Weekly Top 5: Nashville Murals We Love

Weekly Top 5: Nashville Murals We Love

Over the past several years, Nashville has become a hotspot for street art, proving our fine city can produce way more than just killer tunes. And these murals have become a go-to Instagram locale for tourists and locals alike (well, I question how many locals are waiting in those block-long lines but we still thoroughly enjoy the colorful additions to the city). Taylor Swift has even taken note - she recently commissioned well-known mural artist Kelsey Montague to create her butterfly mural in the Gulch (she’s the artist behind the ever-popular #WhatLiftsYou Mural).  Needless to say, we’re not the only ones taking note of the opportunity available on the side of Nashville’s buildings. And, we’ll happily sit passenger as these beauties pop up and move about our city. Today, though, we’re picking our faves.

This week’s WTF is all about Nashville Murals - and which ones we at BV dig the most:

The Silo Mural in The Nations

The first time I ever heard about this imposing black-and-white mural, it was because my dad told me about it. He had heard word of the massive new public art piece that had been painted into the The Nations’ skyline and decided to check it out; he was struck by both the realism and sheer size of the thing. I was struck that he was so struck. So, of course I had to give it a gander myself...and it immediately became one of my favorite murals in Nashville. Not only is the subject matter vastly different than the brightly-colored and overtly-instagrammable murals that are scattered across The Gulch and 12 South, but there’s actually a story behind it! The man in the painting, 91-year-old Lee Estes, has been a resident of the Nations for almost his entire life -- he lived there when his home didn’t have indoor plumbing, when his family grew much of the food they ate in their yard, and when the area was overwhelmingly industrial -- and his portrait represents the history of this quickly-expanding community. The painting, which was created by Australian painter Guido Van Helten, was later finished with the addition of two small boys on the back side of the silo, paying homage to both the past and the future of The Nations. Learn more by listening to this story from NPR’s Amy Eskind. - Maddie Adams

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The Hillsboro Village Dragon

As a born-and-raised Nashvillian, this mural is one that has been around for as long as I have memories (more specifically, memories of going to the Pancake Pantry on Saturday mornings). The dragon was originally painted in 1995 by artists David Glick and Adam Randolph, and was inspired by the mosaic “Sea Serpent” sculpture that lives just down the road in the Fannie Mae Dees Park -- or as it is affectionately known by locals as “The Dragon Park.” The piece was refreshed in November of 2015, a project that was overseen by local muralist Andee Randolph and aided by a number of local businesses from the Hillsboro Village area. The text at the top, which reads, “Hillsboro Village, Est. 1920” is a new and somewhat modern addition to the mural (that wasn’t there during my peak pancake-eating days), and the colors of the dragon have been altered from their original primary hues, but regardless of the changes I’m glad that the big, scary dragon remains, protecting his wall and his village! - Maddie Adams

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Yummy NASHVILLE

I have no idea if that is the name of this mural on the side of the now defunct Nashville Cash & Carry (RIP you under-appreciated Cash & Carry - and - where you at Turnip Truck?!?!) but I love it. First, the mural is completely made up of it’s food, which is an automatic win in my book. Second, it spells out the city I love. Third, it is a beacon of happiness placed brightly at the perimeter of Richland Park on Charlotte Pike (Avenue? Pike? See my note below on this) that is sure to catch the eye of many a tennis players, playground goers, or farmers market meanders. (And also basically anyone who drives down Charlotte, which based on the gridlock, leads me to believe is a lot of people!) Completed almost exactly two years ago by Michael Cooper of Murals & More, to me this fun mural really just reinforces the ideology of “eat, drink and be merry” and that is A-OK with me! - Tara Tocco

Life Can Be Sweet: Baked on 8th Mural

Maybe it is because I have a 5-year-old daughter who loves all things pink with sprinkles, or maybe it is because I am a girl myself and there is still a part of me that loves all things pink with sprinkles, OR maybe it’s because I’m an adult and have a lot of those adult-type issues in life,  but there is just something lovely and carefree about the cake-and-cookie-and-pink and-polka-dot explosion on the side of Baked on 8th that reads, “Life can be sweet.” It makes me feel HAPPY. And iIt makes me want to go into Baked on 8th (which is just as cute on the inside as it is on the outside) and buy yummy treats to relish in share my happiness! Just like I did after I wrote about this and decided my adult-type issues were winning and I just needed some sweetness in my life today. - Tara Tocco

In Rotation: The Country Music Hall of Fame Mural on
“The Purple Building” in East Nashville

I’ve been an East Nashville resident for the past five or so years, and Five Points is a go-to neighborhood for me.  Whether I find myself at Five Points Pizza (my fave) or at 5Points Tacos (the best damn taco truck in the city, by the way), I am consistently in the neighborhood.  And I love to see the mural updates made by The Country Music Hall of Fame on The Purple Building by artist Bryan Deese. The wall is currently honoring Hatch Show Print, a Nashville staple, but it’s consistently featuring local artists or upcoming exhibits and shows like the one in January 2019 of Emmylou Harris, or in December 2018 of Ralph Stanley, or my personal favorite of Margo Price, Chris Stapleton, Buck Owens, and Tammy Wynette back in February 2017.  The time, money, and dedication put into featuring a Nashville happening via spray paint and hard work is commendable - and way better than a poster.  - Jordan Farrell

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Psst - ever notice the SUPER COOL Capital City Computers mural of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates on Gallatin Pike in East Nash? Bryan Deese created that one, too.  

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