BUCHANAN STREET: NORTH NASHVILLE'S NEW CREATIVE CLASS
As you travel north from Jefferson Street toward Buchanan Street, there’s no shortage of imaginative food options, either. Stop by Caribbean Splash, a combo car wash/cafe (just trust us) for some jerk chicken; Ed’s Fish House for the famous fried fish sandwich; The Southern V for fried seitan and waffles; or new hotspot Slim & Husky’s Pizza Beeria. (If the line’s long at the latter, use their app to order takeout and pick it up at the restaurant’s satellite location, The Rollout, across the street -- where you can also get fresh cinnamon rolls.)
Heading west from Slim & Husky’s, you’ll see Woke 3’s Breeze on your right, then soon spot Elephant on your left -- just look for the large, horned, spotted creature out front created by Brett Douglas Hunter. The brainchild of artist Alex Lockwood, the gallery and studios are central to what has been hailed as Nashville’s new “weirdo art scene.”
Since opening in early 2017, Elephant has made a name for itself with wild, immersive, art shows. Last October, the movement and sound of sculptor Don Shull’s whirligigs, powered by wind machines, overtook the space. (It was Shull’s first solo exhibition, at age 83.) This past May, for David Onri Anderson’s Earthbound, the floor was covered in grass -- as in actual, smells-like-outside, living grass. These shows make a visit to Elephant more like a journey to another realm. “That’s my goal for the gallery every time and that’s always my goal for my own shows,” Lockwood says. “To make it good enough and engaging enough and thoughtful enough and weird enough that it’s not going to be a cocktail party of all the artists in town with some art in a ring around them.”
Speaking of unforgettable Elephant shows: August 16, the date of Elvis’ death, marks the opening of North Carolina photographer Ralph Burns’ new show, composed of photos he’s taken of Graceland on the anniversary of Elvis’ death in the years since 1977. The photos will be celebrated with live music and “the cheapest Elvis impersonator in America,” Lockwood notes. A book of Burns’ photos will also be available for purchase at Anteater, the merch store (open Tuesday to Saturday, 12-6pm) at the back of the building selling huge colorful papier-mâché masks, unconventional jewelry, fine ceramics, a carefully curated ’zine collection, and other one-of-a-kind items.