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Turnip Truck (Charlotte Ave) Fairtrade Mural

Back in January, a big new mural appeared on The Turnip Truck’s big new store on Charlotte Avenue, courtesy of Tarabella Aversa. It’s actually part of a series of three murals around the country sponsored by Fairtrade America. Fairtrade works to support farmers and agricultural workers in developing countries, by supporting better prices for their goods, worker’s rights, combatting discrimination and child labor, and promoting environmental standards.

Turnip Truck Mural Nashville street art

This mural features Rosine Bekoin, owner of a small cocoa farm in Côte d’Ivoire. Aversa’s mural has her surrounded by cocoa beans. With the support of Fairtrade, she’s been able to get better prices for her cocoa, supplying such firms as The Hershey Company for use in their Kit Kat brand. She credits this help with getting her through a period of low cocoa prices and for being able to save to build herself a house.

Bekoin Portrait Nashville street art

Bekoin is unusual in Côte d’Ivoire for being a woman owner of a cocoa farm, as most are owned by men. The mural, besides promoting fair trade practices, is also emblazoned with the slogan “Support Gender Equality,” another priority of Fairtrade. One of the other murals in the series also features a woman and the gender equality slogan. In Denver, Giovannie “Just” Dixon created a mural featuring Natividad Vallejos, a coffee grower from Peru. The third mural is by Levi Ponce. It’s in Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard and features Segundo Alejandro Guerrero Mondragón, who is also a coffee farmer from Peru.

Fairtrade Mural Nashville street art

Prior to this mural, there was another mural on this wall. Back when this building housed Nashville Cash and Carry, a restaurant supply store, Murals and More, the commercial home of Michael Cooper, did a mural spelling out “Nashville” with letters made up of food and restaurant items.

Here’s the QR code found on the mural. It leads to a page describing the mural series on Fairtrade’s website.

QR Code Nashville street art

Loctaed at 5001 Charlotte Avenue. The mural is on the east side (opposite the entrance) of the building and faces 50th Avenue North, and overlooks Richland Park. Parking is avaliable around Turnip Truck and across the street at the park

Chadwick Boseman (1976-2020)

Boseman Mural Nashville street art

I could probably fill this blog for a few weeks getting caught up on all the murals done by Charles Key (who signs his work JamersonSGC and “Low Key Art”). He created this mural memorializing Chadwick Boseman in early September 2020, just a few days after Boseman’s death.

Boseman of course was best known for his role as T’Challa/Black Panther in the Marvel Universe movies. The Black Panther movie of 2018 has been one of the most popular of all the Marvel movies and is the ninth-highest grossing film in history. Black Panther was also the first major blockbuster with a predominantly Black cast and is the highest-grossing film with a Black director. Before Black Panther, Boseman had a varied career for someone who died relatively young. He had the range to star both as Thurgood Marshall and James Brown in biofilms, and his breakout role was as Jackie Robinson in “42.” Boseman was also an active philanthropist, including donating $4.2 million worth of PPE gear to hospitals serving Black communities just months before he died.

In an interview with News Channel 5, Key explained the importance of the image he had chosen, which comes from a promotional poster for the Black Panther movie.

Charles admits he didn’t watch the movies like his kids, but there was something about the grace and dignity Boseman brought to the role that he couldn’t ignore.

He finally landed on an image that seemed to capture that. With his head bowed and his hands to his face, something about this picture of Boseman tells others there’s more to the man than you know.

“In the movie, this is the king. So we never know what people are going through when they have to make decisions,” Key Jr. said.

The long-term fate of this mural is suddenly uncertain, and not just because Key is in the habit of editing and reworking his murals. The building it sits on, which houses Ideal Liquor Store and David’s Discount Tobacco and Beer, sold a few weeks ago for $1.57 million. It was bought by the Tennesee Justice Center, a non-profit that works with needy families. As of this writing, they have not announced plans for the building.

Located at 155 Lafayette Street, at the corner with Fairfield Avenue. The mural is on the southern end of the building and faces Lafayette. There is plenty of parking available.

Diana Ross, Arcade Alley

Almost every new business in Nashville needs a mural it seems, particularly if they cater to tourists. That’s double so if you’re hidden in an alley and need to grab people’s attention any way you can. Sometimes the mural appears well before the business even opens. As far as I know, The WayBack PartyBar isn’t even open as of this writing, and it certainly wasn’t open in late March when the new mural was put in by Stephen Sloan, a Nashville artist who signs his work Never Xtinct

Diana Ross mural Nashville street art

It is of course a glorious image of Diana Ross. The mural is based on an iconic photograph of Ross that was shot as part of a portrait session in 1975 by Harry Langdon Jr. (And yes, for those of you with long memories, he is the son of comedian and early Hollywood star Harry Langdon Sr.) The original photo was shot in black and white, so the limited palette of Sloan’s portrait is true to the photograph it’s based on. The angular ribbon of differing shades of orange could be right out of a 1975 stylebook, the sort of graphic that might be part of the opening montage of a ’70s cop show. There’s a brief video of Sloan working on the mural on WayBack’s Instagram page.

Ross Portrait mural Nashville street art

Sloan has done other work around Nashville, including a mural in 12 South promoting the Nashville Zoo. He also recently contributed to a mural honoring Loretta Lynn at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Humphries County. This is by the way not the only Diana Ross mural in town. There’s another by JamersonSGC (aka Charles Key) on Jefferson Street.

Ross Mural Nashville street art

Located at 217 Arcade Alley, about halfway between Church Street and The Arcade. This is downtown – lots of parking, almost none of it free.

Quanie Cash – Build Up Our Community

It’s not often I post about brand new art, but this eye-catching mural that went up a couple of weeks ago is right in my neighborhood and hard to miss, being in a prominent spot on Main Street. It’s by Kwazar Martin, an Indianapolis artist who’s only been producing murals for two or three years but has already been featured in national media. This mural marks his first work in Nashville.

The subject is Quanie Cash, a Nashville actor, director and musician who is also the founder of The Build Up Foundation, a non-profit that works with at-risk kids. Cash is not only from Nashville, but he also grew up in the Main Street neighborhood. In a post on his Instagram page about the mural, Cash noted:

I never thought growing up that a Mural of me would be on the Neighborhood Store Building my grandma sent me to everyday. 

Today, there is no longer a neighborhood store in the low-slung cinderblock building on Main. The only business remaining in that building is Tammy’s Beauty Salon. The old neighborhood store has been replaced by a Mapco next door. Perhaps because it’s a small building in something of a low spot, it was not damaged by the March 3, 2020 tornado, despite being right in the storm’s path.

The image of Cash in the mural would appear to be based on the profile shot from his Twitter account (that is, the profile shot he was using in May, 2021). On Cash’s Instagram, you can see a brief clip of him working on the mural.

Located at 718 Main Street. The mural faces west, in the direction of downtown. There is parking at 718 and at the Mapco.

Berry Hill Fences of Fame, Part 10

I’m finishing this series with the smallest of the fences around Columbine Park in Berry Hill that are adorned with portraits of iconic musicians. It so happens that in going clockwise around the park, this is where I landed. Like all the others, it was done by Scott Guion, and all were sponsored by the Nashville branch of the House of Blues, which has since been sold to the Universal Music Group. (That story has a picture of Guion working on the first fence I featured in this series.)  

It has on it three artists who have something of an unusual connection. John Fogerty of course gained fame with Creedence Clearwater Revival, but he fell out with them so strongly that he wouldn’t even play CCR material for decades, given the legal battles that ensued from that fallout. Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs first gained fame collaborating as Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys. After years as a defining act in bluegrass, they parted ways over the future of their music. Scruggs was open to experimentation, while Flatt valued a traditionalist approach.

Fun fact: CCR holds an unusual record on the Billboard charts. They have the largest number of number 2 hits without ever reaching number 1 – five. (I highly recommend the podcast that link is from, Hit Parade by Chris Molanphy. Lots of great, nerdy fun about the music charts.)

This particular fence is also part of the reason it took me so long to write about this series. When I first shot these murals in 2017, there was no parking around Columbine Park or anywhere nearby. On a Sunday afternoon, I briefly parked in the empty parking lot of the business where the mural is found to grab this shot. A passerby in an enormous truck proceeded to berate me for being disrespectful to that business and just being a bad person in general. I didn’t really feel comfortable recommending people go see the murals and be subjected to the same thing, or be forced to walk from a long way away. Berry Hill also doesn’t have sidewalks. But there is in fact now parking all around the park and its has become a more welcoming environment.

Located at 2801 Columbine Place at the corner of Columbine Place (west) and East Iris Drive. The mural faces the park. It is set back a ways from the road, so it might be best to admire it from a distance. Parking is available around the park.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9

Dolly at TailGate Brewery

One trend in Nashville outdoor art I can definitely support is the spread of portraits honoring Dolly Parton, like Kim Radford’s and the one by MuckRock. Now, both of those are on walls, and may be a little more permanent than this one. That said dumpsters are heavy, so this one will probably stick around a while. (By the way, I grew up calling them “dempsty dumpsters,” a corruption of the brand name of the original line of dumpsters, “Dempster Dumpsters.”)

Now, technically, I should have saved either Radford’s or MuckRock’s for today, as they are both women artists and today is International Women’s Day (and my father’s birthday!), but honoring Dolly is certainly in the spirit of the day, as she has long been a supporter of women’s rights and is something of a feminist icon, even though she’s careful about using the term “feminist.”

Dolly Parton Mural Nashville street art

This piece appears to be signed “ALORD 20,” which confused me for a bit until I remembered that Drew Lord is the art director of Tailgate Brewery and responsible for all their art. The dumpster, you see, is located in the parking lot of their Demonbreun Street location (right across the street from the (in)famous Musica statue). The mural includes some outlines of the pickup truck that serves as one of Tailgate’s logos (look under the name “Dolly”). That this work was done by Tailgate suggests it has some staying power, certainly as long as Tailgate Brewery remains in that location.

Dolly Parton Mural Nashville street art

The mural is based on a widely distributed photo that is probably from a 1970s promotion shoot. I have not been able to find who the photographer is, but Parton herself tweeted a copy of it on August 8, 2018, which apparently was International Cat Day. Her caption? (Or is that “cat-tion”?) “Just kittin’ around!” But of course.

Located at 1538 Demonbreun Street. The dumpster with the mural is in a small parking lot next to the traffic circle where the Musica statue is, and sits at the exit from the parking lot onto 16th Avenue South. There is parking in this area, but most of it is either pay lots or belongs to nearby businesses. Grab a brew and enjoy the art!

House of Blues Fences of Fame, Part 7

Of the many fences surrounding Columbine Park in Berry Hill with murals that depict famous musicians, only one is not immediately visible from the street, as it is in the parking lot of what used to be the main House of Blues building. (The whole complex of House of Blues properties in Berry Hill was bought in January, 2019 by Universal Music Group.) The mural can be seen from East Iris Drive, but a water tower partially obscures the view. Like the whole set, this fence was created by Scott Guion for the now closed Nashville branch of the House of Blues.

Faces Mural Nashville Street art
T Bone Burnett

This particular fence is just as eclectic as the others, with a range of artists representing everything from classic country to modern hip-hop. Like the other fences, the people depicted are shown at a range of ages, and this is also one of the only fences where the majority of people shown are alive. Prominently displayed with a halo of rays that make his image look almost three-dimensional is T Bone Burnett, a guitarist and song-writer best known for his work as an influential and prolific producer.

Faces mural Nashville street art
Patsy Cline and Stevie Ray Vaughan

In the middle are two stars who perished young in aviation accidents, the legendary Patsy Cline and the wildly talented guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. They were only 30 and 35, respectively, when they died.

Faces Mural Nashville Street art
Joe Walsh and Snoop Dogg

Next to Vaughn is a portrait of another guitarist, Joe Walsh, who fist gained fame with the James Gang and then became a superstar with the Eagles. And at the far left is Snoop Dogg, aka Snoop Lion, aka Snoop Doggy Dogg, aka Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. He’s labeled here as Snoop Lion, a name he used for a time in 2013 in promotion of reggae record, and is depicted engaging in one of his favorite activities.

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 517 East Iris Drive. The mural faces north across the parking lot towards West Iris. The parking lot is most likely to be empty on Sunday. Parking is available around the park.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

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