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nashville public art

No art left behind

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We build Nashville

HartetRussell

This blog is not the only database of outdoor art in Nashville. Metro Arts Commision has both an actual dataset and the Explore Nashville Art website. They seem like they might have more listings than I do, but it’s had to tell. (Ok, I’m biased, but they don’t seem very user-friendly.) I’m pretty sure though that they don’t have this because this isn’t what they do. This blog (nashvillepublicart.com) is not just a blog about pretty pictures – though don’t get me wrong, I think there is both a beautiful symmetry and a wonderful simplicity to the sign/mural above. It isn’t though what most people think of first when they think “art.” However, this blog is strongly ecumenical about that word, and the slogan around here is “No Art Left Behind.” The work here is signed with a Facebook symbol and “Artist Contact Mural Ruben Torres.” That doesn’t lead anywhere but I’m pretty sure this is the Ruben Torres of Frutas! and And another market. Torres is one of the artists who decorates Latino markets and other businesses. His website, Facebook page, and Instagram only advertise some of his work. He updated the murals featured in Frutas! dramatically a few months ago to include a map of The Nations. Maybe someday when what is obviously some employee’s car isn’t parked in front of it I’ll update the post. As for how Torres’s work wound up on the front of Hartert-Russell, HR is a building firm, so I’d hazard a guess that the connection was made through some of the many Latino construction workers in town.

Located at 2221 Bransford Avenue. There’s no street parking, but there is some parking in back and at Santa’s Pub next door, which has much more exuberant murals.

A noble brew

NoblesMain

It wasn’t that long ago when Hunter’s Custom Automotive used to be on the bend in the road where Main Street becomes Gallatin Pike (they moved to Trinity Lane). And for years they owned a small concrete building they used for storage that lay across the street. And until just before they moved, there was no light. So you would see Hunter’s guys racing across a busy four-lane road with whatever they needed for the current job. Well, a light went in and Hunter’s decamped, and the little concrete block building was transformed into something much larger – Noble’s Kitchen and Beer Hall. Back in January, Noble’s acquired this Eric Bass mural (who signs his work “Mobe Oner”). Bass/Oner has done a number of murals, including one just down the street I haven’t featured yet at Greko Greek Street Food. (And more art inside.) I asked at Noble’s and no one knew who the gentleman in the mural is – he may just be from Bass’s imagination. I like the clever use of the fire hydrant in the mural – see below.

Located at 974 Main Street. The mural is on the east side of the building, facing 10th Street. There is a fair amount of parking at Noble’s. Unfortunately, a lot of it is right in front of the mural, so if you want to get a clear view of it, go early in the morning before Noble’s opens.

Attaboy

Attaboy

For many years, when I talked about food in Nashville, I would say, “we’re ten years behind Atlanta.” But then the “It City” phenomenon took hold, gentrification went wild, and chefs from around the country began to establish themselves in Nashville. The bar scene quickly followed, including the decision of the muchballyhooed New York City bar Attaboy to establish a branch in Nashville. Attaboy is different from most bars. They don’t take your drink order. Instead, they ask you what you like, and the bartender creates a concoction for you. The hard to miss sign is a product of Philadelphia artist Eric Kenney, who also goes by Heavy Slime. Kenney mostly does posters and t-shirts and does his own screen printing. Looking through his work, the Attaboy sign is sunnier than a lot of it. As for the chicken on the bike, while Kenney’s work features DeathAngry Snoopy, and a crazed Mickey Mouse, this is the only chicken I can find. I imagine it’s a nod to East Nashville’s most famous culinary export. And how does a Philly artist wind up doing a sign in Nashville? Because one the partners, Brandon Bramhall, is Kenney’s cousin (and a former bartender at the New York Attaboy).

Located at 8 McFerrin Avenue. The mural faces south, across from the alley that is halfway between Woodland and Main. There is limited street parking, and Attaboy has just a few spaces, so maybe you should just take a late night rideshare to get some cocktails and enjoy the art!

Hair loss

HairLoss

At some point in time, there was a barber shop/hair salon at the corner of 12th Avenue and Clay Street in North Nashville. The store is long closed, but some internet sleuthing suggests it was called Final Finish Salon. Whatever the name was, it has since been erased, but whoever did that took the trouble to preserve the rest of the mural. The mural is signed $quirt and dated 2003. There’s a bit of damage, possibly from bricking up a window. There’s also a bit of trompe l’oeil, a little three-dimensional effect, perhaps suggesting flipping the pages of a style magazine. The fate of this mural is uncertain, given the loss of the business it once represented. Call it endangered art.

Located at 1233 Clay Street. The mural faces 12th Avenue, where there is substantial free parking. Sadly, you can not get your hair done while you enjoy the art.

300

img_4520-2

This is post number 300. For this post, I’m updating on the art I know is now gone. The photo above is an Emily Miller piece once found at the corner of Main and McFerrin. Much of Miller’s work is deliberately temporary, drawn on paper and glued to outdoor walls. Her pieces are more durable than you might think, however, and in fact, this one was deliberately removed when the building was repainted. That’s the fate of most of the works listed here – they have been painted over. Others are gone because the building they stood on is gone.

The blog itself is getting a little better all the time. Statistics wise, since I started it in July 2016, 5450 people have visited the blog for a total of 11,006 page views. Modest, but it has been growing. From a couple hundred views a month when I got started, 800 and 900 has become common, it looks like the blog is about to close in on the second month in a row and third overall for more than 1000 views. The empire grows slowly.

All art is temporary, outdoor art in particular. A list, probably incomplete, of art I have chronicled that is gone or substantially erased. (I will be updating these posts in the coming weeks):

Ask not who the wrecking ball calls for (one building destroyed, another painted over)

The Vape USA Gallery (painted over)

The doomed graffiti wars of Madison Mills (painted over)

Unsafe at any speed (painted over)

Ch-ch-ch-changes! (removed – the Miller piece above)

The Carquest Gallery, Part 1The Carquest Gallery, Part 2 (partially painted over)

Where you at?! (painted over)

Color me gone – soon (building destroyed)

The ghost of craft beers past (painted over)

A flower grows in East Nashville (painted over; replaced with new mural)

Going, going gone (painted over)

Sorry you missed the show (painted over)

Children’s Art on Jefferson Street (removed)

Super visible, very temporary, hard to reach (replaced with a billboard)

Woodland creatures, Part 1 (severely deteriorated, and then removed)

The Zoop Gallery on 8th South (removed and/or deteriorated, replaced)

The ruins of 21st and Linden (lost to construction)

Oz Arts Inside/Out, Part 2 (removed)

On imagined seas (painted over, replaced with new mural)

Big Blue (painted over, replaced with new sign)

Frutas! (partially painted over, replaced with new mural)

Wanda (painted over, replaced with new mural)

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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Bootstrap

Bootstrap

There is so much art going up all the time, that sometimes stuff I recorded long ago falls through the cracks. Such as with Nathan Brown’s “Bootstrap.” Brown has been featured on this blog before for his rainbow prism work down on Nolensville Rd., a style he’s repeated in the Gulch and in East Nashville in works I’ll be posting about later. This work is in what he calls his “word collage” style. The name comes from Bootstrap Architecture + Construction (who’s building it is found on) who sponsored the mural along with the Chamber of Commerce East Nashville. According to Brown, “The idea was to create a word collage that embodied Bootstrap’s ethos, lifestyle, the neighborhood, East Nashville and positivity in general.” I love it when artists actually provide insight into their work, Makes this blog a lot easier to do! I also applaud Bootstrap as another company that understands the importance of outdoor art both in promoting their business and building the social fabric and identity of a neighborhood. Besides his website linked at the top, you can also follow Brown on Instagram. This mural calls out for selfies. Get your crew down there and get a portrait!

Located 4010 Gallatin Road. If you are coming from the south, the mural is impossible to miss. (Really, I should have blogged about it months ago.) Bootstrap as very limited parking – two spaces. You can probably get away with parking for a short while behind the motel next door or the market two doors south.

Jump in, the water’s fine!

ArtsCompanyLoadingDoor

I’ve been meaning to blog about this one for a long time, but the identity of the gentleman in this Michael Cooper (Murals & More) piece stymied me. The identity of the woman was easy to figure out. That’s Anne Brown, owner of The Arts Company, a gallery on Fifth Avenue. I should have known who the gentleman was. He is, after all, “The man behind the Sounds new ballpark.” That’s Ronald Gobbell, architect and president emeritus of Gobbell Hays Partners, an architectural firm that owns the building.

Located at 215 5th Avenue North. The mural actually faces St. Cloud Alley, on the back (west) side of the building. St. Cloud intersects with the 500 block of Church Street. This is downtown, so lots of parking, none of it free. There is a paid lot right in front of the mural. On the other side of the lot is Forget the past and a couple other murals I haven’t blogged about yet. Make it all part of your downtown art crawl, held each first Saturday of the month.

An update and a goodbye

HopStopMissed

I’ve been meaning to update Have a beer! A really big beer! for some time, as a new mural was added (above) facing the original, and either I missed the one on the back wall the first time, or it got added later. In any event, the one above is quite appropriate, because unless you get there before close on Wednesday (November 15, 2017), you will have, in fact, missed The Hop Stop, which is set to close for good that night. The new proprietors plan a craft brewery designed to cater to Hop Stop customers. Perhaps then they will only make changes to the name in the three murals, but that remains to be seen. While not signed, these two are presumably the work of Anthony Billups, who did the one featured in “Have a beer!” See the pin for that post on the map.

HopStopBack

Located at 2909B and 2913 Gallatin Pike. The mural above is on the south wall of 2913, home of East Tattoo Collective. The one below is on the back, western side of 2909B where The Hop Stop will be located for one more day. Plenty of parking – and some good food and some good beer if you’re really quick!

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