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Must-See Murals, Sculptures, and Public Art in Nashville

Nashville City

As Nashville, Tennessee has blossomed into a hub of music and culture, it has also garnered recognition for its burgeoning mural scene, adding a new dimension to its culture. These murals in Nashville, dispersed across the urban landscape, bring a dynamic surge of color, each narrating a tale of Nashville’s history and legacy. The “Music City USA” mural, a prominent fixture adorning the side of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, epitomizes this burgeoning art scene. It symbolizes Nashville’s deep-rooted connection to music, transforming into a must-see backdrop for tourist photographs.

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Buckle up for an odyssey through Nashville’s soul, where every corner bursts with artistic expression! Climb aboard the Old Town Trolley and embark on a historical journey amid an open-air gallery stretching across the city’s streets.

Nashville Murals

“What Lifts You” – Wings

Must visit Nashville Mural for freeKelsey Montague’s “What Lifts You” mural, a magnificent creation adorning the streets of Nashville, Tennessee’s Gulch neighborhood, stands as a testament to music’s transformative power. Emblazoned with the lyrics of Wings’ song “What Lifts You,” the mural’s pair of white lace wings has become an emblem of hope and resilience, inspiring countless visitors since its dedication in 2016. Commissioned by the Nashville Walls Project, the mural embodies the very essence of Nashville, a city renowned for its music scene and warm, welcoming embrace. It serves not only as an artistic representation of strength in the face of adversity, as conveyed by the song, but also as a tribute to the city that embodies this spirit. If you ever find yourself strolling through Nashville’s streets, make sure to visit this captivating mural — a reminder of music’s uplifting power, the strength hidden within us, and the sense of community that binds us all.

“Candy Hearts”

In the neighborhood of the Gulch in Nashville, Tennessee, you’ll find another striking Nashville street art piece that radiates a powerful message of love and camaraderie — the “Candy Hearts” mural. Created by the talented artist Bryson Leach, this large-scale installation transcends mere color and form; it is a veritable celebration of life’s sweetness and the enduring value of community. The mural features candy hearts, symbols of life’s delightful moments, held by figures that embody the strength of community bonds. As you stand before this captivating mural, you’re gently reminded to spread love and kindness wherever your path leads. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the “Candy Hearts” mural carries a profound message about the importance of love and friendship in our lives. Much like Kelsey Montague’s “What Lifts You” mural, it stands as an artistic testament to the very spirit of Nashville.

“Giant Ear & Microphone”

In the heart of Nashville, Tennessee’s Gulch neighborhood, you’ll discover the “Giant Ear & Microphone” mural, a captivating piece of public art by Ben Passmore. Commissioned by the Nashville Walls Project, this mural has been turning heads since its debut in 2020. The striking depiction of a colossal ear and microphone carries profound symbolism — the ear represents the ability to listen empathetically to others’ stories, and the microphone represents the power to amplify our own narratives. Transcending mere artistry, this mural serves as an interactive space where visitors are invited to pose with the ear, engaging in a shared moment of storytelling. The phrase “Hear Here Nashville” emblazoned beneath these figures acts as a rallying cry for active listening and open dialogue within the community. The “Giant Ear & Microphone” mural embodies Nashville’s welcoming spirit, reminding visitors and locals alike that everyone’s voice holds significance in this dynamic city. This mural is not only a celebration of music but also a testament to Nashville’s culture of camaraderie and shared stories.

“I Believe in Nashville”

I Believe in Nashville Mural nashville 12 southNestled within the lively neighborhood of the Gulch in Nashville, Tennessee, you’ll stumble upon the awe-inspiring “I Believe in Nashville” mural. This large-scale artwork, created by the talented Adrien Saporiti, exudes a powerful sentiment of hope and resilience. Commissioned by the Nashville Walls Project, the mural was unveiled in 2016 in the aftermath of a series of devastating tornadoes that struck the city. The mural emerged as a beacon of inspiration and strength for Nashville and its inhabitants, offering solace and reaffirming their collective spirit in the face of adversity. The prominent statement “I believe in Nashville” serves as a rallying cry, expressing unwavering faith in the city’s resilience and the conviction that, as a united community, it can overcome any challenge. The message is a potent reminder of communal strength and the indomitable spirit of Nashville. On your trip to the city, make sure to visit the “I Believe in Nashville” mural and experience its transformative impact firsthand.

What Lifts You – Hot Air Balloon

Inspired by the uplifting song of the same name, Kelsey Montague’s “What Lifts You – Hot Air Balloon” mural in East Nashville stands as another masterpiece in her repertoire. This mural depicts a hot air balloon soaring against the backdrop of the city with the words “What Lifts You” prominently inscribed on its side, serving as a poignant reminder for onlookers to reflect on their sources of inspiration. Like many of Montague’s works, this mural encourages interaction, inviting visitors to pose with the balloon, engage with the artwork, and share their experiences online. Commissioned by the Nashville Walls Project and unveiled in 2017, the mural has since become a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike. The hot air balloon serves as a metaphorical representation of the ability to rise above challenges, fostering a spirit of resilience and aspiration. The city of Nashville, renowned for its music scene, is celebrated in this artwork, embodying a city that uplifts its residents and visitors. The “What Lifts You – Hot Air Balloon” mural is not only visually stunning but also carries a powerful message about the power of dreams, the importance of inspiration, and the welcoming spirit of Nashville.

“Looking Pretty, Music City”

The “Looking Pretty, Music City” mural is a soulful embodiment of the city’s music culture and deep appreciation for beauty. Situated in the lively 12 South neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee, this mural was brought to life by the talented Emily Eisenhart and has been gracing the city’s streets since 2019. The mural portrays a young woman adorned with a floral crown and a shimmering dress gracefully wielding a guitar — a delightful fusion of femininity, strength, and musical heritage. The phrase “Looking Pretty, Music City” elegantly written across the top serves as an ode to Nashville’s celebration of all things beautiful and resonates deeply with the city’s spirit. Commissioned by the Nashville Walls Project, this mural has rapidly grown into a beloved tourist attraction, breathing life into the urban canvas and reflecting the city’s vibrant culture. The “Looking Pretty, Music City” mural is more than a decorative piece; it represents the transformative power of art in inspiring hope, channeling cultural celebration, and painting the town in the hues of Nashville’s charm.

Nashville Public Art


Just a stone’s throw from Nashville’s bustling city center lies a remarkable tribute to the city’s musical legacy — the Airwave public art sculpture. Situated in the city of Madison at the Madison Police Precinct (400 Myatt Dr., Madison, TN), this distinctive piece of public art is the creative vision of multifaceted artist Suzy Hendrix. Crafted from powder-coated steel, Airwave is an intricately conceived representation of radio airwaves, featuring an oscillating airwave center flanked by a pair of air pumps. This dynamic artwork serves as an acknowledgment of the rhythm and resonance that music infuses into the city. By featuring this installation in such a prominent location, Madison pays an enduring tribute to the rhythm of Nashville, creating a tangible connection between the everyday lives of its citizens and the city’s musical heritage.


The centerpiece of Nashville’s public art scene is the compelling Citizen installation, conceived and executed by renowned artist Thomas Sayre. Gracefully adorning the front lawn of the downtown public square and courthouse since 2010, Citizen is a powerful assemblage of two 30-foot-tall (nine-meter) sculptures with a unique interactive feature. This ingenious aspect, a crank device located at the base of each sculpture, empowers passersby to direct the figures’ arms toward various points of interest in the downtown area. Commanding a prime location on the public square, at the intersection of 3rd Avenue North and Union, Citizen serves as a symbol of the city’s cultural tradition while paying a subtle homage to its storied history and dynamic future. More than just a sculpture, Citizen has become an integral part of Nashville’s rhythmic heartbeat, a silent yet profound observer of the city’s evolving narratives.

City Irises

Nestled amid the verdant expanse of Hermitage Park at 3720 James Kay Lane, Hermitage, TN, stands an enchanting public art installation known as City Irises. Conceived by Jessica Eichman, a native artist from Natchez, Mississippi, City Irises infuses the Nashville landscape with a splash of color and playful charm. Inspired by Tennessee’s state flower, the iris, this installation encourages observers to adopt a new perspective, inviting them to imagine themselves as tiny creatures, such as ants or beetles, or even miniature humans, amid the towering beauty of the irises. The 10-foot-tall (three-meter) flowers, crafted from resilient galvanized steel, were initially envisioned as a mere drawing. However, Eichman collaborated with a skilled metalsmith and industrial fabricator to bring her artistic vision to life. City Irises transcends its role as a mere art piece, transforming into an interactive portal into a realm of imagination and wonder.


Adding to Nashville’s eclectic mix of public art is Microphone, a distinctive installation strategically positioned at the northeast corner of Demonbreun Street and Music Row. This notable piece is the collaborative work of three renowned artists: Franne Lee, Keith Harmon, and Mac Hill. Its placement at the end of Music Row serves as a compelling testament to Nashville’s musical heritage. Carefully crafted to mirror the city’s musical atmosphere, Microphone stands as an enduring symbol of the countless voices that have shaped, and continue to shape, Nashville’s music scene. It is no surprise that this installation was recognized by Americans for the Arts in their 2011 Public Art Network Year in Review, cementing its status as a significant and beloved piece of Nashville’s art in public places.


Capital Public Art in NashvilleAnother striking addition to Nashville’s public art landscape is the installation known as Capital. This awe-inspiring piece, the brainchild of Luke Tidwell, adorns the eastern side of Nashville’s Farmers’ Market, situated within the historic Bicentennial Mall. Capital draws inspiration from the Tennessee state flag, ingeniously employing the three stars that denote the distinct landforms within the state — the mountains, the highlands, and the lowlands. These geographical elements are bound together within an unbroken circle, embodying the unity, strength, and resilience so characteristic of the Volunteer State. This installation does more than just beautify its surroundings; it narrates a timeless tale of Tennessee’s rich topographical diversity while symbolizing the unbreakable spirit of its people. Truly, Capital stands as a compelling testament to Nashville’s enduring connection to its history and its unwavering sense of state pride.

Nashville Sculptures

Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins sculpture nashvilleCelebrated Tennessee native Chet Atkins, a renowned musician and producer, is forever immortalized outside Bank of America’s Nashville headquarters at the intersection of Fifth Avenue North and Union Street. Atkins, who notably signed Charley Pride, the first African-American singer in country music, left an indelible mark on the music industry. Following his passing in 2001, Bank of America sought to honor his life and achievements by commissioning a life-sized bronze statue in his honor. Skillfully crafted by Tennessee sculptor Russell Faxon, the statue stands as a lasting tribute to Atkins’ immense contributions to the world of music, marking a significant spot in the history of Nashville’s cultural landscape.

Ghost Ballet

Ghost Ballet sculpture NashvilleAdjacent to the activity of the Nissan Stadium and the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge stands Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks, also known simply as Ghost Ballet. This visually captivating public art installation and modern public art sculpture, conceived and brought to life by Alice Aycock, adds a distinctive artistic element to the east bank of the Cumberland River. Ghost Ballet’s unique design allows it to morph and change shapes from different vantage points, lending it the ethereal quality that inspired its name. Aycock was reminded of “a certain kind of movement, dance movements,” hence the title Ghost Ballet. Its prominent location, nestled between Nashville’s downtown area, the pedestrian bridge, and the stadium, renders it a striking visual landmark that embodies the city’s historical narrative and evolving identity.

Musica Statue

musica-statue-nashvilleCentrally positioned at the Music Row Roundabout, also known as Buddy Killen Circle, stands Musica, an impressive bronze sculpture that embodies Nashville’s profound musical heritage. Conceived by local artist Alan LeQuire, Musica is currently the largest sculpture group in the United States and represents LeQuire’s most significant commission to date. Comprising nine figures — both male and female — elegantly dancing in a circular arrangement, this dynamic public art sculpture symbolizes the universal language of music, transcending the boundaries of genre or style. The figures, frozen in their exuberant dance, serve as an ode to the past, present, and future significance of music in Nashville, touching upon its identity as “Music City.” The sculpture’s monumental presence in the heart of the city underscores its role as a defining element of Nashville’s cultural and artistic landscape.

Owen Bradley

In the heart of Music City, at the entrance to Owen Bradley Park, sits a bronze statue of country music legend and record producer, Owen Bradley — a key figure in creating the “Nashville sound” during the 1950s and 1960s. A masterpiece crafted by Gary Ernest Smith, the statue was dedicated in October 1999 and proudly stands as a gateway to Music Row, a testament to Bradley’s integral role in shaping Nashville’s music scene. The park itself, despite its petite size, was dedicated to Bradley in 1997, just before his passing in January 1998. A remarkably lifelike representation, the statue features Bradley seated jubilantly at a piano, inviting all to join in his musical merriment. The inviting bench, with room enough for two, encourages visitors to take a moment, sit alongside the late Bradley, and soak in the rich musical history encapsulated within this northern end of Music Row.


stix sculpture NashvilleThe Stix sculpture, a remarkable artistic landmark in Nashville, stands proudly at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Korean Veterans Boulevard. Towering 70 feet above the roundabout, this distinctive piece of art comprises 27 red cedar poles arranged in a seemingly spontaneous yet calculated pattern. Each pole is adorned with stripes in a palette of red, orange, light blue, dark blue, and light green. The inspiration for this work stems from the rich heritage of Native American tribes that once inhabited the Nashville area. The globally recognized artist behind Stix, Christian Moeller, sought to pay homage to these tribes through his artwork. Moeller’s creative genius extends beyond Nashville; his work also graces international locations, such as Singapore’s Changi Airport, London’s Science Museum, and SEATAC Airport in Seattle.


Where are most of the murals in Nashville?

Most of the murals in Nashville are scattered throughout the city, but a significant concentration can be found in the neighborhoods of East Nashville and the Gulch. East Nashville is renowned for its creative community, with murals that vividly reflect the area’s vibrant and artistic spirit. Meanwhile, the Gulch is home to some of Nashville’s most iconic murals, including the internationally recognized “What Lifts You” wings by Kelsey Montague.

What famous sculptures are in Nashville?

Nashville is home to a diverse array of captivating sculptures, further cementing its reputation as a city brimming with art and culture. The Musica sculpture, situated in the Music Row Roundabout, stands as one of the most renowned and is considered the largest bronze figure group in the United States. Another notable sculpture is Alan LeQuire’s Athena Parthenos, which stands majestically within the Parthenon in Centennial Park, a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks, a modern, abstract sculpture adorning the banks of the Cumberland River, adds a unique and mesmerizing touch to Nashville’s art scene.

What is the purpose of public art, murals, and sculptures in Nashville?

Public art, encompassing murals and sculptures, plays a multifaceted role in Nashville. First and foremost, it serves as an expression of the city’s rich culture and artistic spirit, making art accessible to all, regardless of age, background, or socioeconomic status. These art pieces also function as powerful symbols of community identity, reflecting Nashville’s deep-seated love for music and creativity. Moreover, they often ignite dialogue, prompting discussions and fostering diverse perspectives on art interpretation, societal norms, and aesthetic values. Finally, public art plays a significant role in Nashville’s tourism industry, attracting visitors from around the globe who come to admire these unique and captivating displays.

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