August 10, 2019–January 5, 2020

Murals of North Nashville Now

  • Brandon Donahue. Rest in Peace, 2019. Airbrush acrylic on panel, 96 x 144 in. Courtesy of the artist. © Brandon Donahue. Photo: LeXander Bryant

  • Norf Art Collective. Forever, 2019. Acrylic spray paint, acrylic, and oil on panel, 96 x 144 in. Courtesy of the artists. © Norf Art Collective. Photo: LeXander Bryant

  • Elisheba Israel Mrozik. Unmask ‘Em, 2019. Acrylic on panel, 96 x 144 in. Courtesy of the artist. © Elisheba Israel Mrozik. Photo: LeXander Bryant

  • Omari Booker. The Writing’s on the Walls, 2019. Housewrap, oil, plastic tubing, razor wire, and sand on panel, 96 x 144 in. Courtesy of the artist. © Omari Booker. Photo: LeXander Bryant

  • XPayne. Adaptation, 2019. Acrylic and stickers on panel, 96 x 144 in. Courtesy of the artist. © XPayne. Photo: LeXander Bryant

  • Nuveen Barwari, Marlos E’van, and Courtney Adair Johnson, with Opportunity NOW and International Teen Outreach Program participants. Where we were. Where we are. Where we are going. 2019. Mixed media on panel, 96 x 144 in. Courtesy of the artists. Photo: LeXander

  • LeXander Bryant. Opportunity Co$t, 2019. Graphic and wheat paste on panel, 96 x 144 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photo and artwork © LeXander Bryant


With Nashville’s rapid growth in recent years, a vibrant street art scene has emerged. New murals can be seen on walls across the city, from The Nations to the Gulch to Nolensville Road. Murals found in North Nashville, a historically African American part of town, stand out because they are typically made by artists with strong ties to the neighborhood and because much of the imagery reflects both its rich history and current social issues.

A young generation of artists—many following in the tradition of Tennessee State University professors Sam Dunson and Michael McBride, and mentors Michael “Ol Skool” Mucker, James Threalkill, and Thaxton Waters—will offer their perspectives on the present position of North Nashville through newly commissioned site-specific murals. Imagery will demonstrate the multifaceted nature of its identity and speak to persistent problems facing the community such as displacement, gun violence, and incarceration, as well as positive aspects like thriving black-owned businesses, a revitalized art scene, and valuable educational institutions. Artists will work with youth at McGruder Family Resource Center to create a collaborative mural that will also be on view at the Frist.

This exhibition shines a light on a culturally and historically important, yet often underserved, Nashville community. The project also explores what role the arts play in urban redevelopment and in the expression of neighborhood and individual identities, further testifying that art can be found all around us, not just inside museums and galleries.

Participating artists:
Nuveen Barwari
Omari Booker
LeXander Bryant
Brandon Donahue
Marlos E'van
Courtney Adair Johnson
Elisheba Israel Mrozik
Norf Art Collective

Map of Murals in North Nashville

The Frist Art Museum gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our O’Keeffe Circle members in funding this exhibition:

Judy and Joe Barker
Barbara and Jack Bovender
Richard and Judith Bracken
Patricia Frist Elcan and Charles A. Elcan
Jennifer and Billy Frist
Julie and Tommy Frist
Patricia C. Frist and Thomas F. Frist, Jr., MD
Lynn and Ken Melkus
Sid and Linda Pilson
Delphine and Ken Roberts
Anne and Joe Russell
Mr. and Mrs. James C. Seabury III
Olivia L. Tyson

List current as of June 26, 2019


HCA Tri-Star

Presenting Sponsor

Ryman Hosp Partners Found

Supported in part by


Supported in part by

SunTrust Foundation

Supported in part by

O’Keeffe Circle

Supported in part by


Supported in part by


Supported in part by

NEA Artworks

Supported in part by

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