The Music City mural scene has taken on a life of its own, and we’re here for it. From the famous “WhatLiftsYou” wings in The Gulch to newer installments such as the escalator-adjacent walls at Fifth + Broad, murals have been popping up throughout our city, offering an artistic representation of our local social and cultural influences. You can find the most recent addition to the Nashville mural roster in the Midtown neighborhood at the corner of Broadway and Division Street, where the uniquely shaped building that houses Flatiron restaurant offers a vibrant display of Nashville-centric art from Eastside Murals, curated by Ashley Bergeron at Swipe Right Art.
Flatiron restaurant, the newest culinary endeavor from Chef Chris Raucci and Victoria Rothberg (of Sylvan Park’s Answer), officially opened its doors on May 3, 2021. The casual eatery boasts approachable, classic fare such as the Flatiron filet and spaghetti and meatballs, as well as a cocktail menu that’s sure to draw tourists and residents alike. “Our vision for Flatiron was always to create a gathering place for people residing in or visiting the Midtown neighborhood,” says co-owner Victoria Rothberg, “and the addition of a mural is a great way to pull people together. The mural adds funk, character, and charm to an already iconic Nashville building while also being a new attraction for visitors.”
Paying homage to various local features and fixtures, the mural is a montage of images that represent Nashville’s country music roots and highlight nearby landmarks such as the “Batman Building” and Vanderbilt University. “We used the right side [of the building] to portray the nightlife of Division and Broadway,” says artist and Eastside Murals founder Ian Lawrence. “The left side has more elements of Vandy and Centennial Park and the Parthenon. I was mainly trying to figure out a way to show that it’s smack in the middle of these two neighborhoods; there’s so much going on around there.” A combination of spray and acrylic bucket paint, the mural is a collage of illustrations that make up a neighborhood narrative of sorts. “The Ryman is in there, and a big vinyl record,” says Ian. “Then there’s Vanderbilt with the clock tower and a football helmet. The Parthenon and Centennial Park are in there too. You can also see natural elements like the tulip poplar (the Tennessee state tree) and the Tennessee state flower, which is the iris. The flag is waving above it all.”
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Though it was anticipated that the mural would take three to four weeks to complete, it is taking a bit longer than expected (as artistic endeavors often do!). Nevertheless, the result promises to be a captivating display that brings even more excitement to Midtown. Whether you’re headed down for a delicious dinner at Flatiron, or you’re simply in search of your next selfie, make sure you check it out!
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