Nashville Walls Project Words by Éva Boros Photography by Colin M Day
haos ensues on 5th Avenue as "Shoe" begins whacking fake twigs and plants against the northeast corner of a parking garage. He is on a boom lift six stories directly above Brian, who has been directing the afternoon rush-hour traffic, letting people and cars pass, guarding potential casualties from splatters of paint. Johnny Cash lyrics from “As Long As The Grass Shall Grow” begin to appear in Shoe’s signature style. He is the inceptive force behind calligraffiti.
Neils “Shoe” Meulman - Parking Garage, 5th Avenue between Commerce and Church Street
One block up, on Church Street, Rone is also hard at work painting a 70-foot-tall portrait of Jane-doe. She appears to be slowly seeping through the bricks. Rone intentionally creates this illusion by detailing various parts of her face, shoulders, and arms in equal proportions throughout the day. On the other side of the Cornerstone Building on 6th Avenue, one can already see Herakut’s finished mural. It reads, One day I will rescue your brother, too next to a super-hero pit bull, its eyes painted to reflect the Nashville City Center.
Herakut - Cornerstone Square Building, corner of 6th Avenue and Church Street
Back at the lobby of the Kress Building on 5th Avenue North, Adele Renault sits in the eye of the storm and paints colorful feathers for her seven-foot-tall King Pigeon named Helk. She is unaffected by the loud thunderstorm passing through downtown. Gibson Custom Division made Nashville Walls Project possible, but it is the community of Nashville that brought these murals to life. The dog portraits taken by Williamson County Animal Center in front the Herakut mural and people singing, even dancing, in front of Shoe’s Johnny Cash lyrics are only a few examples of why the artists appreciate being in Nashville. Herakut explained that they “came to Nashville because it is Music City. We strive to experience culture removed from street art and connect with locals wherever we go.”
Rone - Cornerstone Square Building, corner of 6th Avenue and Church Street
Involvement by local artists such as Brandon Donahue, Jon Buko, and Sterling Goller-Brown also helped solidify a bridge between international artists and a longstanding history of local graffiti and street art. As we move forward, Nashville Walls Project and Gibson Custom Division will welcome artists such as Curiot, Mike Shine, Above, and Mars-1. Stay tuned! na For more information, please visit www.nashvillewallsproject.com.
Adele Renault - Lobby of the Kress Building, 5th Avenue North
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