This hand-made glazed-tile mural sits along a wall at the west end of the Downtown Plaza mall, just before the covered walkway leading to Old Sac. The mural was created by local artist, Peter VandenBerge (1).
From what I saw online, it seems the great body of VandenBerge’s work is in clay sculpture — most often whimsical & eclectic human figures or fruits and vegetables.
So this mural might be somewhat unique among his work.
He was part of the California funk ceramics tradition of the ’60s and ’70s which began in San Francisco:
California funk was one of the first ceramics movements to draw influences from counterculture influences like the beat movement and psychedelia while using ceramics to challenge conventional thinking (4).
The funk tradition drew criticism for its non-serious nature:
East Coast critics who were unfamiliar (or else hostile) to the comic spirit of the West Coast Funk tradition . . . wondered aloud if his work was confused. To that the sculptor asks, “Can’t one be serious and funny?” (5)
Independent of what his pieces ‘mean’ or what they evoke, his primary concern in the studio is the simple “pulling and pushing and punching of clay – the physical act of working it to see what I’m going to come up with next.” (6)
Artist: Peter VandenBerge
Media: Glazed Tiles
Location: 4th & K
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(3) Art in the San Francisco Bay area 1945-1980: an illustrated history, by Thomas Albright