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

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We Are Nashville – Main Street

The best view of the We Are Nashville installation at 916 Main Street is where the Holleman Transmission building used to stand. It was taken down by bulldozers, in preparation for new development. But the photographic mural features the staff of the local fashion line Molly Green, whose Main Street branch once stood next door to Holleman, and which was almost completely destroyed by the March 3 tornado. We Are Nashville is an anonymous collaborative that for the last two years has been documenting who Nashville is today. They have begun to put up wheat-paste installations of the resulting photographs, with QR codes that lead to their website where you can learn the stories behind the images. The start of their campaign to present these photos and stories to the city coincided with the tornado and its aftermath, so it makes sense that some of the early installations are about the people and stories of the storm.

Three stories are part of this particular installation – the destruction of Molly Green, the damage to a historic home in Donelson and its surrounding neighborhood, and the aftermath of the storm in North Nashville and Germantown.

In the center and the far left, we see the people of Molly Green, standing in the ruins of their Main Street store.

We Are Nashville mural street art
From left, Brandon Hartwell, Proprietor; Kelsey Wells, Web and Social Director; Brittany Hartwell, Proprietor; Heather Johns, Visual Merchandising Director; Jessica Lanier, Store Manager; and Mary Lokey, Stylist.

If you were to stand where the photographer stood now, you would see the mural to your direct right, as the Molly Green building has been leveled.

The left side of the mural includes a closeup portrait of Molly Green staffer Heather Johns, but it’s mostly is a portrait of ten-year-old London outside her great-grandfather’s home, David Young Sr. Parts of the home date back to 1870, and if you click on the Donelson story above you’ll see it was more damaged than it appears in this photo.

WAN Molly Green Left

On the right side, we see an image from the immediate aftermath of the tornado in North Nashville. Here, parishioners of the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church on Monroe Street pray together after the storm, their badly damaged church in the background. (The We Are Nashville site does not identify the young man featured in the photo.) This same image is part of an installation at the largely destroyed Music City Cleaners building at Jefferson and 7th.

 We Are Nashville mural street art

A little ways away, about where I stood when I took the photo at the bottom of this post, there are three smaller portraits of Molly Green staffers. They are on the backside of Attaboy. The only deaths recorded in Davidson County from the March 3 storm were of two people who left Attaboy just as the tornado was approaching.

We Are Nashville mural street art
From left, Mary Lokey, Stylist; Heather Johns, Visual Merchandising Director; Jessica Lanier, Store Manager; and Brandon Hartwell, Proprietor.

These are obviously all temporary. Wheat-paste murals don’t tend to have a long shelf life. Like the recent also temporary installation at Jerry’s Artarama a few blocks away, they both memorialize the damage suffered from the storm as well as highlight the strength of Nashville as a community. There is something else about them that speaks to the temporary nature of all art. Just below the four portraits above stands the only remaining fragment of the largest work of art destroyed by the March 3 storm, the wrap-around mural by Eastside Murals that once covered all of Molly Green.

We Are Nashville mural street art

The photographs of the main mural also cover up an old graffiti mural by the UH Crew. You can see some of the process of the mural’s installation on We Are Nashville’s website.

Located at 916 Main Street. The mural faces east, away from downtown, towards McFerrin Avenue. There is street parking on McFerrin on both sides of Main Street.

Littlebranch

LittleBranchMain

For some time I have been thinking about blogging about the interesting stumps in the parking lot at 2nd and Lindsley. Is it art? Well, I never had to answer that question, because the folks at Littlebranch Farm added some murals and elaborate signs for a multi-media presentation, and yeah, it’s definitely art. The name sounds like some kind of urban garden or grocer, but in fact, Littlebranch is a high-end custom natural wood furniture manufacturing shop. Founded by Kelly Maxwell in Hamilton, GA, the operation moved to Nashville in 2014. While I’d like to think that what seems to be a musical note at the bottom of the Bristle Cone Pine in the logo (seemingly based on the photo at the top of this page) is a nod to Nashville, perusing their Facebook page and blog shows that the logo predates the move north. The image above is right at the corner of 2nd and Lindsley. The logo shows up three other places on the building (as seen in the slideshow), including the Lindsley facing front, the far southeast corner near the interstate, and carved above the front door. Also notable on the east side facing 2nd Avenue is a large photo of Maxwell and two of his crew members seemingly printed on the wall (see below). The photo was done by Brandon Cawood, though I don’t know if he’s responsible for placing it on the wall. That’s Maxwell in the middle, with Tyler Allen Dean (large black beard) and Jeff, the most recent hire. And hey, this is one of the rare chances to use the multi-media category!

LittlebranchPhoto

Located at 901 2nd Avenue South, at the corner with Lindsey Avenue. There is limited parking at Littlebranch, though it’s well worth visiting their gallery, so make it a full experience!

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It’s all in the details

HarmonMiddle

Art always looks different seen from far away, nearby, or close up. But the three portraits adorning the walls of the Harmon Group take those distinctions to a higher level. All three portraits (see the others below) are done using a photo mosaic technique, by using thousands of smaller images to produce a larger coherent image, though one that tends to disappear the closer you get to the image. (See closeups below.) Harmon is a marketing and advertising firm, and I’ve been able to identify a least a couple of the smaller images as ones on their website gallery, while the others all seem to be in the style of one or another of the campaigns they feature on their website. It makes for attention-getting images, which no doubt was at least part of the intent. People stumbling at night out of 3rd and Lindsley might not fully appreciate them, but you can visit in the daylight to get the full effect. The murals themselves are mounted on thin boards and bolted to the wall.

HarmonMain

Located at 807 Third Avenue South, across from 3rd and Lindlsey, where 3rd is cut off by I-40 and Lafayette. There is parking at Harmon and nearby businesses, particularly right now as the office next door is empty. Get a professional consult on your marketing strategy and enjoy the art!

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