Did you think that Nashville’s artistic streak was meant only for music? Here in Nashville, we know it’s not! We Nashvillians love our outdoor murals and street art. You can see it in every neighborhood (although Number 8 below may surprise you), so grab your camera and a few friends, get in the car, and head out to see these bright walls of outdoor art!
1. I Believe in Nashville
The original “I Believe in Nashville” mural was designed and painted by Adrien Saporiti of DCXV Industries in 2012 and refurbished in 2013. It quickly became one of Nashville’s most iconic and photographed images – so much so that you’ll find several that Adrien has since painted around the city, including one on his own DCXV building. But if you want to see the original in all its glory, head on down to 2700 12th Avenue South to snap yourself and your friends in front of “I Believe in Nashville” at the 12 South Dental Studio.
DCXV, by the way, is the Roman numeral for Nashville’s area code, 615.
2. Road to Nashville
You know about the massive growth our city is seeing. Many people come down the “Road to Nashville”, hoping to make it big in music, or maybe just to get to live in the vibe of the coolest city on the planet. You’ll find this mural on 5th Avenue North at Broadway, on the side of the Legends Corner building.
We like to give the artists credit for their work, but weren’t able to find out who painted this one. So if you know who painted it, please tell us in the comments below!
3. Church Street Park
Just a few blocks away, at the corner of Church Street and 6th Avenue South, is Church Street Park, where Michael Cooper’s work dresses up the otherwise plain side of a building. Workmen are depicted putting together a giant puzzle that will apparently turn into a graceful brick building with a large Palladian window set inside a deep arch. Look at that arched window carefully, and you’ll see the Nashville Public Library across the street reflected in the glass.
4. Wall of Cash
At 300 4th Avenue South, turn onto Molloy Street to snap your photo in front of the “Wall of Cash”. It was originally painted in 2003 as a tribute to Johnny Cash, who passed away in September of that year. Artists Audie Adams, Bryan Deese, and Ryan Shrader, the same three artists who originally painted the “Wall of Cash”, recently repaired and updated the mural. There’s even a nod to the Great Flood of 2010 with “How High is the Water Momma?”
Watch the artists repair and update the mural!
5. Flatrock Community – the “Zoo Bridge”
Indie Insider thinks of this one as the “Zoo Bridge”. It may be a surprise – if you’re not expecting them – to see zoo animals in the large arched niches in a stone bridge! Michael Cooper painted, a la trompe l’oeil, these stones and animals on what used to be the old cracked and ugly concrete of the railroad bridge that crosses Nolensville Pike at Nashville Zoo. The reference to Flatrock Community, which is also painted on, is to the community there at Woodbine. Flatrock was originally a nearby geologic landmark (now removed) where Native Americans met to exchange crops and other items.
6. 12South Love
You’ll find this mural on 12th Avenue South between Elmwood and Linden, in the parking lot behind Taco del Sol. The owner of some of the restaurants in the area commissioned graffiti artist Troy Duff to spray paint his brand of high-end graffiti on a wall that was continually being defaced at the back of the parking area.
“Graffiti comes from the soul and is a way for an artist to give a piece of themselves to the community,” Duff says. His passion lies in public art and a spontaneous creative process, in which he pays tribute to the lost art of penmanship. It is also how he became the creator of his own font.
Troy also painted one of Nashville’s food trucks, Funk Seoul Brother. See it HERE!
So, if you love 12South – and who wouldn’t? – be sure and snap a selfie in front of this colorful mural!
7. Dragon Mural
This one’s in Hillsboro Village at 1801 21st Avenue South, where the Posh clothing store is located. Artists David Glick and Adam Randolph first painted the dragon mural in 1995, and were enthusiastic supporters of the recent plan to refresh their work. Local muralist Andee Rudloff was hired to oversee the restoration project.
The mural’s inspiration is the mosaic sea serpent created by Pedro Silva in nearby Fannie Mae Dees Park, affectionately known as “Dragon Park”, located at 2400 Blakemore Avenue. The whimsical mural portrait of the beloved sculpture adds to the charm and character of the neighborhood, and is another favorite spot for Nashville selfies!
8. Private Home, Belle Meade
And this one is the surprise that I promised! Do you believe that a private homeowner in Belle Meade would have a mural like this on their house?
Every year, the homeowners of the sleek contemporary white house on the corner of Harding Place and Jackson Boulevard in Belle Meade hire street artists to paint murals on the front of their house. And then, when they tire of the mural, they paint over it, creating a blank canvas for the next muralist.
This one was painted by San Francisco artist Zio Ziegler. Heavily influenced by graffiti, Ziegler does not preplan his murals. He uses intuition fed peripherally by the elements of his surroundings to spontaneously create, sketching out his composition in a matter of minutes, then painting the entire mural freehand.
Turn the corner from Harding Place onto Jackson Boulevard to see this mural, but don’t blame me if there’s already another one that’s taken its place!
There’s an enormous number of outdoor murals and street art in Nashville, so this list is by no means complete. There are so many more to see – tell me what your favorites are in the comments below. And stay tuned for another article with more murals at another time!