Inspiration comes easy for Glen Woods, an East Nashville resident who has embraced the neighborhood's artsy culture in an unusual and eye-catching way.
For years now, he has used his front lawn as a makeshift gallery for artwork. At first, he focused on sculptures, making everything he could dream up, from a wrought-iron motorcycle to the flatbed of a neon green pickup truck that is suspended from a tree.
Woods' "yard art" went from iron to aluminum this summer, when he decided to draw inspiration from what he knows, or in this case, what he drinks.
A canopy of soda cans forms an awning over his front steps. In the middle of the yard, cans snake their way up an old tree in a spiral.
Hundreds of cans line the perimeter of Woods' modest property. From across the street on Carter Avenue, it looks like a fence of Coca-Colas, 7 Ups and root beers, but Woods thinks of it as a giant wind chime.
At first, the can sculptures were the answer to a practical problem.
"I drink a lot of Diet Cokes and I just figured I might as well do something with 'em," he said. "I don't have nothing else to do."
Neighbors have quickly come to accept the cans as part of the local topography.
Haley Williams moved onto Carter Avenue a few weeks ago, when Woods' work was in full swing. She said it reminded her of the quirkier corners of Knoxville.
"It doesn't bother me," she said. "It adds character to the neighborhood."
Williams said Woods is well liked on Carter Avenue and is seen as a helpful and openhearted neighbor.
Some of his neighbors have repaid his kindness, leaving bushels full of cans at the foot of his driveway. By his estimation, he's collected about 2,300, and he's game for more.
"I've got over 400 feet of property I can put cans on," he said.
The 62-year-old retiree said some of his pieces, like an iron whirligig of frowning faces near the front of his property, were critiques of development that is creeping into the neighborhood. But Woods says that was never his primary motivation.
"I'm just having fun," he said.
Reach Adam Tamburin at 615-726-5986 or on Twitter @tamburintweets.