Search

nashville public art

No art left behind

Tag

#northnashville

An icon under the bridge, a revision

I have featured the wall under the Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Boulevard overpass on Herman Street twice before. Originally, it was when the first image on the wall appeared, a portrait of Jimi Hendrix that I featured in a very early post to this blog, An icon under the bridge. That piece was done by Dough Joe of Norf Studios. Later, Norf Studios added two more portraits of Nikki Giovanni and Miles Davis, which I featured in An icon under the bridge, revisited. Now a fourth portrait has appeared, of Tupac Shakur. This is not a Norf Studios piece, but one by JamersonSGC, who frequently signs his work “Low Key Art.” You can see all the portraits together below, and the tag “Mr. Woo,” which I’ve seen in a couple places not far from this wall. If there is any further activity on this wall, I will be sure to keep everyone posted.

Icons mural street art Nashville

Located below the Dr. D. B. Todd Jr. Boulevard overpass on Herman Street, between 18th and 19th Avenues. There is street parking on these streets. Your best bet is probably 18th. Just south of this bridge you’ll find a lot of mural and graffiti art.

Jefferson Street Gateway to Heritage

Like in so many other cities in the United States, when the interstates came to Nashville, the were driven straight through the heart of a vibrant and historic African American neighborhood, the Jefferson Street corridor. As part of The New York Times’s 1619 Project, Princeton historian Kevin M. Kruse spelled out the history of this terrible legacy, focusing on Atlanta but telling a story that applies just as well here. Stitching back together what was torn apart isn’t easy, but the Jefferson Street Gateway to Heritage is an attempt to move in that direction. Jefferson Street is chopped up by interstates twice, but the worst spot is where I-40 sails over almost two blocks, between 26th Avenue and where 24th should be. Perhaps appropriately, it is there where one finds the center of this ongoing Metro-backed beautification process that seeks also to address Jefferson Street’s history. One of the key figures in kick-starting this process was Dr. Learotha Williams, a history professor at Tennesse State University (and colleague of your intrepid blogger). In the first phase, finished in 2012, the design firm Edge led a community-driven process that led to a new plaza under the bridge, featuring columns with plaques honoring various figures from the neighborhood’s history, and a giant mural by James R. Threalkill and Michael McBride. The Jefferson Street this mural shows is geographically fluid (Meharry Medical College is shown next to TSU, not its actual neighbor Fisk University), but fully captures the dynamism of the neighborhood’s past and present. The focus is on Jefferson Street’s deep musical history, which is a recurring theme in other modern Jefferson Street murals, such as the ones featured in Guitar heroes and Back in the Day. The mural also features lost businesses, like the Ritz Theater, while linking to the present with a reference to J.U.M.P., the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership. The historic plaques on the columns (click to see some closeups – this story describes all the people featured) were done by FORMS+SURFACES and the landscape design was done by LOSE Design.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Jefferson History mural street art Nashville

Located on the north side of the 2400 and 2500 blocks of Jefferson Street. The mural is on the east side of the site. There are also more history-themed columns on nearby blocks of Jefferson. Street parking is available starting at about 2600 Jefferson St.

 

Bugs Bunny and Company

Along the same wall that once housed the mural featured in Hidden skyline, one can now find a set of elaborate graffiti tags, as well as Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, and of course a camel. Because camels. This art went in in early March, and may soon not be visible. One of those temporary electrical hookups you see at constructions sites has appeared in the yard in front of the mural. Even if the new building doesn’t complete;y hide it, the construction to come will certainly make it hard to take in the whole things. The only tag recognize belongs to Mobe Oner. On his Instagram page, he also credits The Rebel at Large, G. Lowks, bigskan2, and sticker_butthead (the last two are both private Instagram accounts). In any event, this is likely to be blocked from view soon, so check it out now!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Located at the corner of Herman Street and 19th Avenue North, on the east side. Street parking is available. There is a lot of art on this group of buildings.

Hidden skyline

Skyline mural Nashville street art

I had been aware of this mural for several months, as it’s on my route home for work. At first, I didn’t write about it because I thought it might be unfinished. But as a few months passed, I figured it must be done. Then the problem was taking a picture. The lot in front of it was overgrown, partially obscuring it. Then the lot was cleared, but a bulldozer and big pile of dirt blocked the view. Finally, the lot was cleared a week or so ago, and I got the photographs I needed. I planned to write about it soon. But just yesterday I saw an Instagram post from Mobe Oner showing that he and some fellow artists had painted a serious of graffiti-style murals over this one. You can see just a few bits of the old one sticking out. Otherwise, this skyline is probably visible only here, and perhaps on the phone of whoever made it. (It’s unsigned.) This blog is in part an archive. Several pieces I’ve written about no longer exist, and this is the third or fourth time I’ve written about art that was already gone. I’m glad I got these photos! The scene is a bit of a fantasy. The view would be from across the river near the Seigenthaler pedestrian bridge, and no such line of trees is there.

Skyline Detail

Located at the corner of Herman Street and 19th Avenue North, on the east side. Street parking is available. There is a lot of art on this group of buildings. The fate of the new murals, which I’ll blog about fairly soon, is uncertain, depending on the development future of this lot. They may get blocked from view.

UPDATE: Here’s the art that replaced this mural.

String theory

String mural street art Nashville

Though I have not quite finished documenting the murals associated with the Norf Wall Project, it’s worth noting that the collection of buildings whose walls host those murals have not been static canvases. New work has appeared over the last two years, some of which has already been painted over faster than I could document it. As well, at least one area of the original project has been replaced, which I will document later. This piece is fairly recent. It is unsigned, but the style looks very familiar, perhaps because this particular style of “string art” is sometimes found in the background of large graffiti installations. The three stars in the middle would seem to be a reference to the Tennessee state flag, though the rest of the design distinctly does not evoke the flag. I think it’s one of the more interesting examples of graffiti art in Nashville. How long it will last in this dynamic spot is anyone’s guess.

Located on the 800 block of 18th Avenue North, just south of Herman Street, underneath the Dr. DB Todd Jr. Boulevard bridge. The mural is on the west side of the road. Street parking is available.

Fading beauty

Beauty sign mural street art Nashville

Handpainted signs like this one are found all around Nashville. They are particularly a feature of North Nashville, in the area of the Jefferson St. and Buchanan St. corridors, long a predominantly African American neighborhood. Steady gentrification has begun to encroach on the area, and some of these signs have disappeared as a result. The stately red brick building at the corner of Monroe and 9th Avenue is a survivor, dating back at least to 1900. JC Beauty Collection has not been so resilient. The building seems to have been empty for several years. One would hope it will be renovated and repurposed. Perhaps the new tenants, should that come to pass, will preserve this old sign, as Lockeland Table did when it moved into the old Boutique Coiffures building. Interestingly, there is a JC Beauty Mart in Clarksville, so perhaps the business simply moved. In any event, this piece of the North Nashville fabric must be considered endangered art.

Located at 817 Monroe Avenue, at the corner with 9th Ave North. This is across from the Kroger on Rosa Parks Blvd. There is parking at the Kroger, and street parking on 9th.

Catered art

CarolyinMain2

Sadly, Carloyn’s Homestyle Kitchen has closed, at least as a restaurant. But as a catering service and a venue for art, it’s going strong. On the north side of the building, we see a scene from the inside (taken at a weird angle because of a fence), while on the back there are portraits, presumably of some of the staff at Carolyn’s. There is also on the south wall what appears to be a “lost” portrait, which I’ve included below. No apparent signatures, and the wear and tear suggests at least some of this has been here for a while. It does look similar to the art seen in Down at the corner and Northside Auto Clean Up, both of which are a few blocks away. The Buchanan Street area is undergoing rapid change, so the long-term fate of these paintings is unknown, but as part of neighborhood history, I hope they stick around.

Located at 1601 Ninth Avenue North, at the corner of Garfield Street. The main mural is on the north side of the building, visible from 9th, while the three ladies below are on the back, visible from Garfield. The lost portrait faces Garfield. Order up some good eats for your next party and enjoy the art!

Spirit is within (and spirits are in bottles)

Woke3

This is a story of two murals. The building housing Northwest Liquors and Zap Market, located at the corner of Buchanan and D.B. Todd, lies at a prominent spot in the Buchanan Street neighborhood, so it’s a good place for a mural or two. Facing Buchanan is this Norf Collective piece signed by Woke3 that is an obvious companion to the mural featured in And her hair was an unfolded flower, featuring a male subject here instead of the female one seen in the other mural. (The website listed on the mural is a dead link.) On the south side of the building is a very different mural signed “Tracy the Rose 2016.” I can’t find anyone using that handle, but the subject is one that is found on some liquor stores. While not as ubiquitous as the tires painted on tire stores, they are other examples in town.

TracyTheRose

Located at 1613 Buchanan Street. There is plenty of parking at the liquor store, though cars are often parked in front of the murals so it might be advisable to visit on a Sunday.

If you’re left alone

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.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑