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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ArtTake: Crafty Signage

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

Today’s ArtTake is a collection of arty/crafty business signage from around town. I’ll apologize now for the quality of many of the photos. The weather was overcast with a lot of glare and my photography skills were clearly not up to the challenge.

Mural at Hot Italian (16th & Q) a place for pizza, music, bikes & gear.

Seraphein Beyn Advertising agency at 2319 J St; “Using cognitive thinking and opposable thumbs to create a thin facade of respectability since 1983.”

Mini-mural at Cuffs Urban Apparel by Sophia Lacin & Hennessy Chrisophel ( at 2523 J St.

Art Ellis, a family run art supply store at 2508 J S since 1948.

Mural for Sugar Shack Boutique by at 2425 J.

My gym of choice, Pipeworks, on the other side of the tracks at 116 N. 16th Street.

RUOFS (pronounced Rufus) the bull is the mascot for Ruland’s Used Office Furniture also on the other side of the tracks at 215 N. 16th Street. RUOFS speaks to us with ever-changing messages on both of his big sides of beef. I blush to admit it took me a while to grok this particular message (“If you build it, they will stay”), but of course it refers to the Kings and their much-debated new arena.

RUOFS has a local history and has kept busy over the last 18 years boating, sky diving, participating in parades, and visiting various parts of the city. Looks like he even inspired the store’s motto:

Butterfield Horse ~ 5th and J

The spirit of an old Air Stream trailer lives in this sculpture by Deborah Butterfield. Butterfield has focused her 40-year career mastering her one subject, horses, and she primarily creates her pieces with found objects like wood and scrap metal. Her sculpture at 5th & J was installed in 1983 and is crafted out of aluminum originally from an Air Stream trailer (1).

Butterfield has used a progression materials over the years. In the early years it was natural materials like mud, clay and sticks over metal armatures. Then metal and industrial materials. Recently, she has created her works in wood and organic materials and then has them cast in bronze from those materials. This helps the sculptures withstand time while still maintaining the organic look of the original materials. (2) The casting process is very involved; taking twenty people two to three months to cast a large horse. (3)

Butterfield’s sculptures began as metaphorical self-portraits that she describes on MMoCA Collects as “one step removed from the specificity of Deborah Butterfield.” (4). Over time, her sculptures became less self-portrait and more of an exploration of the horse (5).

Unlike many horse sculptures, Butterfield’s pieces never include a rider or any other human form (6). Neither are her horses executing dramatic movements such as rearing or galloping. Her exploration is of a different nature:

My work is not so overtly about movement. My horses’ gestures are really quite quiet, because real horses move so much better than I could pretend to make things move. For the pieces I make, the gesture is really more within the body, it’s like an internalized gesture, which is more about the content, the state of mind or of being at a given instant. And so it’s more like a painting … the gesture and the movement is all pretty much contained within the body. – Deborah Butterfield (7)


Judy Wagonfeld describes Butterfield’s pieces as “paradoxes of power and vulnerability” which captures them perfectly. This paradox also expresses the nature of horses themselves. Part of Butterfield’s intention for her art is to draw us into an empathic experience where we project ourselves into the form of the horse.

With a Google Image search on her name you can explore an array of her pieces and find which are the easiest for you to project yourself into. As a horse lover all of my life, I’m drawn to many of her pieces, but Vermillion is one that captured my attention the most. It would be an interesting self-exploration to use these horse sculptures to explore different aspects of one’s self.

This particular sculpture came to Sacramento through the efforts of Phil Hitchcock. Hitchcock is an art professor and director of the University Library Gallery at Sac State. He is active in the local Sacramento arts world; serving as a judge for juried shows and as an Advisor for the non-profit Sacramento Art History Consortium.

Hitchcock has also served as an art consultant for local developers (8). An art ltd article describes him “a conduit between builders and artists” in Sacramento. There are ordinances in Sacramento for developers to install public art, but Hitchcock says “90 percent of all the work I have done is for developers who are not required to put one stick of art in their buildings. . . .There are so many of them… and they do it with a real passion.” (9)

Sacramento is home to several horse sculptures (10). Sean Guerrero’s chrome sculpture, Spirit, appeared in SacPedArt last year.

Described by Charles Johnson as “stupendous kitsch”, it is a dramatically different expression of the horse from Butterfield’s (11).

Title: Untitled
Artist: Deborah Butterfield
Date: 1983
Media: Aluminum (scrap metal from an Air Stream trailer)
Location: 5th & J

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Midtown Mosaic (4 of 4) ~ 2220 K Street

Part 4 is the final post in the Midtown Mosaic series and focuses on several more sections of this expansive mural which includes the work of more than 60 artists. The project was conceived and coordinated by Sacramento’s Midtown Alley Project (MAP).

If you missed them, be sure to start with part 1, part 2, and part 3 of the Midtown Mosaic series.

Click on any photo to see a larger image.

A delta landscape created by Debra Hardesty.

One of my favorite pieces in the mural. This one is by Jeff Musser, who has another, similar piece in part 1 of this mural series. In this video by Russ Andris, Musser tells the story of the woman in this image, Jessica, and discusses the symbolism of the white roses. (

A fun piece by Michelle Mackenzie. (

One of two pieces on the mural by Jared Konopitski. (

A second tall tree image was created by Brenda Boles, and another of Brenda’s signature tall trees appears on the part 2 post of the mural. (

Looks like a little tree frog – this one is by Barry Smith who is primarily a gallery owner but jumped in as an artist for fun.

Cartoon piece by Seth Forester.

An unusual piece in the mural by Kristina McClanahan, one of the founders of Midtown Alley Project, and the “Goddess of the geometric design” of the Midtown Mosaic mural. This piece is part of her “Mug Shot Series”.

According to Russ Adris’ page, this piece looks like it was created by an artist named, Cartman.

These next 4 images were all created by by Gustavo Reynoso who runs Galeria Reynoso in downtown Sacramento. (

Be sure to checkout Russ Andris’ cool panoramic photo of the entire mural. Andris also posted a 5 minute video panorama of the mural where he makes use of different zoom levels in order to show detailed views of many pieces as well as the larger mosaic view. If you have a Facebook account, visit MAP’s photo album to see photos of the mural’s progression from blank canvas to mosaic. MAP’s October 2008 blog post also contains some photos of the mural’s progression.

MAP honors Clare Bailey as the Guardian Angel of this mural for her efforts with coordination, support, and painting. Bailey is a galley artist and, Sacramento columnist, Bill Shallit, quotes Bailey’s dream of midtown public art where she “envisions a day when visitors can walk through midtown with headphones — like those available at museums — listening to art commentary on various midtown sites.” (1).

According to a recent Sacramento Press article, Claire’s dream is coming alive:

By early June, residents will be able to take walking tours of this growing outdoor gallery, thanks to tour maps being printed and posted online as part of the Midtown Alley Project (MAP) (2)

Keep your eye on Midtown Alley Project. The Sacramento Press article lists at least 5 more pieces that have gone in since Midtown Mosaic and more are to come: “Owners of at least three other properties are now talking with the MAP crew about adding public art at their spaces” (3)

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

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