A lot of people have seen and talked about the massive mural on an abandoned concrete silo in Nashville, but few take the time to properly jump the fence around it. The mural is in an area that is called “The Nations.”
Let me back up a little… Many people see it, but do they see the side of it that includes two curious children with one reaching for the sky? Do people know why a man is painted on the front or why kids are painted on the side?
Australian artist Guido Van Helten is known around the globe for painting massive portraits that eerily look real. One of his famous pieces is located in an industrial area of Nashville near the old and shut down Tennessee Prison.
On the front of the Nashville silo is 91 year old Lee Estes who is often referred to as LD. He grew up in the area around the massive silo. Mr. Estes is the kind of guy who volunteers to help others, is always walking the block to see what’s going on and more. But, why was he picked and why are two kids on the side of silo?
Mr. Estes represents the neighborhood, or so to speak. He represents the old, the original and the start of the area. Another question would be, “Why are kids on the side?” Simple, Van Helten painted two boys that live in the area to represent the new, the change, the growth of the area known as The Nations.
In case you’re curious, the area around the old prison and the silo is changing in leaps and bounds. Most would agree it is changing for the good. Old homes are being rebuilt while some are being completely replaced. Shut down factories and warehouses are being turned into new businesses. Buildings that were once industrial and now falling apart are being torn down while new condos are going up.
As for artwork, The Nations neighborhood has artwork everywhere. It is well worth the drive to explore. It kinda’ represents the change that we are seeing throughout Middle Tennessee. That change includes an appreciation for art that makes our world look a little nicer.