“Our family loves to travel, venturing out in search of those unique moments of artistic inspiration in far-flung destinations. But some days, all we have to do to find great ideas is to just take a step out our front door and into the history and charm that is Nashville.” -The Anderson Family
That’s right, Anderson Design Group is a family-owned and operated business here in Nashville, and our love for our hometown is on for display in our Spirit of Nashville collection.
This collection features original artwork, vintage-style illustrations, and handcrafted poster art, all of which were envisioned, designed, drawn, colored, and printed right here at the ADG shop. If you’re looking for the perfect keepsake that is a genuine souvenir of what the City of Nashville is all about, our Spirit of Nashville collection is the correct vintage poster art for you.
What Inspired the Spirit of Nashville
Nashville is a dynamic city. It's vibrant, exciting, and energetic. Broadway and its powerful neon lights, live music emanating from every door and window. The Gulch with its ever-present foot traffic and taste-bud savvy restaurants and delicatessens. The Parthenon, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Grand Ole Opry, all of which constantly buzz with tourists and locals alike, all eager to learn about Nashville’s history. Undoubtedly, this city has energy.
But at the same time, Nashville is also a southern town, a place where time slows down, where we really do stop to smell the roses. It's a place where an ice-cold drink dripping in condensation, a set of chairs and a creaking porch swing, shade from a blue porch roof, and the slow strumming of a guitar are our definition of the perfect afternoon. That's Nashville too.
These elements combine to make Nashville a city like no other. We love that about our town, and we wanted to find a way to communicate the unique spirit of Nashville that no other city has. So, in 2003, our Anderson Design Group artists decided to make a calendar commemorating our love for the city.
Artwork of Our Home – Our Love for Nashville in Vintage Illustration
It all started with a calendar idea back in 2003. We wanted to make a calendar of some of the artwork we'd created for local businesses and attractions.
ADG founder, Joel Anderson envisioned the calendar and how we would create it. It was designed to feature twelve, 18x24 prints. Each print was to be a hand-illustrated rendition of a Nashville business, landmark, icon, park, tourist attraction, or just something that we felt strongly resembled the true spirit of Nashville.
Well, it didn’t take long for us to realize that we had a lot more than just twelve ideas for vintage poster artwork of Nashville! We knew we’d be doing our hometown an injustice if we didn’t capture every “Music City Moment” in a retro-styled illustration.
We launched the Spirit of Nashville Collection that same year, and we haven’t looked back since. Since then we've envisioned, drawn, painted, hand-lettered, and printed each illustration in the collection by hand, using only U.S.-made printing materials. This project has been a 16-year collaboration of 17 ADG staff artists, researchers, historians, illustrators, printers, calligraphists, and designers. A few years after the collection was established, Joel gathered up all the Music City poster art his team had created, scoured the Nashville Public Library Archives for historic photos, and collaborated with writer Angela Patterson to publish a coffee table book called Spirit of Nashville—The Art & Soul of Music City.
Perhaps what’s best of all, we’re still adding to the collection! The Spirit of Nashville series has almost 200 vintage poster art illustrations in it. And we add to it every year! How could we not? We keep finding new places in Nashville that inspire us to create more art!
Cool Facts About Nashville – Why We Love Living Here...
Did you know that Nashville was founded on Christmas Eve in 1779? Or that our iconic Centennial Park is home to the only replica of the famous Greek Parthenon? Or that Elvis Presley recorded over 200 songs in RCA’s historic Studio B on Music Row? Or that the AT&T Tower in downtown Nashville is iconically referred to as the “Batman Building” due to its bat-like appearance?
As we’ve come to love and learn about each historical landmark in our city, we’ve found out some of the most incredible things about each landmark. Like how the Belle Meade Plantation was home to the first-ever American bred and born horse to win the English Derby in 1881.
Or like how the land upon which the Centennial Park rests, a 132-acre park just two miles from downtown Nashville, was originally owned by a woman named Anne Robertson Johnson Cockrill. Anne was given the land upon which the Parthenon now rests for her bravery in fighting off an Indian raid back in 1776. Her property went on to become public land after Anne died. Almost 250 years later and we can still appreciate that beautiful park thanks to Anne’s bravery and her contributions to the community.
And who could forget Cheekwood Botanical Gardens & Museum of Art? This majestic garden offers something different each year and each season. One summer it might be 5,000 chrysanthemums lining sidewalks and sitting benches. Or it might be 1,000,000 Christmas lights strung through the trees during the holiday season. The curators of this beautiful garden continuously amaze us with their style of artwork, the art of gardening!
Show Your Love for Music City with the Spirit of Nashville
You might be the intrepid traveler just passing through Nashville. Or maybe you’re a die-hard Nashville resident and local. Or perhaps you were born here, in a way a child of this great city. No matter your connection to Nashville, anyone who’s been to this city and appreciated its beauty could also enjoy a unique keepsake from the city.
All of our artwork at Anderson Design Group is envisioned, sketched, drawn, painted, hand-lettered, and printed, right here in our studio. And for products like our metal signs, our hand-made wooden frames, our puzzles, coffee tins, stickers, magnets, coffee table books, and so much more, we work with U.S.-based manufacturers and suppliers only. We keep our works and our connections close to home, close to our hearts, and close to the beauty and artistic splendor that has become synonymous with the great Music City.
Like the illustrations you saw in this blog post? Each one is a custom-made and original Anderson design, and each one is available in our Spirit of Nashville collection. Check out that collection to find great artwork for your home decor or as gifts for your loved ones. And while you’re at it, be sure to view our more than 1,700 other original vintage travel posters, illustrations, and designs!
Anderson Design Group Writing Staff