It is something of a small trend in East Nashville that some church buildings have been repurposed in recent years. The rapidly shifting demographics of the region and the even more rapid rise in real estate values is undoubtedly behind this. The members of Family Affairs Ministries decided its home at the corner of Riverside and Porter was too large and too expensive to maintain, so they sold it to The Boedecker Foundation in 2017. (They put the money to good use – their new digs ain’t bad.)
The Boedecker Foundation is the project of George Boedecker Jr., co-founder and former CEO of Crocs. His foundation renovated and expanded the church complex, reopening it recently as Riverside Revival, an event space as well as a nonprofit hub to be called the East Nashville Community Collaborative.
And of course it has a mural, because more and more, that’s what businesses and enterprises in Nashville do. It’s the work of Danielle Duer, with assistance from Andee Rudloff. While Rudloff has done a number of murals around town, I believe this is Duer’s first outdoor mural in Nashville. It went in last November, and its riot of leaves and flowers is in keeping with much of Duer’s work. While currently sold out, Duer even has a handbag called “Garden Grow” in her online shop with a very similar design.
If you look closely at the picture at top, you’ll see three small, young trees that are currently leafless in the landscaped area in front of the mural. In time, not only will they leaf out, but they will grow. The leaves of the trees will blend with the leaves of the mural behind them. This mural is destined to become part of a three-dimensional installation. It is even four-dimensional, for the trees will change with the years and the seasons. Often, something blocking your mural is detrimental, but in this case I think it will lend vibrancy and long-term energy to this piece.
Located at 1600 Riverside Drive. The mural is on the Porter Road side of the complex, and faces towards Riverside. There is a small parking lot on the other side of the annex that the mural is on, and a much larger one on the other side of the church building. Not much street parking is nearby.