The more I deviate from my normal route in Nashville (thanks, traffic), the more I see more and more murals; they seem to popping up left and right. And I love it. They’re unavoidable, and they’re stunning (most of them, at least).
For those of you passing through and looking for a great photo backdrop, I finally spent a handful of days traveling around Music City’s many neighborhoods to compile a list of best walls and murals in Nashville. This is just a start; I plan to add to this list the more I find.
Rolf & Daughters wall (artist: Shantell Martin); 700 Taylor St. at 7th Avenue North
Waves mural (private commission by Eastside Murals); 5th Avenue North and Monroe Street
Nashville scenes (artist: unknown); Rosa L Parks Boulevard and Taylor Street, across from Werthan Lofts
My friend Adrien Saporiti is the brains behind the iconic “I Believe in Nashville” mural, which has been posted more than one million times from seven different continents and which you can now see in Marathon Village, Riverside Village and in 12South. I prefer the Marathon Village location as it’s usually devoid of large crowds (though parking is tricky), plus you can visit Nelson’s Green Brier and Corsair distilleries while there. Side note: You can pick up Adrien’s original designs in print and T-shirt form around town and also from his shop in East Nashville.
I Believe in Nashville murals (artist: Adrien Saporiti/DCXV Industries); Clinton Street, 625 Main St. and 2702 12th Ave. S
Jefferson Street Corridor
For those interested in Civil Rights history, there are some fascinating pieces along Jefferson near the Tennessee State University campus, particularly beneath the I-40 underpass.
Green Fleet Bicycle Shop mural (artist: Dough Joe/Yusef Hubb); 934 Jefferson St.
Gateway to Heritage murals (artists: various); Jefferson Street beneath I-40
blues singers mural (artist: unknown); Jefferson Street between 26th and 27th Avenues
Elks Lodge mural (artist: Dough Joe/Yusef Hubb); 2614 Jefferson St.
The “Wings mural” as many call it became the first conversation starter in the Gulch, but a number of bright, splashy creations have joined the fray this year so it’s worth strolling down 11th Avenue South to see else what you may find.
Nashville What Lifts You mural (artist: Kelsey Montague); 11th Avenue South (near Biscuit Love/behind Taziki’s)
The Nashville Walls Project (artists: Ian Ross, Jason Woodside); 11th Avenue South and Laurel Street
12th and Porter mural (artist: Kim Kennedy); 114 12th Ave. N
Hillsboro Village is changing dramatically; it’s easier to arrive on foot than find parking. But if you can nab a coveted spot, there’s a paid lot behind Pancake Pantry just off Belcourt Avenue (be sure and get a ticket before you leave your car as meter maids here are brutal!). An hour is all you need to wander this small area on the Vanderbilt campus and snap a couple shots of its walls.
Hillsboro Village dragon mural (artists: David Glick, Adam Randolph); 2102 Belcourt Ave., across from the Belcourt Theatre and Pangaea
12South is another one of those highly walkable ‘hoods with murals tucked around every corner. Park on one of the side streets (make sure it’s not a residential-only parking area) and walk from one length at Sevier Park to the other at 12South Flats.
Nashville at Heart rainbow mural (artists: Eastside Murals); 2705 12th Ave. S
Draper James wall (artist: unknown); 2608 12th Ave. S
flowers mural (artist: unknown); 2900 12th Ave. S (the side of Green Pea Salon)
Make Music Not War mural (artist: Relax Max); 2902 12th Ave. S (the side of Epice, across from Green Pea Salon)
Halycon Bike Shop mural (artist: Aaron Martin); 2802 12th Ave. S
12South graffiti (artist: unknown); 12th Avenue South and Elmwood Avenue (photo credit: Joe Hendricks)
Many of the murals along Charlotte Avenue are located along one stretch installed by Off the Wall Charlotte, a project back by the Greater Nashville Arts & Business Council, and they’re a bit tricky to reach by foot, so it’s best to park in the lot in front of AVO and cross the street at the traffic light with your photographer poised on the other side of the busy road.
AVO mural (artist: unknown); 3 City Ave.
Take Flight mural (artist: Kevin Bongang/OFF the Wall Nashville); Charlotte Avenue at 28th Avenue North
Fly Higher mural (artist: Joseph “Sentrock” Perez/OFF the Wall Nashville);Charlotte Avenue at 28th Avenue North
Import Flowers Nashville mural (artist: unknown); 3636 Murphy Rd.
The Nations is very much up-and-coming, and so far, the only mural that’s really grabbed the public’s attention is this 160-foot-tall portrait of 91-year-old Nashville native Lee Estes painted on an old silo.
silo mural (artist: Guido van Helten); 1407 51st Ave. N
Music Row isn’t exactly brimming with street art; you have to go in search of fun pieces like this by heading down Roy Acuff Lane on foot. Pro tip: Also grab a photo with the guitar installations outside of Studio B while you’re there.
dueling cowboys mural (artist: Mike Shine); 24 Music Square West, across the street from Historic RCA Studio B
walls inside Le Sel (artist: Alic Daniel); 1922 Adelicia St.
Downtown is dotted with murals—like the Rainbow Walls that Instagram commissioned from Adrien Saporiti for IG’s #KindComments campaign in support of the LGBTQ community—but there are also a number of country music personalities like Johnny Cash who have their own dedicated pieces of art.
The Wall of Cash mural (artists: Thoughts Manifested Crew); 300 4th Ave. South — NOW TORN DOWN
Of all the neighborhoods in town, East Nashville is the one most brimming with street art of all kinds. You’ll find it on the sides of buildings, you’ll see it hidden beneath construction zones, you’ll spy paintings on the backs of residential fences. Really, it’s best to just go for a drive through Five Points, Lockeland Springs and down Gallatin Pike to see what all you can find.
Stay Tuned Nashville mural (artist: Adrien Saporiti/DCXV Industries); Center 615 at 625 Main St.
Little Octopus mural (artist: Chris Zidek); 604 Gallatin Ave.
Five Points murals (artists: Leah Tumerman, Sterling Goller Brown, unknown); 103 South 11th St. (on the side of and behind Eastside Cycles)
Microsoft mural; 1106 Gallatin Ave.
The Cobra mural (artist: Eastside Murals); 2511 Gallatin Ave.
Betor Forever mural (artist: Ronnie Bobal); Gallatin Pike and Carolyn Avenue (side of Pocket Monkey Recycling)
I still have several murals left to photograph—particularly Downtown right off Broadway, which is easier said than done thanks to our growing traffic problem—so I’ll add to this list as I shoot them. Feel free and drop me a note in the comments highlighting any murals I’ve missed so far!
Looking for other things to do in Nashville? I’ve got you:
- Planning an Adult Bachelorette in Nashville
- Date Night at the Grand Ole Opry
- An Epic Nashville Weekend Itinerary
- The Best Restaurants & Bars in Nashville