Category Archives: 2010’s

Few & Far Mural ~ 24th & S Alley

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A long stretch of blank wall on the CED building in the alley at Round Corners (near 24th & S) was brought to life last September by an all-women crew of street artists called, Few & Far (1). The crew, who flew in from numerous cities across the country to gather and paint together in Sacramento, created this amazing piece of work in one weekend.

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The Art:

Few & Far created this mural with an animal rights theme, and in this video called, It’s a jungle errr day, you can see the mural emerging under the artists’ hands. Scroll down to the bottom of this post, where you can see photos of the artists at work.

The mural includes a shout-out to Ironla, the sponsors of the mural (near the monkey), and, looking carefully, you can find many other notes tucked between the images including a poignant, “Rip Gavin”. Check out the Few & Far site which has a wonderful panorama photo of the mural.

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The Artists:

Few & Far is a a crew of women from around the world who skateboard and create graffiti/street art to beautify the cities and ghettos. They seek to build community through sharing art and friendships.

F&F connects women by creating social and artistic exchange, by showcasing art on the streets, on walls and in other high profile venues. Few and Far fosters and celebrates the power and expression of female graffiti and street artists. Importantly, Few and Far consists of a team of open minded, highly creative, cutting edge, dedicated women. (2)

Artists who painted this mural: Erin yoshi, Ursula Young, Jenn Ponci, Meme, Ksra, Hops, Reds, Agana, Dime, Merlot, R-Peezy, Megen Devine and Baybay-FNF Khonda TMD (#).

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Big thanks to Kenny Nonymous for the shots below! He met up with Few & Far over the weekend the crew was painting and snapped some action photos.

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Title: Few & Far Animal Rights mural
Artist: Few & Far (http://fewandfarwomen.com) including Erin yoshi, Ursula Young, Jenn Ponci, Meme, Ksra, Hops, Reds, Agana, Dime, Merlot, R-Peezy, Megen Devine and Baybay-FNF Khonda TMD
Date: 2012
Media: Paint
Location: Alley on 24th between R & S


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1) http://ransackedmedia.com/2012/10/01/downtown-eyesore-transformed-into-beautiful-street-art
(2) https://www.facebook.com/FewandFargirls/info
(3) http://fewandfarwomen.com/portfolio/fnf-sacramento/

Desert Cactus and Prickly Pear ~ 23rd & K Alley

A midtown business facing a problem with frequent intruders on their back patio hired artists rather than security guards to resolve the situation. Artist Margaret Arnold painted and Steve Cook sculpted, and together they secured the 30-foot-wide patio wall behind Western Properties office (1).

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The Art:
The three-sided mural was painted by Arnold and is called, “Desert Cactus” (2). The sculptures of cacti and aloe vera on top of the wall are called “Prickly Pear” and were made by Cook from rebar, nails, and saw-blades (3). Cook also built a secure metal door to replace the original wooden gate (4).

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The Artists:

Arnold lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills. She paints primarily in oils but also does illustration and craftwork such as beaded skulls and decorated eggs (5, 6). You can see a large gallery of her works on her website, www.margaretarnoldgallery.com. Russ Andris has a great photo of Arnold painting the mural.

Cook lives in Clarksburg and creates metal sculptures and furniture from cast off objects (7). You can see a gallery of his works on his webpage, stevecooksculpture.com and his facebook page.

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Title: Desert Cactus & Prickly Pear
Artist: Margaret Arnold and Steve Cook
Date: 2013
Media: paint & rebar, nails, and saw-blades
Location: Alley side of 2318 K


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(1) http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/50580/Public_art_grows_in_Midtown_alleys
(2) http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/50580/Public_art_grows_in_Midtown_alleys
(3) http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/50580/Public_art_grows_in_Midtown_alleys
(4) http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/50580/Public_art_grows_in_Midtown_alleys
(5) http://www.margaretarnoldgallery.com/info.html
(6) http://www.margaretarnoldgallery.com/margaretarnold.html
(7) http://www.bluewinggallery.com/july-01-2011-art-receptition.html

Lily Moon Mural ~ 1115 21st

Thoughts of Van Gough drift through my imagination whenever I see this mural along 21st Street in the alley between J & K. Yellows, blues, purples, oranges and reds pop out of the black backdrop. Brush strokes in swirls, lines and dashes form a mountain lake sunset landscape, and, along the bottom edge, silhouetted figures do everyday things like kiss, take photos, and drink beer. Turns out these figures were inspired by the street people that the artist, Lily Moon, got to know during the three weeks she painted the mural (1).

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The Art:

Quoted in a Sac State article, Moon said:

“It was three weeks of hell…. We were up there … painting in the rain. We had this crowd of homeless people looking up at us and talking to us and we really got to know the culture around us. Really if I think about street art, that was it right there….. Every little painstaking minute was worth it because of the people that I got to meet.” (2)

Prior to Moon’s mural, between March and November of 2011, three different murals came and went on this wall (3):
1. Running mural possibly by Shaun Burner, prior to March 2011
2. Mural by Raul Mejia, prior to Oct 2011
3. Hanami Salon mural by Chris, prior to Nov 2011

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The Artist:

The silhouette figure on the far right (picture below) looks to be an image of the artist with her brush outstretched and color swirling from the tip. Russ Andris caught an actual photo of Moon on the scaffolding while she painted the mural.

During ARTober 2011, Moon was chosen as the Emerging Social Artist of the year in the Transforming Leaders award ceremony (4).

An artist profile page for Moon describes her as “…an artist, a clown of the underground, an old soul with a young heart sewn onto her sleeves. She truly believes her purpose for breathing is to create.” (5) Moon explores many mediums including: paint, photography, carving, sewing, and welding (6).

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Title:
Artist: Lily Moon (Lily’s facebook page, Lily’s deviantART page)
Date: Nov 2011
Media: paint
Location: 1115 21st (on alley between J & K)


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(1) http://www.statehornet.com/campus/sacramento-s-street-art-takes-off/article_f8a8b008-6d5a-11e1-9cd0-0019bb30f31a.html
(2) http://www.statehornet.com/campus/sacramento-s-street-art-takes-off/article_f8a8b008-6d5a-11e1-9cd0-0019bb30f31a.html
(3) http://www.pbase.com/southyuba/image/139621351
(4) http://www.t2ps.com/t2Store/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&Category_id=13
(5) http://www.sactalent.com/emag/story/lily-moon
(6) http://www.sactalent.com/emag/story/lily-moon

Time To Wake Up ~ 17th & T

Letting go. Holding on. Waking up. Local artist, Shaun Burner, recently created this mural of metaphysical themes on the side of the Royal Market at 17th & T (1). Burner told Submerge that the open hand symbolizes letting go and the clutching fist with the oozing substance symbolizes holding on (2).

The Artist:
Burner’s work can be found numerous places around town including: Ancient Futurism mural, American Market mural, and Dimple Records mural.

He is involved in the artist’s collective, Trust Your Struggle (TYS), which is “dedicated to social justice and community activism through the medium of art” (3). Burner created an awesome mural in Guadalajara with TYS that incorporates the architecture of the building, including the window spaces.

Time To Wake Up seems like another part of Burner’s invitation to all of us for living life in creative flow:

Do the best you can with whatever you do. Don’t reflect on the past too much or worry about the future, but be present in this moment that is continually happening, and own that shit (4).

And PS…. with this mini-mural of Pat Morita around the corner (also possibly by Burner, 5), does anyone else see the resemblance to the Karate Kid in the main mural?

Title: Time To Wake Up
Artist: Shaun Burner
Date: 2012
Media: paint
Location: 17th & T


View Pedestrian Art, Sacramento in a larger map

(1) http://submergemag.com/featured/bicycle-mural-tour-2012/6135/
(2) http://submergemag.com/featured/bicycle-mural-tour-2012/6135/
(3) http://trustyourstrugglecollective.tumblr.com/
(4) http://submergemag.com/featured/bicycle-mural-tour-2012/6135/
(5) http://www.pbase.com/southyuba/image/144740963

Blue Trees ~ 13th & K

“Trees are the lungs of the planet.” ~ Konstantin Dimopoulos

Last week, Sacramento, the City of Trees, became the fifth ‘Blue Trees City’ following the lead of Melbourne, Vancouver, Auckland and Seattle. Artist Konstantin Dimopoulos’ created the Blue Trees Project to call attention to global deforestation, particularly of old growth trees (1). Locally, this living outdoor art project also highlights the value of Sacramento’s remarkable urban forest (2).

The Sacramento Blue Trees Project includes 20 mature trees along 13th Street between J and K, and 40 container trees that will be placed in different locations around town during and then will be planted at the end of the project (3).

The Art:

“The Blue Trees takes an urban landscape with which you are familiar and changes it for a brief period of time so that it becomes something unfamiliar, a strange environment.” Konstantin Dimopoulos

The vibrant blue is created with a water-based, non-toxic, biologically safe pigment. Blue trees do not exist in the natural world, and so, like pink elephants, Dimopoulos creates a surreal environment that startles our perceptions and delivers an image that we cannot get out of our minds (4). For Dimopoulos, the blue symbolizes a sense of the sacred as well as, paradoxically, a lack of oxygen; for without the trees, we would not have breath.

Colossal has some stunning photos of the Blue Trees Projects from other cities.

The Artist:

“Through my work I am striving to address global issues and provide a visual platform to effect change. So many universal concerns seem larger than an individual’s power of influence and I want to evoke in people the idea that we can all contribute to change in a positive way.” ~ Konstantin Dimopoulos

Konstantin Dimopoulos creates social art installations where “human or environmental actions… become visual references” (5). This visual reference creates conversation, and from conversation, change can occur. The “Writings” section of his website includes some inspiring and moving writing about public art. In one particular piece, he describes public art as a physical entity that occupies and alters space. He speaks of nature as the “ultimate creative palate” and that artists are to echo that and make it visible.

Sacramento’s Trees:

“Trees are largely invisible in our daily lives, and it’s not until it’s too late that we realise how important they are to us both aesthetically and environmentally. Each year an area at least the size of Belgium of native forests is cleared from around the planet.” ~ Konstantin Dimopoulos

Sacramento is rich in trees. We enjoy more trees per capita than any other city (except maybe Paris). This urban forest needs tending to be maintained and thrive. Issues such as diversity in tree species and age, planting space, tree size, pruning methods, and disease prevention pose significant risks to our urban forest (6).

Sacramento Tree Foundation is a local non-profit organization working on many levels to help create the “best regional urban forest in the nation” and they were heavily involved in bringing the Blue Trees to Sacramento. Their many projects range from Free Shade Trees to a Seedling Growing Program to training local Tree Stewards. There are many ways to volunteer with the Tree Foundation and you can become a member to help support their great work.

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”    Mahatma Gandhi

Title: Blue Trees
Artist: Konstantin Dimopoulos
Date: 2012
Media: biologically safe pigmented water
Location: 13th between J & K

(Support for Sacrament’s Blue Trees Project involved numerous local organizations including: Sacramento Tree Foundation, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of CommerceDowntown Sacramento Partnership, and City of Sacramento, Urban Forest Division.)


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1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9QoLZN4mec
2. http://www.sactree.org/news/81
3. http://www.sactree.com/pages/404?item=81
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSiNq9LSNWQ
5. http://www.kondimopoulos.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Dimopoulos_LINO.pdf
6. http://sutterparkneighborhood.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Trees.Section1.Sacramento-TreeScape-1.pdf

Ishi ~ 24th & Broadway

A wall over-looking a gas station parking lot is a surprising place for such a riveting mural as this one titled, Ishi, painted by Alex Forster (aka Cabrón). Cabrón was selected amongst a pool of entrants in a mural contest by the non-profit organization, Valley Vision, for the 16′ x 80′ external wall of their office building (which is next to the gas station).

The Art:

The contest called for a mural reflecting the Sacramento Valley, and Cabrón focused his piece on the history of the valley:

I wanted to do something about the past of the Sacramento Valley. The first thing that came to my mind was the Californian Gold Rush, the epiphany of the American Dream, which drew tens of thousands of people from all over the world to this area.

The clash with the Native American Peoples and subsequent permanent demographic changes that resulted from this fateful event in American/Californian history is best represented by “Ishi, the last of the Yahi”, who was called the last “savage” alive when he first emerged from the wilderness. (1)

Cabrón’s mural invites us into the story of what happened to Ishi, his tribe, tribes throughout California, and Native American peoples across the entire continent when Europeans arrived in mass numbers. It was indeed a “permanent demographic change” that deserves our willingness to face the deeply disturbing events that happened in the Sacramento valley and throughout the United States.

The History:

One hundred years ago in August of 1911, Ishi appeared on a farm in Oroville unable to speak English or a known Native language (2). He was cited for vagrancy and put in the Butte County jail, but was released when anthropologists from San Francisco were able to identify him as a member of the Yana trip in the Deer Creek region (about 30 miles north west of Chico) (3). Ishi spent the remainder of his life at the University Museum in Berkeley and then at the San Francisco Anthropology Museum (4). He developed a relationship with the anthropologists who were appointed as his guardians, Alfred L. Kroeber and T. T. Waterman, and through him, they learned the story of the decimation of the Yahi people.

The tale Ishi told was grim. The Yana peoples suffered the complete loss of their lands and way of life when the Americans came during the Gold Rush… Ishi used to refer to the time of the American arrival as ‘when the stars fell.’ (5)

The Yahi initially numbered around 400. Lacking firearms, they were destroyed by four raids by armed white settlers. On August 6, 1865, seventeen settlers raided a Yahi village at dawn. In 1866, more Yahis were massacred when they were caught by surprise in a ravine. Around 1867, thirty-three Yahis were killed after being tracked to a cave. Finally, around 1868, four cowboys trapped about thirty Yahis in another cave. (6)

While still a child sometime in the 1870′s, Ishi’s own father was killed in a village massacre. The boy and his mother escaped by jumping into a nearby river. The Yahi who fought to preserve their territory against unequal odds and long range rifles were slaughtered until only a remnant band of 40 or so remained. The survivors of this tiny band hid successfully for nearly forty years, undetected by the outside world.” (7)

The decimation of the Yani people is mirrored in tribe after tribe throughout the history of the Gold Rush and the history of the European migration across America.

The Artist:

Cabrón spent his first 19 years in Vienna, Austria. Since then, he’s been on the road often but always doing art; comics for awhile and then, in his late twenties, he shifted to painting (8). Eventually he made his way to Sacramento, and his gallery page on A Bitchin’ Space describes the back-story for that move:

Cabrón, being an old school cynic from Vienna, firmly believes in the power of irony and consciously decided to move to Sacramento, the “city of gold”, at the height of recession and job scarcity in order to be a full time artist. (9)

In an interview with KVIE, Cabrón speaks to his experience with creating public art:

Public art is so accessible for everyone, anyone can enjoy it. It humbles me too because then I realize the full extent of my work, that I actually can touch someone with a piece of art. that’s what I love the most about it – is the interaction with people. (10)

Valley Vision:

Valley Vision is an ‘action tank’ that is “dedicated to securing the social, environmental and economic health of the Sacramento Region.”

Civic leadership at a regional scale: Valley Vision is a nonprofit association of people and organizations working to secure the social, environmental and economic health of the Sacramento Region. Founded in 1994, we are an objective, nonpartisan “action tank” committed to regional problem-solving as well as impartial research for sound decision-making. We act as a bridge, uniting neighbors and organizations that together can make a real difference in our communities.

Title: Ishi
Artist: Alex Forster (aka Cabrón) (www.cabron.us)
Date: 2010
Media: Paint
Location: 24th & Broadway


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(1) http://www.valleyvision.org/work/vvlocalart.html
(2) http://www.californiamuseum.org/Ishi_100
(3) http://www.californiamuseum.org/Ishi_100
(4) (http://www.theespresso.com/2011/09/ishi-commemorating-the-last-of-the-northern-california-yahi-indians-a-century-later/
(5) http://www.theespresso.com/2011/09/ishi-commemorating-the-last-of-the-northern-california-yahi-indians-a-century-later/
(6) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yana_people
(7) http://www.theespresso.com/2011/09/ishi-commemorating-the-last-of-the-northern-california-yahi-indians-a-century-later
(8) http://www.abitchinspace.com/cabron.html
(9) http://www.abitchinspace.com/cabron.html
(10) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edyZWAEEqm0

Shine Mural ~ 14th & E

In blue, purple, green, and yellow, the intricate mural outside Shine cafe can keep a careful viewer occupied for a long while. It’s called, Ancient Futurism and is the work of local artist Shaun Burner (1).

The mural invites us to get up close and find some of the many mini-images that are integrated into the larger whole:

A face profile, cassette tape, and coffee mug.

Single die, envelope, and boat.

Coffee bean and conga drum.

Burner’s mural work can be found throughout downtown and has been featured on SacPedArt several times in the last year: Dimple Records, American Market, Midtown Mosaic, and (for a short while anyway) Sugar Plum Vegan Cafe.

He is part of a group called, Trust Your Struggle, which “is a collective of visual artists, educators, and cultural workers dedicated to social justice and community activism through the medium of art.”

Shine cafe opened in August 2010 in the recently re-developed Shine Building in Mansion Flats neighborhood (2). Other businesses in the building include Penleigh, a child-development center and preschool, and Yoga Seed Collective, a non-profit yoga studio (3). Shine cafe serves local food, fair-trade coffee, local art, and live music in a comfortable, living-room like atmosphere.


Burner completed Ancient Futurism in a couple of hours (4). Submerge Magazine quotes the artist talking about his painting process:

For me, this is meditation. It’s my tai chi. It’s a metaphor for life. Do the best you can with whatever you do. Don’t reflect on the past too much or worry about the future, but be present in this moment that is continually happening, and own that shit.(5)


Title: Ancient Futurism
Artist: Shaun Burner
Date: 2010
Media: Paint
Location: 1400 E Street


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(1)  http://submergemag.com/featured/bicycle-mural-tour-2012/6135/
(2) http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/26494/Shine_Building_to_brighten_up_downtown
(3) http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/38344/Yoga_collective_takes_root
(4) (http://submergemag.com/featured/bicycle-mural-tour-2012/6135/)
(5) (http://submergemag.com/featured/bicycle-mural-tour-2012/6135/)

CADA Mural ~ 7th & S

Sacramentans are gardening, biking, walking to work, restoring Victorian homes, and playing with pets and kids on the mural that graces the CADA Maintenance Office at 701 S Street. The figures in the mural are surrounded by trees and Golden poppies (the California state flower), and all of this is overlayed on a colorful grid map of downtown streets.

Local artists Sophia Lacin & Hennessy Chrisophel of Lacin Chrisophel Mural & Design completed the 3-panel mural in July last year. The main centerpiece is 40’x10′ and the right and left panels are both 19’x19′. The artists’ website has a great photo of all three panels together.

In this article in Sacramento Press, Lacin notes that the once blank wall now has personality; “it’s like a new person came to town.”

While Lacin and Chrisophel painted the mural, they met community members who came to watch the process unfold (1). On their blog, the artists describe the concept of the mural as:

a map of Sacramento that’s being brought to life with illustrations. The shadow of a hand on the leftmost section suggests the presence of the individual showing the influence one person can have, and the power of imagination. (2)

Capitol Area Development Authority (CADA) is an urban development and management company that functions as a self-supporting public agency seeking to build a fiscally, socially and environmentally sustainable neighborhood around Capital Park; which is loosely defined as bounded by L, S, 7th and 19th Streets (3). The organization’s tag line is:

CADA is committed to building a sustainable Capitol Park neighborhood that captivates city dwellers and inspires the people of California.

Lacin and Chrisophel have been active muralists since they opened their business in 2007. Last week’s ArtTake post on SacPedArt included the mural for Cuffs Urban Apparel which is also their work. The artists’ photo of the Cuffs mural is much better than the one on my post.

The website portfolio for Lacin Chrisophel Mural & Design includes over 15 different pieces around Sacramento, Davis, and Chico including:

The current work-in-progress for Lacin and Chrisophel is a 4-million gallon concrete water tank in Davis. The tank is about 135′ in diameter and 32′ high which equates to a square footage of 13,568 of blank canvas (click to see photo)! The artists post updated photos on their blog and plan to have live streaming video as well.

My favorite from their portfolio (both visually and because of the story behind it) is the mural they created pro bono for Volunteers of America Bannon Street Shelter; a shelter for families who are homeless. The mural is 35’x7′, covers the wall of the dining area, and faces the toddler’s play area (4).

Lacin and Chrisophel focused on inspiring the children when they designed the 4-panel mural. In this KCRA news video, the artists describe how each panel communicates a particular image for the children. The first panel is a garden scene about growth and health; the second is an education image; the third is a playground image about cooperation, friendship, and acceptance; and the fourth image is about individual inspiration and possibility.

In the video, the director of the shelter explains how the children at the shelter are often in a very uncertain and unstable time in their lives, and the images from the mural offer much needed help to “bring the children to the point of possibility in their lives” (5).

On their blog post for the CADA mural, the artists share a sentiment that is very connected to the heart of my motivation for exploring and blogging about public art in Sacramento:

“We believe in the transformative power of public art and hope that our piece will further develop the neighborhood’s identity.” (6)

Title: (unknown)
Artist: Sophia Lacin & Hennessy Chrisophel of Lacin Chrisophel Mural & Design
Date: 2010
Media: Paint
Location: 7th & S


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(1) http://sacramentopress.com/headline/32657/New_Community_Mural)
(2) http://lacinchristophel.blogspot.com/2010/07/final-cada-images.html
(3) http://www.cadanet.org/pdf/onlineVersion.pdf
(4) http://www.lcmuralanddesign.com/press/sacbusjournal.html
(5) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LysSJ_Jy4sU
(6) http://sacramentopress.com/headline/32657/New_Community_Mural