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Keep a breast

Skye Mural street art Nashville

Some weeks ago, two giant murals by California artist Skye Walker appeared on Gallatin Road. There’s also a face by the same artist in an alley off the 200 block of 3rd Ave North that went in at the same time. This particular piece was done in collaboration with Keep A Breast, a non-profit that promotes breast cancer awareness and testing through art and through an app. The main figure in the piece is shown doing a stylized breast self-examination. Encouraging women to do monthly self-exams, and in particular young women, is a major focus of Keep A Breast’s work. Appropriately, it is found on the north wall of the Hair World Beauty Supply at 2503 Gallatin, given that it’s a business whose clientele is mostly women. The branch at 500 has the other new Skye Walker mural, which I will blog about later.

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Located at 2503 Gallatin Avenue. In the day, it’s possible to park behind The Cobra next door if you don’t want to obscure the mural.

 

Bubbles

Bubbles Mural street art Nashville

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.

Bubbles mural graffiti street art NashvilleBubbles mural graffiti street art NashvilleBubbles mural graffiti street art Nashville

Located at 1006 Gallatin Ave. There is parking in front and behind, as well as on side streets.

Sing, sing, sing

R&B portraits mural street art Nashville

These Thaxton Waters portraits on the boarded-up building on Jefferson across from Knock-Out Wings have been there for a while. I remember posting to them to Facebook well before I started this blog two and a half years ago. However, for the longest time, there has been a “No Parking” sign plastered across Ray Charles’s face, which is finally gone. Alongside him are James Brown, Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin. I think Franklin was still alive when these portraits went up, but now the mural serves as a memorial for all of them. They are very much in the style of other portrait murals Waters has done, such as those featured in Heroes (Norf Wall gallery, part 11) and A Soul Break. I’ve included the whole building in this photograph because I think the artistic experience requires it. Hanging in a gallery, these would still be great portraits, but the experience would be quite different.

Located at what is probably 1307 Jefferson Street, though there is no number. Street parking is available across the street. And you can always enjoy the art after grabbing some grub at Knock-Out Wings!

Off the Wall (Part 10) – Jessi Zazu

JessiZazu

One of the last murals to be finished in the Off the Wall project on Charlotte Avenue is this portrait of Jessi Zazu. Zazu was best known as the frontwoman of Those Darlins. It was her death due to cancer in 2017 that led to this mural. Zazu fought a very public battle against her illness. That and her broader legacy as an artist, activist, and a supporter of other artists led friends and family to found Jessi Zazu, Inc. to advance that legacy and the causes important to Zazu. The design of the portrait is by Billy Lilly and features prominently on Jessi Zazu Inc.’s website. They also sell it on a t-shirt. (I have one!) The design was turned into this mural by Emmett Wariner (Zazu’s brother) and Duncan Shea, a member of Music Band who also toured with Those Darlings. The #aintafraid tag references a song of that name that Zazu wrote long before her illness, the title of which became her mantra during her fight against cancer. The mural was sponsored by Novatech.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13

Located at 3020 Charlotte Avenue. Your best bet for parking is perhaps across the street at Cross Fit Nashville or street parking on 31st Avenue north of Charlotte.

Time passes

Meeksmain

The story of the mural on what is now the Fond Object building is complicated, as it is not one mural, but at least four. Back in 2012, a community produced mural led by Savannah McNeill of Hey Wanderer went up. There’s a nice time-lapse video of its production on YouTube. Look for the “two hands” picture below (I think I got that image from Google street view, but I’m not sure). But that was only the beginning. A Tim Kerr portrait of experimental producer Joe Meek went up in time to get the “best mural” award in the Nashville Scene’s Best of 2014 edition. See the picture below with Meek but not Tom Petty. Then, in the aftermath of the death of Tom Petty, a Jules Muck portrait honouring him went up this year. And more recently, a tribute by Jason Galaz and Maria “Poni” Silver to the co-owner of Fond Object, Joe Pettit, was added to the corner. There was never any whitewash. Pieces of the original mural are still visible. And yet this rapidly transforming mural may meet its ultimate transformation soon, as the building itself is under threat, as the owner is seeking to replace the building with a major development. Whether this multi-layered, multi-artist mural can survive very much remains to be seen.

MeeksOriginal

MeeksMiddleAge

Located at 1313 McGavock Pike. The mural faces Riverside Drive. Your best bet for parking is probably the gas station across the street.

Vinyl Bunker

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This blog is devoted to outdoor art, and the mural above mostly qualifies, as it is just inside the 5th Avenue entrance to the L&C Parking Garage and if the wind blows from any westerly or northern direction, the rain would definitely hit it. And why does a portrait of Pat Reedy grace a parking garage wall? Because in the basement of the same garage is The Vinyl Bunker, a record store owned by Jason Galaz (the artist who made the mural) and is also headquarters for Muddy Roots, the music festival and record label. And no surprise, Reedy records for that label. So, synergy?

Located at 144 5th Avenue North. The entrance to the garage opens on to the alley behind Downtown Presbyterian Church. Look for the giant mural of words (which I have not yet featured on the blog) – this mural is just below that one.

 

Lockeland Boutique

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The small brick building at the corner of Woodland and 16th Street has a long history. Starting out as an H.G. Hills in the 1930s, it became the beauty shop and salon Boutique Coiffures sometime around 1970. That’s what it was when I moved to the Lockeland Springs neighborhood about fifteen years ago. Of course today the building houses one of the best restaurants in Nashville, Lockeland Table, which opened in 2012. Thankfully, the owners of Lockeland Table kept the wonderful mural of the previous tenants, no doubt confusing the occasional tourist. It is also a reminder of just how much this neighborhood has changed, not just once, but many times. It is reminiscent of some of the older murals found in the Buchanan Street neighborhood. You can read a little more about the building in Lockeland Table’s press kit.

Located at 1520 Woodland Street. The mural is on the east side of the building, facing 16th Street. Street parking is available, particularly on 16th Street. Get you some grub and enjoy the art!

Stay independent

JohnPrine

Back in June of this year, I was contacted by Eileen Tilson, Director of Marketing and Promotions at Oh Boy Records, who was looking for help finding muralists. It seemed that John Prine wanted to do a mural as part of the promotion for his latest album, The Tree of Forgiveness. In particular, she was looking for something that would emphasize Prine’s independence. So I sent her a list of many of the professional muralists I knew. The last I heard about it, Tilson was planning on contacting Bryan Deese. A seemingly completely different story was  Grimey’s New and Preloved Music announced move to Trinity Lane from their Eighth Avenue South location. A few days ago I was driving down Trinity and I saw this new Bryan Deese mural on the side of what used to be the home of Point of Mercy Church. I realized it had to be the result of those June e-mails. It was an article in this week’s Scene that tipped me off that the building, still under renovation when I saw it, was to be the new home for Grimey’s. An appropriate image for an appropriate home. Glad I can say I had a tiny part in making it happen.

Located at 1060 East Trinity Lane. There is plenty of parking. Once Grimey’s is open, you can get some music with your art!

These are not the tags you’re looking for

PennigtonBendStormTroopers (2)

Big murals are going in down in the Gulch and on Charlotte, while new murals have appeared recently on Gallatin and elsewhere. The Dragon of Dragon Park continues its restoration. Metro Arts is about to unveil its civil rights installation next to City Hall (Friday, APril 21, 2:00 p.m.). But sometimes on NPArt, we go small. Particularly when art is likely to be short-lived. The Pennington Bend/River Trace neighborhood is a somewhat upscale rural community north of Opry Mills. The Briley Parkway bridge that crosses the river at the northwest corner of the bend has clearly gotten its share of graffiti tags, that have all been quickly painted over, from the looks of it. So our three Stormtroopers here probably won’t last too long, But then they are Stormtroopers – they are used to a quick demise.

Located on Pennigton Bridge Road, as it goes under Briley Parkway, near the intersection with Music Valley Drive. The Stormtroopers are on a wall on the east of the road, the side opposite of the river. There is a small area across the street in front of a gate you can park.

PennigtonStormTroopersFull

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