Jan 22, 2018

Country Music Star Brad Paisley Paints Mural At Bridgestone Arena

Brooks Bratten

This epitomizes what we like to call an "Only in Smashville" moment.

You may have heard of Rob Hendon. If you've ever been to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the offices of a local or national recording label, a Nashville hotel or various other spots, you've probably seen his work.

And here's betting you've probably heard of country music superstar Brad Paisley.

Partner the two up and what do you get? A spectacular, magnificent, dazzling, stunning, one-of-a-kind work of art that now graces an entire wall - and then some - at Bridgestone Arena.

Sure, you'd expect Hendon to play a major role in the execution of the piece. But guess what? It turns out Paisley is just as crafty with a six string as he is with a can of spray paint.

"Well, I could always draw growing up," Paisley said humbly after five hours of painting that included producing the Predators primary and secondary logos freehand, just by looking at a picture of them.

"When I started doing graffiti, I did it because I had this blank wall at my farm that was about as interesting as that gray wall over there," he continued. "It was nothing and it's right behind my studio; its where I want to be creative. I actually wrote on the wall, 'Sorry, this wall was boring me.' And that's kind of what was happening here. This was the most boring wall in Nashville five hours ago."

That couldn't be further from the truth now.

Preds logos, the Nashville skyline, two guitars and an oversized catfish are just some of the elements present on the mural that is sure to become a must-see for photos and the like for visitors to Bridgestone Arena, and it all started with a simple idea.

Predators and Bridgestone Arena Senior Vice President of Entertainment and Marketing David Kells says it was quite straightforward - he wanted to find a way to give Hendon some space somewhere in the building to add some color. Hendon, who has been friends with Paisley for years, and knowing his ability, as well as Predators fandom, decided to bring the country artist on board.

"I'm so blown away," Hendon said of Paisley. "He can do anything. I'm his biggest fan with music, but painting, too."

The mural is located in the elevator lobby outside of Section 109 on the building's main concourse and can be seen by anyone making a visit to the arena.

And just as Paisley does with his day job, what started from a blank canvas became another form of art guaranteed to please the masses.

"I think it's the same exact thing that causes you to write a song or record… It's the same muscle, this creative muscle," Paisley said. "And I guess in some way, when you're writing a song or doing anything in the music business or if you're doing graffiti, you're trying to leave a mark, right? We left several marks."

So, the next time Paisley is in the building to catch a Preds game, host the CMA Awards or perform a concert of his own, don't be surprised to see him stop by his piece with a can of spray paint at the ready.

"That's the fun part is you can't mess up, you just keep going," Paisley said of painting. "Next time we play here, I'm going to look at it and be like: 'Let me fix that.'"