Nashville is in the midst of a renaissance of painted public art. Walls all over the city have been transformed from dull or invisible expanses of gray into vibrant canvases for muralists, graffiti artists, and sign painters. Familiar with thinking big, Hatch Show Print and the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum have established a relationship with local graffiti artist Bryan Deese, who was enlisted to translate the ink used on our posters into paint on a wall at Five Points in East Nashville.
Murals and wall-sized painted signs or advertisements are kissing cousins of the billboards that were Hatch Show Print’s initial calling. Two fonts of the largest wood type that the shop used, cut in the shop in the first five or six years they were in business, and approximately 80 inches and 40 inches high each, were used for the mural.
We were able to incorporate design elements and imagery that are just too big for the daily work we do, including a shop favorite known as the “Big Woman.”
Once the design was complete, Bryan took over. There is as much math involved in laying out the artwork on a blank wall as there is preparing a poster design for print, so he had to start with that tedious task. Then he cut stencils for each element of the mural, including a stencil for the outline of the Big Woman.
Some of the graphics required two or more stencils, to ensure that the different colors or layers are painted accurately and completely. At the wall, Bryan created guidelines on the wall with a pencil, level and straight edge, lined up a stencil, and then he started to paint.
Details were finished by hand, and gradually, the entire wall came alive!
When you stand at the wall, every letter Bryan painted and every design element he assembled in layers of paint is exactly the same size on the wall as it would be if we had printed the blocks here in the shop. The math worked, and we hope you check it out for yourself.
Thinking beyond the limitations of a standard show poster was a blast, and working with Bryan Deese to marry print and painting was a spectacular collaboration that we look forward to doing again.
If you visit the mural, up till May, take a photo and tag us @hatchshowprint— we’d love to see you hanging with our favorite sisters!