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The Fountain of Juice

Juice mural street art Nashville

On rapidly developing 51st Ave North in the heart of The Nations, you have to work to stand out. The Fountain of Juice is hard to miss with this mural by North Carolina artist Alyson Record. The Fountain of Juice makes and sells, guess what, juices, and uses raw fruits and vegetables grown organically from local sources. The mural thus is a representation of the raw materials Fountain of Juice uses to make its products. It’s reminiscent of a similar mural that’s just a few blocks away on the side of Miel. It too features the locally grown produce used in their menu and features mushrooms and flowers as well. It is somewhat blocked in this picture, but the mural is signed @ajoy.art, which leads to Record’s Instagram page, where you can find a story showing the process of producing the mural.

Located at 901 51st Avenue North. There is some parking in the back of the building, and street parking on Michigan and Illinois Avenues, north and south of the building. The mural is on the north side of the building. Get you some health juice and enjoy the art!

Marathon Gas Mural

Marathon Gas mural street art Nashville

The new mural by Michael Cooper of Murals and More is an interesting addition to Nashville’s outdoor art scene. Unlike most outdoor art murals in town, tourists won’t be getting their portraits taken in front of it, pretending perhaps to be run over by the large truck in the center.  The Marathon Gas terminal on 51st is decidedly industrial and off-limits to outsiders. That fence is as close as you’ll get without an invitation. But the Marathon terminal is also in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, on the north end of The Nations. Just down the street are places like Nicky’s Coal Fired Pizza, an outpost of Frothy Monkey, and a Frutta Bowls. Fancy apartments have opened a couple blocks north, and more are coming. And murals are popping up all over as part of this gentrification, such as the one for Village Realty and of course the giant silo mural. Marathon may simply be trying to stay in tune with the changing neighborhood, or it may be playing a little defense. The Nations used to be the kind of low and middle-income neighborhood that an industrial site holding hazardous material is often found in, but now Marathon has wealthier neighbors not always accustomed to living near such a site. Some art might make the relationship a little easier. In the slideshow below, take a look at how Cooper cleverly incorporated the Marathon sign that was already on the building.

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Located at 1472 51st Avenue North. There is some street parking south of the railroad and at local businesses. A path has recently been installed along the fence, and there’s a picnic table as well. Grab a cup at Frothy and enjoy the art!

Village

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Art breeds art. That seems to be very true in the burgeoning outdoor art scene in Nashville. When Darek Bell of Corsair Distillery and Bell and Associates Construction bought the Continental Machinery Movers complex on Centennial Boulevard, he told the Nashville Post of his plans to include art in the development.

To recognize the evolving character of the neighborhood, Bell said he plans to work with local artists to add a large mural on the building’s Centennial Boulevard face. He pointed to the Silo Bend mural, located nearby, as an “instant landmark that garnered national attention” as a model of sorts.

Village Realty is an early client in the building (that story is at this moment behind a paywall), thus the “village” of this very new mural by Eastside Murals. The mural references a number of well known Nashville sights: the Ghost Ballet sculpture (more commonly known as “the thing down at the river that looks like a broken roller coaster”), the sign outside The Nations Bar and Grill, the Betty Boots sign, the Batman Building, the Ryman, and our very own Greek temple, the Parthenon at Centennial Park. This is the first time I have seen the Stix sculpture referenced as a local landmark in a Nashville mural. Maybe people are getting used to it!

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Located at 4717 Centinneal Boulevard. At present, the parking lot is fenced though usually open. The nearest safe street parking is on 49th Avenue North.

Maybe you’ve seen this one?

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I’ve often said I’m a blogger, not a journalist. Still, this is a pretty prominent mural, and it was finished almost a year ago. One issue has been photographing it. You would think something this big and visible would be easy to shoot, but given the industrial area it’s in, getting a good angle isn’t easy. And of course, that’s not whole mural – the rest is below. Sponsored in part by the Nashville Walls Project, the mural is the work of Australian artist Guido van Helten. (That website hasn’t been updated in a while. You can find his more recent work on his Facebook page.) Van Helten makes a specialty of giant portraits of people local to the community he is painting in. The gentleman featured here is Lee “LD” Estes, a 92-year-old lifetime resident of The Nations, the West Nashville neighborhood where this mural is found. The mural represents both the gentrification of The Nations and, in Estes, the longer traditions and history of The Nations. This article discusses that and has some good pictures as well. The silo itself is almost all that’s left of what was once Gillette Grain Co. Now its part of Silo Bend, a 38 acre development project of Southeast Venture that includes both housing and retail. Southeast Venture planned on keeping the silo from the beginning, and commissioned the mural, and now the silo and the mural feature prominently in the development’s branding. You can watch a series of day by day videos documenting its creation, and there’s also a time-lapse video for the whole project.

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Located near the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and 51st Avenue North. The portrait of Estes can be best viewed from the parking lot of the shopping complex that includes a branch of White Bison Coffee, located at 5202 Centennial. Getting a clear view of the two children is tricker, and might be considered trespassing, though it’s not marked as such. Go north on 54th Avenue from Centennial, and cross the railroad track, turning right immediately. This is a construction staging area at the moment. The gravel road paralleling the railroad goes right up to the silo. No one stopped me when I did this. Hopefully, once all the construction is finished, proper public access will be available.

Impermanent, The Nations

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And the blog is back! How about a whole lot of art to celebrate? Back in April, there was an art show at an old warehouse in The Nations whose only indication of its past is a damaged sign that seems to have once read “Motor Parts.” The show was carried out by Impermanent, which bills itself as “a collective of artists who are displaying their talents in the world of subversive and immersive art within an uninhibiting environment,” and was done in partnership with Nashville Civic Design Center and The Oasis Real Foundation. The show produced art both inside and out at the warehouse. This blog covers outdoor art, but you can see some of the creations inside in this video. Some of the work on the outside features tags associated with the UH crew. There is one piece signed by Brandon Donahue (look for the “ink blot” image that is the second image in the South Wall slideshow below). On the Impermanent website the orange face above is credited to Sterbo, and based on style, the mouse on the south wall and the mouse and head on the north wall appear to be the work of Adam Hale, while the ice cream colored scene around the orange face fits the style of Kevin Bongang. Presumably, the other artists listed on Impermanent’s Who page were also involved in producing the outdoor art. (I really should have gone to this show – I’d be better informed. It must have been laundry night!) Go check it out soon. An abandoned warehouse in the go-go-go real estate market of The Nations won’t last long.

East Wall, left to right.

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South Wall, left to right.

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West Wall, full, then left to right.

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North Wall, left to right

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Located at 1211 57th Avenue North. Street parking is available.

Garage colors

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I don’t usually do new work, but this is fairly new. The building appears to be part of Hunt’s Garage in The Nations. That’s what the gentleman working there seemed to indicate when he came out and joked that taking pictures of the mural would cost me $20. While the mural is unsigned, the same man told me that the artist who did this also painted an old trailer (of the big rig kind) for him. Well, that trailer (see below) has the “Rasmo” tag on it, which is a tag commonly found on UH crew installations. So call this a UH crew project, or at least UH adjacent. That’s where I’ll put it on the Artists page until I hear otherwise.

Located on 52nd Avenue, between Lousiana and Pennsylvania Avenue. The trailer sits at the three-way corner of 52nd, Centinneal Blvd, and Pennsylvania.  Street parking is available.

Mapping The Nations

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One of the most prolific art scenes in Nashville is not found in any gallery or trendy neighborhood, but on the outer walls of the many Latino grocery stores scattered around town. Murals depicting the fruits and vegetables found inside or idealized images of the old country are common themes. The murals found in And another market and Mi casa es su casa are good examples. Usually, these are found in lower-income neighborhoods where immigrants tend to congregate. But what happens if one of those markets finds itself in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood like The Nations? Well, the owners of the Savemore Super Market found themselves in that position and decided to transform their market into the 51st Deli. Most of the groceries went away in favor of a deli/taqueria with a large menu. A new identity called for new art. So they asked Ruben Torres, who had done the market’s original fruit-themed mural featured in Frutas!, to come up with something new – a shout out to neighborhood pride instead of the more traditional old country pride. Torres’s map is elegant, perhaps in keeping with the clean lines of the all the new condos and modern houses spreading across The Nations. If you can’t beat the gentrifiers, join them, would seem to be the message.

Located at 1314 51st Avenue North, at the corner with Centinneal Boulevard – where the red star is in the mural! The mural faces Centinneal and often has cars parked in front of it. There is parking at 51st Deli, though at lunchtime you might have to park on a neighboring street and walk a bit. Grab some grub and enjoy the art!

Dutch Maid

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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.

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

The address is in the picture

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Gracing the east wall of Renaissance Stone Company in The Nations is this collection of tags and a piece of the Nashville skyline. There are some familiar names here. I’ve certainly seen the “Rasmo” tag in plenty of places. I’d say also that these seem a little more technically difficult than some similar installations, or at least more complex with the use of color. It also does not use the “series of panels” pattern that is common in the permitted/commissioned graffiti installations, so the closeups below do not neatly divide the piece in the way I can usually do it. This is relatively new, at it boasts a 2015 date.

Located at 5700 Califonia Avenue in The Nations. Califonia and 56th (not 57th) both intersect with Centennial. Makeshift street parking, or park at the stone company. The mural actually faces 57th Avenue North.

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