and behind, as well as on side streets.
Sometimes art can be near a very busy spot and still be a little hidden. This piece by @maczorgan apparently went up in August 2017 and lies on a very busy stretch of Charlotte I drive down a lot. But, it faces away from Charlotte. Had I not had to take a detour, I would not have seen it. I thought about titling this post based on some riff about lipstick on a pig, but I couldn’t figure how to get the catfish in. So I went with The Ridge’s slogan instead. The Ridge is a primarily a pork barbeque and fried catfish place, but they have other stuff as well, like fish tacos. I can personally vouch for their Mexican street style corn.
Located on 333 54th Avenue North, just south of Charlotte Avenue. Technically, the mural is on the property of the Citgo next door, which is on the corner of 54th and Charlotte. There is street parking on 54th and parking at The Ridge, so grab some grub and enjoy the art!
Sometimes, art sneaks up on you. I’ve driven by this wall of giant ticket stubs at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium/Musician’s Hall of Fame and Museum many times and it took a while for it to register as art. If you peruse the many, many articles out there about the “20 Murals You Must See In Nashville!” you’ll be hard pressed to find it. Yet given all the concertgoers who pass by it, it has definitelybeeninalotofInstagramshots. Indeed, it seems a little unnatural to post a daytime photo of it because nighttime is when people usually saddle up next to it for a photo, though Nashville Ballet was there in the daylight a couple years ago for some publicityshots. The mural seems to have gone up probably in 2016 and certainly wasn’t there in 2013. The oldest ticket shown is from an April 4, 1965 Peter Paul & Mary show, while the newest is a Lady Antebellum ticket for a February 22, 2012 show. Both are found in the collum next to the doors, near the top. The mural is printed, not painted. There are individual giant stubs inside.
Located at 417 4th Avenue North. The mural actually faces James Roberston Parkway, on the auditorium’s east side. This is downtown, so parking is nearby, none of it free.
Ordinarily, I try to put the full art experience in the header photo and put the details in photos down below. But the art on El Metate Authentic Mexican Restaurant is placed in a way that makes that impractical. Here, artist José F. Vargas gives us a romanticized scene of Old Mexico. Just below, on the windows, are images of actual metates, the traditional curved stones used in Mexico and Central America to grind corn and seeds. On another window, there’s a simple cactus, and around the corner, you’ll find a beach scene. Vargas’s signature is hard to see, but it’s in the lower right, just behind the woman in the mural. And includes his phone number!
Located at 1805 Dickerson Pike. There’s plenty of parking, so fill up on tacos and enjoy the art!