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29 Murals in Nashville: A Practical Guide to Mind-Blowing Art

Nashville’s street art scene is on fire! The city is known for its music, but the Nashville murals are taking over as a major cultural phenomenon. This mural guide is designed to help you find the most Instagrammable, colorful and mind boggling murals.

I Believe in Nashville Murals
Do you Believe in Nashville?

Nashville’s Mural Culture is Exploding

Spotting street art is one of the coolest things to do in Nashville, and they are going about it in a whole new way. Many groundbreaking street art cities, like Bristol, England have a culture whose gritty graffiti beginnings were driven by an angry youth counter-culture. Not so with Nashville. They skipped the whole disaffected, hip hop, graffiti phase and leaped straight to a fully formed big walls movement. Still other cities, like London’s Brick Lane, have a lot of furtive illegal works appearing (and disappearing) with great regularity. Less so in Nashville. While they do have guerrilla works and graffiti, more of the street art that you’ll find there has sprung from deliberate, commissioned projects organized by collectives.

All of this gives Nashville’s mural scene a clean, bright look that is very Instagrammable, making it popular with a broad cross section of the population. Hey, I’m a street art fanatic, so I’ll skulk down any dark alleyway if it’ll net me a Banksy. But a lot of people prefer their street art to be more accessible and Nashville has that in spades.

Nashville Mural in Elliston Parking Lot. Purple geometric street art
This mural by Chris ZIdek is part of the Elliston Parking lot project.

Take a Tour or Do it DIY?

There isn’t just one street or neighborhood for finding murals in Nashville. The locations are spread all over the city. For a visitor, especially one who doesn’t have a car, finding them can be tricky. So, I’m recommending two ways for you to see the murals; take a street art tour or do a DIY tour to just a few neighborhoods.

The formal tour is great because it covers a lot of ground and you’ll get backstory on the artists and murals. However, the tour doesn’t cover the downtown area. Alternatively, the benefits of a DIY street art tour is that you will then have time to further explore the neighborhoods, do some shopping and have a bite. The DIY info below shows you four neighborhoods that you can easily get to and explore on your own.

Guido Van Helten murals in Nashville Old Man

This mural and the one below it were created by Guido Van Helten. This mural tells a complete story and it yanked a very emotional response from me. Van Helten paints achingly detailed portraits and the man in this one is a resident of the neighborhood. These murals are located in at 1407 51st Ave in the Nations neighborhood. If you don’t have a car, you can see it on the mural tour. You can also find more of Van Helten’s silo work on the amazing Silo Trail in Victoria Australia and some additional murals in Reykjavik.

Guido Van Helten mural in Nashville- of two kids on a silo

Nashville Mural Tours

I took a tour with Nashville Mural Tours and it ticked all the boxes. It covered all of the best Instagram spots, some secret and hard to find locations, all delivered with a big dose of southern hospitality. The 2.5 hour tour costs $35 and it’s worth every penny. Mary is so serious about her tours, she has even festooned her van in street art. She makes a point of staying up on all of the latest murals in Nashville and she understands the value of the ‘gram. She even offers special private birthday tours for parties of twelve.

Her tours are always evolving, but they touch on art in The Gulch, 12South, Elliston Place garage and the above Van Helten industrial location. She runs tours twice a day and I recommend that you book ahead.

Four Neighborhoods with Clusters of Street Art

The following four areas offer great Nashville mural locations. They all have a high density of art and they are fairly easy to get to. You can easily build them into your Nashville itinerary by mixing in mural spotting with other tourism activities and/or making a point of going out to eat or drink in the neighborhood.

Nashville’s Downtown Core

The Nashville Murals tour doesn’t cover the downtown core, but there’s a lot of street art to be found there. They are all sprinkled in with the bars and museums and you can fairly easily cover them in a two hour self-guided walking tour. Simply proceed down 5th Avenue past the Ryman as far as Church street to spot the remaining murals mentioned below.

Niels Meulman calligraphy mural - Nashville
Neils Meulman calligraphy mural located at 236 5th Ave N

This was my favorite mural downtown. The sweeping calligraphy technique has such scale and the message was romantic and hopeful. People walk past this mural all day long without pulling back far enough to see the message.

“As long as the moon shall rise. As long as the rivers flow. As long as the sun will shine. As long as the grass will grow.”

Beau Stanton mural - downtown nashville. Woman pouring water, pink and turquoise color
Beau Stanton mural located on the same building as the one above. It points like an arrow into the cute boutique on the ground floor. Historical subjects, statues and turquoise are his trademarks.
Mural by Rone in Nashville- brown woman
This portrait is by Rone, located at 530 Church St. His oeuvre includes thoughtful pensive female portraits. There are several other murals located in the same parking lot so poke around.

You can find more of Rone in his native Australia in this guide to street art in Melbourne.

Gibson guitar mural in Nashville alley
Tribute to Gibson guitars by various artists. Located in Metro Alley at 3rd Ave. (near Printers Alley)

The four preceding murals were all part of a project coordinated by the Nashville Walls Project and some of it was sponsored by Gibson guitars. The Walls project has a goal to bring world class artists to Nashville and they are succeeding so far by scoring Guido Van Helten, Louis Masai, Ian Ross and Sentrock.

Angels & Monsters mural in Nashville- yellow angel figure
Angels & Monsters mural located in the parking lot at 236 5th Ave N. Many of the murals in Nashville are rolled or sprayed so it was nice to see an extra-large stencil taking up some wall space.
Mural Tavar Zawacki on parking lot wall- red and blue arrows
Mural by Tavar Zawacki also located in the parking area at 236 5th Ave N. Zawacki is from Berlin and he specializes in arrows, color block lettering and colorful graphic prints.
Johnny Cash Mural in downtown Nashville
A collaboration of the Thoughts Manifested group produced this Johnny Cash memorial at 300 4th Avenue South. Sadly, this mural has been torn down for a new development.

The Gulch

This neighborhood just west of the tracks is small but hip and popular for breakfast at Biscuit Love and music at the Station Inn. It’s about a mile west of the downtown core and you can walk or pick up a free ride on the Music City Circuit bus.

Nashville wings mural Kelsey Montague
By Kelsey Montague. The Nashville Wings are located at 230 11th Ave S.

This is mural is one of the most Instagrammed shots in Nashville. Notice how Montague customized the wings to feature the local music culture. I’m not the Queen of Selfies (by a long shot), but it was very fun getting one at this location. If you do it DIY, be aware there that you may find a line to get your shot. Go at an odd time of day to avoid waiting.

Ian Ross mural in The Gulch
This mural by Ian Ross is located just across the street from the Wings. Ross is based in San Francisco.
Multi colored Jason Woodside Mural- Nashville Tennessee
By Jason Woodside and also located across the street from the Wings. This mural was also supported by the Nashville Walls Project.
For Becks mural in The Gulch
You’ll spot these little goofy lego-like murals in several places around town.

The 12South Neighborhood

Welcome to your next great spot for a street art selfie. Every mural in this neighborhood demands it! 12South offers up a heavy dose of the adorbs, with the Draper James store, 5 Daughters bakery and Frothy Monkey coffee shop. It’s three miles south of town and getting there will cost ~$8 on UberX.

Nashville Looks Good on You Mural
Doesn’t Nashville look good on me? Located on 12th Ave behind the Frothy Monkey
I Believe in Nashville mural selfie
I believe in Nashville, I truly do! This location is right next to Draper James at 2608 12th Ave S. There is another at Marathon Motors and a third on Main street @ 7th. Sadly, the East Nashville version of this mural got nailed in a tornado.

There is also a parking lot located behind the store that has an interesting mural resembling paint chips.

Peace out Nashville street art in 12South
Peace out! Located just across the street from the I Believe mural.
5 Daughters Bakery I Heart Donuts
Nuff said! 5 Daughters bakery at 1110 Caruthers Ave (just off 12th)

Oh boy, did I “heart” their donuts. Can you say 100 layers of dough wrapped in a tall sugary package? Eating just one of them is a meal, so stop there for both the mural…and the calories.

Elliston Place Garage

The Elliston Place garage is yet another Nashville Walls project. The whole thing, including the stairwells, is covered. It was a home grown project and most of the participating artists are from Nashville. The garage located at Elliston Place @ Louise Ave. You can find it just east of Bicentennial Park, near Vanderbilt. Getting there from downtown is an ~$8 Uber ride.

Nathan Brown mural Elliston parking lot
This piece by Nathan Brown pops out of the concrete like a portal to a rainbow colored underworld.
Nathan Brown Elliston parking lot
This geometry piece is also by Nathan Brown
Folek & Chase stairwell street art Elliston garage
This collaboration between Folek and Chase created the most colorful (and least creepy) parking lot stairwell I’ve ever been in
Folek mural Elliston garage
This piece is also by Folek
Emily Miller stork stencils Elliston garage
Paste-ups created by Emily Miller
Nashville Elliston garage mural exterior
The exterior of the garage by Audi Adams
Striped walls in the Elliston garage
Rainbow stripes bordering the top deck
Tess Erlenborn mural in Elliston garage Nashville
Tess Erlenborn’s mural resembles an abstract coral reef, don’t you think?
Brian Wooden mural Elliston parking garage- woman with gold stripes
…and my favorite from Brian Wooden. This monochromatic portrait is spare and evocative.

East Nashville

Nashville mural in Cleveland Park slay dragons
Slay Dragons mural in Cleveland Park. Photo courtesy of Triple 8 Management, mural by Kim Radford.

If you find yourself in East Nashville (and you should, because the eatin’ is good in that neighborhood), check out the new mural above. It was commissioned by the musician Drew Holcomb. You can find it at 1224 Meridian street in the Cleveland Park neighborhood.

There is a cluster of murals along Gallatin between Ordway and the Kroger at Eastland, including a cute hot air balloon by Kelsey Montague at The Cleo. There is another cluster on the 600-800 block of Main Street.

More Resources for Discovering Murals in Nashville

Boyfriend mural Elliston garage
This is my new boyfriend. We picked each other up across the street from the Elliston garage

Whether you are visiting this street art for the ‘gram or you want a deep dive into the culture of urban art, I hope that you will enjoy Nashville’s bright, dynamic scene. Happy mural hunting!

Learn More about Street Around the World

Study great street art in other cities by checking out my guides to:
Top Street Art Cities in the World | Books About Street Art|Street Art Festivals | Buenos Aires | Bogota | San Diego | San Francisco | Los Angeles |Nashville | Chicago | New York | Havana | London | Reykjavik  | Belfast | Bristol | Berlin | Paris | Estonia | Rural Australia | Melbourne | Honolulu | Salt Lake City

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Jessica Anglea

Thursday 12th of March 2020

Excited to find your article. The artist for the dragons mural is Kim Radford. She has other murals around East Nashville. Notably Ham Baby on Mitchell’s Delicatessen and most recently Lilly Hiatt’s album promo at Grimey’s. She did one with an eagle and flag motif on a bail bond building that was unfortunately was destroyed by the tornado last week.

Carol Guttery

Wednesday 18th of March 2020

Yes- the pic here is from the 12South neighborhood, but I heard that the one in East Nashville was hit. So sad!

Carol Colborn

Tuesday 20th of November 2018

Oh my, these are examples of great street art! I would have emotional reactions to those of Guido Van Helten. Those are truly larger than life. Love the calligraphy, too...quite unique!

Carol Guttery

Saturday 1st of December 2018

Those were my favorites as well

Suzanne Fluhr

Monday 19th of November 2018

You're right. I never think of Nashville and murals in the same thought. Clearly, that needs to change. As a Philadelphian, I'm very partial to street murals. Philly has a vibrant mural scene with over 3,600 around the city, mostly sponsored by the Philadelphia Mural Arts program. It was originally started as an anti-graffiti initiative and has been very successful. Neighbors are included in planning and painting the murals and they largely stay free of graffiti even in the roughest neighborhoods. Come visit and see them. Organized "trolley" tours are available and there is a self guided walking tour of murals in Center City Philadelphia.

Doreen Pendgracs

Monday 19th of November 2018

Nice to see that Nashville has a great assortment of murals and street art. I love that one with Jimmy Carter!

Cynthia

Saturday 17th of November 2018

Ooh, I saw some of these - particularly 12 South and The Gulch, but missed so many others! I'm especially disappointed to realize I missed the one by Guido Van Helten, I saw his work in Reykjavik and loved it - this one looks beautiful & haunting too. I think I might need to go back to Nashville...

Carol Guttery

Sunday 18th of November 2018

Van Helten is something else. I also saw his stuff in Reykjavik (https://wayfaringviews.com/reykjavik-street-art/). I'm planning a trip to Australia this year and am hoping to see more of his work there since he's Australian.