Nine16 Mural ~ 32nd & Folsom

Update 7/2012: Sadly, Nine16 closed up shop and the mural has been painted over.

Stephen “Vaquero” Williams created this mural for Nine16 Skate at 32nd & Folsom ( or Nine16 is an independent skate/barbershop owned by local skaters, Bobby Ingle and Todd the Barber (1). Tom Sorci was also an original cowner but was tragically killed by a hit and run driver while riding his bike in Sept 2009 (2). Bobby and Tom were 14 when they started a 6 year campaign to launch a skate park in Rocklin, where a memorial bench and plaque for Tom were installed last summer (3).

This News & Review interview , given in May 2009 before Tom was killed, is a great read about all three owners and their dedication to skating and the community. Here are a few quotes:

Ingle: Our stuff is affordable, shitty economy or not. We’re not trying to get rich off nothing; we’re just in it for the love. Especially more than anything, it’s about camaraderie. The longest relationships I’ve had are the people I skated with. You meet up with people you haven’t seen in years, you go skating again, it brings you right back. Skating keeps you young, whether you’re 14 or 40. You can’t replace that with anything. That’s why we started this. I come to work and spend the day with my two best friends in the world doing what we love to do. That’s why the shop’s called Nine16, we want to represent everything Sac and the people here.

Sorci: We don’t only own the shop, but we’re out there with these kids all the time. We don’t hide at home; we skate every day with them and we want to give these kids a home and provide a positive atmosphere.

Ingle: Skateboarding is just an outlet. You put your energy into it, and you get something positive out of it, and that’s the image I want skateboarding to portray everywhere it goes.

So when did you guys decide to open a skate shop?

Ingle: I’ve been skating with Tom for going on 20 years, and we’ve been talking about doing this since we were 12 or 13. It’s always been a dream of ours.

The first reference I found to the artist, Steve Williams, was on Russ Andris’ post of the same mural. Andris also has a post on the mural by Williams that is inside the shop. The bottom right of the mural is a website address,, but the page has yet to load. Googling, I finally found this Speak & Bheard blog post with a bio of Stephen “Vaquero” Williams. Williams was born in Sacramento and now lives in Portland. His website also has yet to load.

Nine16 has a skate team that competes and a youtube channel with a few skate videos posted. The channel has a tagged favorite video of a young pregnant woman singing Michael Jackson and dancing in her kitchen. It’s a crack-up!

One of their pro-skaters is featured in this fabulous photo ad for Nine16.

For some generally excellent skating photos (some associated with Nine16, some not), check out The World’s Best Photos of oliie and rail.

Title: (unknown)
Artist: Stephen “Vaquero” Williams
Date: 2009
Media: Spray Paint
Location: West wall of Nine16 Skate shop at 32nd & Folsom or

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SMAC Art in Public Places Program


Since 1977, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC) has managed the Art in Public Places (APP) program.

The APP program “includes a collection of more than 400 permanently sited works of art integrated into Sacramento’s built and natural environments. More than 80% of these artworks are by local and regional artists” (1). The funding comes from a percentage of building projects allotted for public art:

2% of eligible City and County capital improvement project budgets [are] set aside for the commission, purchase, and installation of artworks throughout the City (2).

You can search for public art pieces in the Online APP Collection or go on an APP Art Walk.

You can take your own art tour anytime using the Art Walk’s downtown walking map pdf. For school groups, they offer field trips and even in-class virtual tours for those that can’t arrange a field trip. In addition to guided tours, their Educational Program offers “workshops, lectures, discussions, and other educational opportunities for design professionals, public art practitioners and the general public” (3).

APP also has a Gallery Program, which manages exhibition spaces at City Hall, SMUD, and the Sacramento International Airport. Through this program, these sites feature ongoing installations by regional artists (4). The current exhibit at SMUD (through 1/31/10) is “Power Driven Artists: An Exhibition of Artwork by SMUD Employees“.

You can sign up for SMAC’s online newsletter to be updated on art news and events.

Resurgence Mural ~ UCD Med Center

“Resurgence” is a three-story mural comprised of handmade, hand-carved terra-cotta tiles with glaze finish (1). The piece (roughly 32′ high by 18′ wide) was created by Yoshio Taylor and commissioned by the UC Davis Medical Center for the main lobby of their Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion.

Taylor spent 18 months and 9,000 pounds of clay to create this mural which is made up of 500 tiles each weighing 8-10 lbs (2). Taylor describes in this interview that Resurgence is his largest work to-date and the first time he has combined terra-cotta tile with glaze finish (3).

This time-lapse video shows Rich Patrick of Sherman-Loehr Custom Tile (4) mounting the tiles over a five-day period. I enjoyed seeing the sun moving across the frame, creating a time-scale of the mural’s installation (5).

While designing a mural for the lobby of a medical center for surgery and emergency services, Taylor imagined the chaos and stress that people might be feeling in this place. He sought to create something that would be “soothing to their soul and mind” (6). He decided on a waterfall because it evoked strength as well as calming. In an interview with Kristie West, Taylor said:

“I wanted an image that would soothe the people, calm people down and at the same time project a positive image,” he said. “In most cultures, water is a healing type of thing. And a waterfall is pretty dynamic and soothing.” (7)

To coincide with a healing and curing theme, Taylor included images of real and mythical fauna and medicinal plant life such as Echinacea and dandelion (8).

Taylor immigrated from Japan in 1955, earned his BA at CSUS in 1979 and MFA at UCB (9, 10). He has been an art instructor at Cosumnes River College for over two decades where he teaches classes in sculpture and three-dimensional art (11).

John Natsula’s gallery has a profile page for Taylor with images of his ceramic sculpture. Be sure to click on the last image in the list which is called, Cycle, it is stunning. On that profile, Peter London describes Taylor’s work this way:

“Like all good art, the work of Yoshio Taylor requires nothing more to enjoy than a ready pair of eyes-or sensitive fingers. His work is so emphatically present and appealing that one need know nothing further about Taylor or the themes that he investigates. The images are clear and robust. They are skillfully carved and handsomely glazed; the symbols and forms are somewhat familiar and also sufficiently novel so as to draw the viewer closer for finer inspection.” (12)

Taylor has many public art works, including an installation at Plaza Escuela in Walnut Creek near where I attended high school. The article describes how he used “the surrounding environment – the plaza’s name, the location, local flora and fauna, endangered species, and Mount Diablo” as inspiration (13).

Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission lists 4 public art pieces by Taylor in their Art in Public Places online collection. His Sacramento pieces include a work called, Spherical Discourse, installed at the downtown plaza, and this is one of the pieces included in the Art is All Around Us walking tour I posted on last fall.

In 1985, Taylor created a ceramic mural honoring the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II for the chambers of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors at 700 H Street in Sacramento. During the same period the mural was created, the board decided to pay restitution to 4 Japanese American county employees who lost their jobs at the time because the board supported the internment (14). The mural includes poetry by Hiroshi Kashiwagi called, Japanese Americans 1942-1946 (15). I’ll be visiting this historic mural and posting on it in the near future.

The Sacramento Bee offers a photo gallery of the mural and KCRA posted a video on youtube around the time of the mural’s installation in September 2010.

I also plan to post on the UCD Med Center’s large art collection consisting of over 2,000 pieces commissioned since 1985 (16).

Title: Resurgence
Artist: Yoshio Taylor
Date: 2010
Media: Terra-cotta tiles with glaze finish
Location: Lobby of the UC Davis Medical Center Surgery and Emergency Services Pavilion, on X Street between Stockton and 45th Street

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ArtTake: Welding Fun ~ 34th & P

ArtTakes are my mini-posts on art found in unexpected places that is often FUNctional (sculpted bike rack, painted newspaper stand, crafted business signage).

Just around the corner from Western Feed & Supply at 34th & P, is the workshop of welder, Danny Breckenridge, who (I assume) created the 3 welded figures that stand guard like post-modern gargoyles along the top of the garage door. I enjoy them every time I visit Western Feed for Rupert’s dog food.