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nashville public art

Nashville murals, street art, graffiti, signs, sculptures and more

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Cock-a-doodle-do!

McDougals

What is with chicken wing places and big metal chickens? It definitely seems to be a thing. Indeed, the chicken above, found atop McDougal’s Chicken on White Bridge Road, looks remarkably like one of the two chickens found atop Smokin Thighs near the fairgrounds. They might both be products of A Rustic Garden, which will sell you chicken statues made from recycled metal from about $139 to nearly a thousand dollars. From the looks of it, if this is where they came from, both McDougal’s and Smokin went with less expensive models. Hey, let’s all get one!

Located at 316 White Bridge Road. Plenty of parking, though not so much at peak hours. Maybe McDougals’s will last longer than some of the other restaurants that have inhabited this spot!

Memorial Day

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As it is Memorial Day, it’s a good time to present art honoring the fallen. The United States Colored Troops Monument (2006) by Roy Butler sits on a low hill in the Nashville National Cemetary. The cemetery was founded in 1866 to bury Union dead, though it has long been open to veterans of all conflicts. Some two thousand African American troops from the Civil War era are included in the burials here. The idea to build the USCT monument in part came from two African American veterans and USCT reenactors, William Radcliffe and Norman Hill. Hill at the time was head of the Tennessee Historical Commission, which became one of the major donors to the project. Also involved were the United Association for Black Veterans and Creative Artists of Tennesee. Butler used Radcliffe as the model, wearing his reenactment gear. You can learn more and see a video about the statue here.  This monument is one of only sixteen in the country dedicated to the USCT and only one of two found in a national cemetery.

Located at 1420 Gallatin Road South. To find the statue, go under the railroad bridge in the middle of the cemetery and then look to the left. The statue is central to the southern part of this half of the cemetery. There are only a handful of proper parking spaces, but it is easy to park along the roads in the cemetery. Please be respectful.

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Smokin’!

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If you go to Smokin Thighs, I hope you like chicken. Like, really, really like chicken. There are some non-chicken sides, and I imagine most of the drinks don’t have chicken in them, but you never know. But it’s not the smoked chicken inside but the metal ones up top that gets Smokin Thighs on this blog. Two metal fowl and two winking waitresses adorn the restaurant (and if you find their food truck, the winking waitress is found on it, too).

Located at 611 Wedgewood Avenue, within sight of the west entrance to the fairgrounds. Plenty of parking. Grab some wings and enjoy the art!

 

Swoosh!

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While a lot of art one finds in the open has been done for love, it can certainly help to have patrons. Here, the developers of The Flats at Taylor Place, SWH Partners, decided to add some drama to their modern apartment complex in Germantown. For this, they turned to John Medwedeff, who produced “Confluence” (2014) for them. It certainly makes a statement. Check out Medwedeff’s page – you’ll see he has a certain style. He knows what he’s good at and sticks with it.

The address of the apartment complex is 1515 5th Avenue North. Not that you are likely to miss it, but the statue lies between The Flats and 5th and Taylor, across from where Van Buren Street dead ends into Fifth Ave. Many apartments and condos and restaurants in the area, but street parking is plausible. Get a reservation at 5th and Taylor, or maybe view your next apartment – and check out the art!

There be dragons among us

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All you have to do in Nashville to find public art is just drive around. To find something you haven’t seen before, just take a corner you haven’t taken before. There’s a good chance you’ll find something. I’ve done a lot of that the last few days and have a fair amount of new material. Now, Eli the Dragon here is not new. It’s been gracing the front of the Nashville Children’s Theater since 2007. It’s just new to me. I admit I have been remiss and not gone to any productions at the theater, and it was only a trip to the Metro offices at the Howard School behind the theater that alerted me to this piece. It’s by Zophia Ann Kneiss, and has won an award from no less than the American Galvanizers Association for excellence in hot-dip galvanizing! Bet not many of you can say you’ve won such an award. The theater uses a dragon as its mascot, so the statue makes lots of sense.

Located at 25 Middleton Street, right out in front of the theater as you can see from the picture. Plenty of parking as long as there’s not a show, or you can park round back at the Howard School, and some street parking is available. And hey, don’t be like me. Catch a show sometime!

Oh give me a home

Buffalo statues street art NashvilleDown at the very southern end of Dickerson, there is a herd of buffalo. Sure, they’re bronze, but still, we’ve got buffalo! Installed in 2009 as part of a joint Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency and Tennessee Department of Transportation funded revitalization project for Dickerson Pike, they harken back to the road’s origin as a trail used by buffalo to get to nearby salt licks. They are certainly an eye-catching addition to the neighborhood. The artist is apparently a person or company named  “Cembrock,” but I can find no more information on that.

Located on the traffic island just south of the intersection of Dickerson and Grace, where First Street and Dickerson merge. Access is tricky, as you have to cross Dickerson on foot to get to the island. The nearest parking is at the Nia House Montessori school, but when school’s in session you’ll need to park at the convenience store at the intersection with Grace.

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Let me show the way 

Citizen statues public art NashvilleUsually, I would use photos taken in the light of day, but with Thomas Sayre’s “Citizen,” that would miss a lot of the charm, as they are lit up at night. This is “official” public art (it’s a Metro project), but not stuffy, for the statues are interactive, with giant cranks at their bases you can use to turn the statues around and point them where you please. Apparently, there were long lines back when they were installed in 2010, but they are more lonesome now, so go give them a spin!

Located in the unimaginatively named Public Square in front of City Hall at the corner of Third and Union, overlooking the river. This is downtown, so good luck with parking. Bring money! Make like a tourist and get a selfie with them as part of a Lower Broad crawl.

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