Midtown Mosaic (1 of 4) ~ 2220 K Street

The Midtown Mosaic mural is truly an art mosaic, with over 60 different artists’ work spanning an 80’x10′ alley wall. The project was conceived and coordinated by Sacramento’s Midtown Alley Project (MAP). MAP was started by local artists Kristina McClanahan and Clare Bailey (1), and the group collaborates to bring beauty and culture to the Midtown neighborhood by creating outdoor venues for local artists to display their work.

MAP describes the mural, which was entirely a community effort and received no funding from city or government agencies:

The “Midtown Mosaic” mural showcases the work of over 60 talented artists. The various styles represented include tattoo inspired images, landscapes, portraiture, cityscapes, abstracts, whimsical pieces and one tile mosaic space. The variety of artistic styles and the diversity in subject matter gives this mural a broad range of appeal. (2)

Russ Andris has a wonderful panorama photo of the entire mural that gives a great feel for the overall effect.

I’ve photographed each section of the mural and researched many of the artists. I’ll be posting on the mural in a series of posts so each one is a smaller serving of art you can linger over. Like the mural, these posts are a bit of a mosaic. Keep reading, explore the photos, and click the links to read more about the works that draw your interest…

Click on any photo to see a larger image.

A geometric image created by Eva Rickert, who is a high school student, and the youngest contributor to the Midtown Mosaic.

The image, called ‘Newborn’, is the work of Laurelin Gilmore and on the MAP blog, Gilmore describes her work: “He is pulling back the curtain on a new morning, looking directly at the viewer despite the timidity apparent in his long, drawn down ears…. This is me, trumpeting the morning of my escape from old norms.” (www.laurelingilmore.com)

This tile-work piece is one of my favorites and was created by Marjorie Morblizter. Russ Andris posted a video interview with Morbitzer describing how the image is designed as if the viewer is looking out of a window and the woman is looking back in at the viewer from outside.

This floral is another of my favorites and was created by Barrett Manning. Manning describes his work in a video by Russ Andris. (barrettmanning.com)

The odd humanoid is the work of Shaun Turner and you can hear a little more about him in Russ Andris’ video. He painted a set of similarly styled twins on another part of the mural (see photos below). Sac Ped Art has featured Turner’s work several times, including: Dimple Records mural, American Market Mural, and the lost mural at 2309 K Street.

This wild Tibetan mask image was painted by tattoo artist, Wesley. The tattoo art on Wesley’s arms are actually the subject of a different piece in the mural by Jeff Musser (see below).

The circular cafe scene by Pat Orner is called Cafe’ Des Arts and was inspired by “Midtown’s many outdoor cafes and coffee houses.” You can hear Pat talk about her piece in this video by Russ Andris. (http://www.patornerart.com/)

One of two pieces on the mural by Jared Konopitski. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jnoriko/4258004539/)

Based on Russ Andris’ page, I believe this critter is the work of Eric Goodman. (www.ericgoodmanpaintings.blogspot.com)

The multi-colored cityscape image was painted on an actual doorway that appears along the wall by Michael Misha Kennedy (who also painted the utility poles shown in the larger photo above). (www.mmkgallery.com)

The wild demon figures were created by Micah Young, and Russ Andris posted is a short youtube video interview of Young.

Keith Hopkins painted the neon sign of the Torch Club; Sacramento’s premier blues club established the year after prohibition ended in 1934. You can hear Keith talk about his piece and the challenge of working on the unique surface of the wall in this video by Russ Andris. (www.keithhopkinsart.com)

This haunting war image is the work of Rachel Vohland. The details have worn over time, but you can see a clearer close-up here.

Another piece created by Barrett Manning.

A piece by Westup.net. Looking closely, you can see that the Earth is being held by two hands and that the Sacramento skyline appears along the bottom of the image.

Based on Russ Andris’ page, I believe this is the work of Jasmine Beard.

This piece, another of my favorites, was created by Jeff Musser and features the tattooed arms of Wesley, the artist of the Tibetan masks above. In this video by Russ Andris, Musser expresses how much he got from the community aspect of participating in the mural. (www.jeffmusser.com)

This piece was created by tattoo artist, Gorgeous George. In the youtube interview by Andris, the artist describes that the image is dedicated to his niece and nephew. (www.myspace.com/inkbygeorge)

Two figures climbing around on the Sacramento city-scape is the work of Kevin Ward who, according to the MAP blog, uses “symbolic images that make the viewer aware of social issues and injustices.” (wardpaint.carbonmade.com)

The bright pink landmark of Rick’s Dessert Diner was painted by Evelyn Niehaus. Niehaus is self-taught artist who creates wonderful pen and ink architectural renderings, including an entire series of courthouse buildings, that can be viewed on her website. (artbyevelyn.com)

Cartoonist, Ryan, painted this one and the speech bubble reads, “Heros ain’t what they used to be”. If you look closely, you can see that the gun the figure is holding is actually a bolt in the wall that the artist incorporated into his piece.

In this video by Russ Andris, Jimmy Osborn, talks about the development of his cubist style demonstrated in this piece.

Based on Russ Andris’ page, I believe this is the work of Viki Asp.

Based on Russ Andris’ page, I believe this is the work of Jasmine Beard.

Next up, part 2 of the Midtown Mosaic posts.

Title: Midtown Mosaic
Artist: 60+ different artists; Coordinated by Midtown Alley Project
Date: 2008/2009
Media: Paint & Tile
Location: Alley between K and L on 23rd Street

View Pedestrian Art, Sacramento in a larger map

(1) http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/3455252)
(2) http://midtownalleyproject.typepad.com/map_midtown_alley_project/2009/05/index.html