Chamber East Leads Community Place-making Initiative

A series of murals is taking shape in East Nashville as part of a multiphase community place-making project.

The project has been a core initiative of our Chamber East Area Advisory Council since 2013. The goal is to brand the unique business districts of East Nashville and support the many local businesses in the area, while bringing additional character to one of the most diverse parts of town.

The project started with a logo design contest, which was then open to public voting. T-shirts and bumper stickers with the winning logo are now available for purchase, with 100 percent of the proceeds dedicated to artists' fees. The project has received generous donations from Gibson, Sherwin-Williams, Project615, Joyner & Hogan, Jet's Pizza, Center 615, building owners and other East Nashville businesses. Sponsors are highlighted in all media and potentially on the murals themselves.

The first mural on the Joyner & Hogan Building (600 Main Street), which depicts the new East Nashville logo, was completed in May by Tinsley Dempsey. It has had thousands of likes and shares on social media and was featured in The Tennessean's Sunday business section. The second mural, titled "Corners of Lockeland," is in progress on The Post East building at 1701 Fatherland Street. Dozens of community members turned out to help paint during an opening night celebration.

"The whole idea of the project is to create mural art across East Nashville that supports these shopping districts. We're trying to get a critical mass coming up Main Street and going to all these areas," said Alan Hayes, Chamber East co-chair.

Additional murals are planned for the Family Wash building at 626 Main Street; the Gym5 building at 952 Main Street; and the former Mrs. Winner's building at 3914 Gallatin Pike. The priority is connecting local artists with business and building owners, and collaborating on a style that complements the brand of the business while highlighting the unique talents of each muralist. The project will also include wayfinding signage and art to define individual commercial districts within East Nashville and help direct visitors to various locations.

"Without a doubt, East Nashville is a culturally important part of the city. Its musicians, artists, eclectic businesses and beautiful homes make it a great place to live, work and play. But we still have a long way to go to build awareness of all these things and bring more people into districts throughout East Nashville. We felt now is a great time to build on the success of the neighborhood, and we are pleased that we have the collaborations in place to launch this project," said Ashley Segroves, Chamber East co-chair.

Members of the East Nashville arts and business communities are welcome to participate in the project. To learn more, please plan to attend Chamber East networking coffees, held the first Wednesday of each month from 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. Visit our event calendar for details.

East Nashville's Tomato Art Fest, which had more than 40,000 visitors on Aug. 8, featured a tomato mural painted in the center of Five Points by artist Troy Duff. The mural was featured on the cover of The Tennessean.

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