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nashville public art

No art left behind

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#statue

Going, going,….?

Gibson Guitar sign Nashville street art
Gibson Guitar is selling the building at 1117 Church St., so the fate of this giant guitar and the guitar mural on the other side (see below) is uncertain. I’m putting them both in the category “endangered art.” If you have any insights or inside information, please post in the comments.

The mural is on the west side of the building, best seen from Church St, though at present a construction fence complicates the view. Park below the bridge and take the stairs — they come out right in front of the building. The guitar, on the southeast corner, is a little harder. The land closest to it is inside a locked fence. If you can’t get in, the parking lot across from Chauhan Ale and Masala House on Grundy St is your best bet, where I took my photo.

Gibson sign mural street art Nashville

Run, run, run!

Wilma Rudolph statue Nashville TSU
How public is art on a campus slowly being encircled by fences and gates? Well, even if the TSU campus were locked up tight, this lady would be visible from the road. Built about six years ago, at 46 feet tall the Olympic Statue (sometimes called the Olympian Statue or the Olympic Torch Runner Statue) was created by TSU art professor Jane-Allen McKinney. It honors the long history of TSU Olympians, notably Wilma Rudolph, who won three gold medals for running events in 1960 and a bronze in 1956. The names of TSU Olympians are inscribed on the base.

Located on the TSU campus, off Dr. Walter S. Davis Blvd., near the Gentry Athletic Complex. Virtually impossible to miss.

Olympian statue Nashville TSU

A saint among us


Religion has, of course, always been a major force driving humans to create art, and the Catholic Church has long been one of the world’s great art patrons. St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and School is hardly the only church in Nashville that has invested in public art, just the first featured on this blog. There will be more!

Joseph, carrying his traditional carpenter’s tools, can be found at 1225 Gallitan Pike South, just north of the cemeteries that are themselves just north of Briley Parkway.

A Stalwart Nashville Citizen


When does a sign become public art? Obviously, that’s a judgment call, but by any yardstick the Ironworkers Local 492 sign has to count. I have often wondered just how many ironworkers there were around here. Turns out around 450 union members in middle Tennessee and south-central Kentucky, according to the 492’s website.

This statue is of course well known to anyone who drives down Dickerson Pike on a regular basis, signifying that you’ve almost made it downtown and Trinity Lane is right around the curve. He’s a little rusty after years in the weather and rain, but if anyone knows how to care for a metal statue, I’d guess the ironworkers would know how!

UPDATE: The statue has since gotten a fresh coat of paint. See A refurbished stalwart citizen.

At 2424 Dickerson Pike.

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