Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Off the Wall Nashville

Each morning I drive down Charlotte Avenue to get to work downtown, and in the last year the drive has gotten a whole lot more interesting.

Since Nashville's growth has been booming, these days Charlotte Avenue is a sight to see. Each morning on the drive in I see on my left either a new building suddenly built, five new building floors built, a building that is actually starting to look like an apartment complex, a new fancy looking business sign, etc. 

It is amazing to see during my 30-minute drive the progress that happens from day to day, or week to week. But this morning I looked over and became curious about this new mural on the 1,000-foot wall that stretches from 28th avenue to 31st avenue:

There is a lot of meaning behind this wall, which is now being called the Charlotte Corridor - and it is brought to you by Off the Wall, a new group of contemporary art enthusiasts who are inviting a combination of local, regional, and international muralists to decorate 50-to-100-foot sections of this wall in their own creations. The group pays the artists a fee to paint however they please, as long as they show them a design beforehand.

The mural above, which was the first mural of the project, was painted by Seth Prestwood, a surrealistic artist and mural painter. This mural was to serve as a teaser to jump start the project and inspire artists to come out and add art to the wall. You can read about some other artists participating in Off the Wall here.

Tinsley Anne Dempsey is the project manager and president of Off the Wall, who is also a degree-certified studio artist. Her greatest passion in life is appreciating the work of others. After she relocated to Nashville from her hometown of Atlanta three years ago, she noticed the lack of large-scale, contemporary art murals. She made it her goal to bring the Nashville's culture and community together by increasing the amount of public artwork around Music City.

Tinsley Anne Dempsey (image credit

She began her plan by scouting the city for available highly-visible wall space and began asking business owners if they had interest in having one-of-a-kind artwork on their property.

A storage container village was planning to move into the Charlotte Corridor space. Dempsey had hoped that the new residents and retailers would want to look at artistic murals instead of a gigantic white wall. 

After writing a business plan, the Greater Nashville Arts & Business Council gave the approval to sponsor her plan of action. The storage container village agreed to let Off the Wall use their property, so the Charlotte Avenue project started gaining speed in May.

Dempsey has confidence that Off the Wall will encourage a domino effect for more public art projects around town. She also hopes that Off the Wall will increase property value while inspiring and stimulating the local artist community.

Here is a plan for some of the murals that will be painted sometime soon at Off the Wall on Charlotte Avenue:

Looks a heck of a lot better than a white wall, don't you think? In my opinion, Charlotte Avenue is one of the ugliest streets in Nashville so I am very happy that they picked this location to begin the art project. You can find these pictures on the group's Facebook page here. You can follow the project on instagram on  @OffTheWallNashville .

I am really excited to see what other artwork is will be painted on the giant wall! Keep a look out for new art that will be appearing all the time! This project reminds me of this post I wrote in March about the artwork at the Pour House in Charleston. Maybe some of those artists can come to Music City to add art to the Charlotte Corridor wall! 

What do you guys think of Off the Wall and all the other new murals around town? Let me know what you think!  

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