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Dutch Maid

DutchMaidWest

Large, three-dimensional signs like this one used to be common in America, but they’ve been out of style for decades. There are persistent survivors in Nashville, like the Weiss Liquor sign featured in A true Nashville survivor or the Ernest Tubb sign and others on Lower Broad. There are even some new ones on Broadway, given its place in local tourism. Other survivors are scattered around town, mostly on the Pikes. This one is located in the rapidly gentrifying The Nations neighborhood, and its fate is uncertain. The laundromat it advertises has long since closed its doors, and the windows are boarded up. It’s hard to imagine any developer tearing this wonderful icon down, but in go-go Nashville, it’s always a possibility. Call it endangered art.

DutchMaidEast

Located at 6227 Roberston Avenue, near the corner with Croley Drive. Plenty of parking on site.

Colorful Community

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Sometimes you think the research will be easy, and it isn’t. This prominent piece on the corner of Rosa Parks and Taylor is signed in more than one place “Numberwalls.com Murals by Mike + Jenny.” Unfortunately, that website doesn’t exist anymore. But with some internet sleuthing and some help from the Wayback Machine, I was able to identify the artists as Mike Luckett and Jenny Luckett. (Jenny is now doing jewelry, but I am not sure what Mike does now.) A Wayback Machine snapshot of the Numberwalls.com site from November 2009 invites readers to view their “Colorful Community” mural which had been commisioned by Village Real Estate and was completed with the help of over one hundred volunteers from the neighborhood. It includes such icons as the State Capitol Building, the elevator towers of Public Square, and the Monroe Street United Methodist Church. The wall itself hides a parking/storage area that belongs to the Metro Development and Housing Agency.

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Located on the 1400 block of Rosa Parks Boulevard and the 800 block of Taylor Street. The best bet for parking is the Kroger across Taylor Street. There is some street parking on the 700 block of Taylor.

La Cocina Dominicana

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There’s been a bit of a theme of lost art recently on this blog, and here is another example, but with a twist. The vibrant piece above is alive and well and advertising Dominican food on Nolensville Road. But what is now La Cocina Dominicana used to be Carribean Express, with a mural I featured in I’m just here for the food. That mural also featured the out of kilter parking sign, but Grenadian symbolism has now been replaced with Dominican imagery. Sadly, I never went to Carribean Express. I don’t intend to make that mistake again. The mural here is the work of Jose F. Vargas, who has worked on other Latino businesses and who I’ve featured before in posts like Gotta get that bling!.

Located at 4407 Nolensville Pike. There is parking in the back. If you are new to Dominican food, try the mofongo. Chow down and enjoy the art!

If you’re left alone

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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.

Athens of the South

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Last summer this mural went up on a new restaurant that wasn’t even open at the time. Usually, you get the business first and the art later, but art seems to be a key element of Greko Greek Street Food, as the interior walls are heavily decorated as well. It makes some sense that Mobe Oner (nome de paintbrush Eric Bass) of would feature Athens as part of a mural for a Greek restaurant, but “Athens of the South” is a nickname for Nashville that rests on the presence of Vanderbilt and later many other universities. (Your intrepid blogger, as both a Vandy and a UGA grad, is torn about this, as there is another southern university town actually named “Athens.”) This is one of the reasons that Nashville sports a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in the original Athens. The Nashville Parthenon is seen in the “H,” while “A” recognizes the Predators and the Titans, “T” the restaurant itself, “E” The Stage on Broadway, and “N” the Nashville skyline. “S” contains one of the best known though not best-loved pieces of outdoor art in Nashville, the Musica statue. I have yet to blog about it. Someday.

Athens

Located at 704 Main Street. The mural is on the east side of the building, facing the parking lot of the Mapco Mart next door. Greko has parking, and there is some free parking on 7th street. Grab you some skewered grilled meat and enjoy the art!

That boat has sailed

PropShop

I was going to post this a few days ago, but I thought I would visit Prop Shop Sales and Services and see if anyone inside knew who had painted this piece. Sure, it’s not the most beautiful piece of outdoor art in Nashville, but it has some goofy charm, and it’s been a landmark on Main for many years. Well, it’s gone, and so is Prop Shop. I was never quite sure why a boat shop was on Main Street, as we are not exactly on the water. But for many years, Main Street and Five Points were where you came to get your car fixed in Nashville, and Prop Shop apparently did mostly rotor repairs, and so at one time, it fit the neighborhood just fine. Now, most of the auto repair shops have left, many of their buildings now housing restaurants and bars. The Prop Shop building has been gussied up and put up for sale, the goofy boat mural replaced with a business-friendly shade of green. Whether it becomes the nest trendy bar remains to be seen. Prop Shop doesn’t seem to have much of an internet presence, which is just as well given that, like the mural, it is no more.

Located (formerly) at 719 Main Street. Plenty of parking, if you’d like to get your portrait done in front of a green wall of a shade one might find in an office-sharing place.

Building who’s Nashville?

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Ordinarily, I like to keep people out of the pictures I use on this blog. But for this particular mural, done by Michael Cooper of Murals and Moore, that’s not easy. Church Street Park, known also as Library Park, has become a gathering ground for homeless Nashvillians. Some of this is because it lies across from the downtown Main Library, which has made efforts to reach out to the homeless. Not surprisingly, the presence of homeless people in such a prominent spot has raised controversy. That controversy is probably behind the willingness of Mayor David Briley to back a controversial proposal to allow developer Tony Giarratana to build a commercial high rise tower on the property in exchange for also building an apartment complex for the homeless on James Robertson Parkway. Ten years ago, the city bulldozed and rebuilt the park to rid the park of pesky starlings. Now they might just demolish it so they can rid it of the homeless. Whether the deal with Giarratana goes through remains to be seen. If it does, Cooper’s mural suggesting an unfinished but growing Nashville will almost certainly disappear. Call it endangered art.

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Located at 600 Church Street, across from the downtown library. This is downtown, so plenty of parking, almost none of it free. The library parking garage has reasonable rates, including ninety free minutes with validation. Peruse the stacks and enjoy the art!

Carter Vintage Guitars (Part 2)

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On the south side of Carter Vintage Guitars is a mural of a giant guitar (see Part 1, below), while on the north side we find this quiet tribute to Maybelle Carter. It’s a Vermillion Murals production (professional home of Jenna Boyko Colt and Brian Law) like the mural on the south side of the building. The image of Maybelle is taken from a well-known photo of her with A.P. and Sara Carter. While the south side features a full Gibson guitar, here we see just the head. Walter Carter, who along with his wife Christie Carter founded Carter Vintage, has in fact written a book about Gibson guitars. (No apparent relation between them and the Carter Family.)

Part 1

Located at 625 8th Avenue South. Most of the parking lot you see here is a paid lot, unless you are a customer of Carter Vintage or Arnold’s Country Kitchen. There is a small amount of free street parking on 9th Ave and the street between Carter Vintage and Jackalope Brewery that seems to also be called Division Street (unlike the Division Street one block farther south), and there are other paid lots in the area. Grab some grub, browse the vintage guitars, and enjoy the art!

Porcine Angels

HogHeaven

Get the white sauce. White sauce barbeque you ask? Trust me on this. Get the white sauce. I first started going to Hog Heaven in my graduate years at Vanderbilt, just a few years after it opened, and I remain a fan. The sign/mural is signed “Atrau Palin 2010.” That name leads to a MySpace page that doesn’t seem to have any art on it. There is also a page entitled “Art by Atrau Palin” that also has no art on it. But this sign at least is fun, and perhaps someday Palin will come out of the woodwork to do more work in the future.

Get the white sauce.

Located at 115 27th Avenue South. The mural is on the south side of the building. Hog Heaven is right off of the 2700 block of West End behind the McDonalds and next to the world famous (well, it ought to be) dive bar Springwater. Hog Heaven faces Centennial Park. There is some street parking nearby and some in the park, so get you a BBQ picnic and enjoy the art!

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