Category Archives: 2000’s

Midtown Mosaic (3 of 4) ~ 2220 K Street

Part 3 of the Midtown Mosaic series 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 it, be sure to start with part 1 and part 2 of the Midtown Mosaic series.

Click on any photo to see a larger image.

In the center of MAP’s Midtown Mosaic mural is a map of a several block area in midtown. Ironically, I have yet to discover the artist for this central piece in the mural.

This young woman with the arresting gaze is titled, ‘Wishful Thinking’, and is the work of Skip Lee. Lee’s work grows from the Abstract Expressionists such as deKooning, Gootlieb, Kline and Rothko. His website’s gallery of paintings shows an interesting array of style within his inspirational abstract approach, I’m particularly drawn to the painting titled, V Mary. (skipleeart.com)

Whimsical heart-faces by Clare Bailey, aka the Guardian Angel of this mural.

Steve Memering painted a portrait of, Sophie, their family dog. You can see Steve and his porky pug, Sophie, in this video by Russ Andris. A dog portrait is not Memering’s usual subject matter. He is known for painting local Sacramento scenes as well as other images from his travels in his “fantasy realism” style. (www.stevememering.com)

The Queen of Diamonds was painted by Kristyne DiMeo. Kristyne works in many mediums; she paints, creates dolls, create masks, fiber arts, and paper arts. (http://www.kristynespalette.com)

Sacramento theater icon, The Crest, was painted by Allison Carlos. For nearly 100 years, the building that is home to the Crest has housed several theaters; starting as the Empress in 1912, then the Hippodrome, and finally opening as The Crest in 1949 (1). (allisoncarlos.com)

Watery fish image by David Hayes.

Two zebras on the Serengeti by Gabriella Bargellini.

A pineapple piece by an artist who remains a mystery so far.

Judith Monroe combined painting and photography to create this landscape image. (www.judithmonroe.com)

A field of bright sunflowers by Elaine Bowers.

A dead bird by David Hayes is an unexpected quirky image in the mural. These next two images are also by Hayes:

He gets my unofficial prize for the widest array of styles in his three pieces on the Midtown Mosaic mural.

This portrait of a serene looking woman with the blue head-scarf was created by artist Steve Duroncelet. The portrait was inspired by a photo of his wife and the heart background was inspired by pop artist, Keith Haring. (www.duroncelet.com)

This image has a great story behind it. In the early stages of the mural, as the graphic outline of the mosaic took shape along the wall, Sister Anne Sekul, from the group of nuns living in a house near-by, came over to learn about the project.She ended up contributing as an artist by painting the angelic looking portrait.

Striking floral by Karen Dukes, whose vibrant style is evident in her website gallery. My favorite is this butterfly. (www.karendukes.com)

This pomegranate image is signed by TMS.

Based on Russ Andris’ site, this image seems to be by Joel Bowman.

Next up, part 4 of the Midtown Mosaic series.


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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(1) http://thecrest.com/history/index.cfm

Midtown Mosaic (2 of 4) ~ 2220 K Street

Part 2 of the Midtown Mosaic series 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 it, be sure to read part 1 of the Midtown Mosaic series.

Click on any photo to see a larger image.

I love this portrait by GayLynn’ Ribeira. Visiting her website, I found many more gorgeous portraits, and this one of Sister Johnson is particularly striking. (www.gaylynnart.com)

This beautiful geometric abstract is by Andy Cunningham. The piece is not shown-off well in this photo because of the dust on the wall. (www.andy-cunningham.net)

Two more images by tattoo artist, Gorgeous George; a stylistic floral and the “eye in the middle of the sacred heart” (which is a smaller element of a larger piece). He has another piece you can see in part 1 of this series.

This piece is the work of local artist, Illyanna. (www.myspace.com/siyaclothing)

A small piece  by Evelyn Niehaus. She has a larger piece you can see in part 1 of this series.

A small piece by self-taught artist Hector Espinoza. This hunched figure is the icon from his website (www.freewillnow.net)

This piece is signed by Nate Feldman and reads “In the melting pot. From all the people of the world. So the arts will blend.” (natefeldman.com)

A piece by Thomas Roth who, as a significant supporter of the arts in Sacramento, was also a key figure in making the Midtown Mosaic mural happen.

One of three pieces on the mural created by David Hayes.

This vibrant wren image was painted by Andy Williams and is dedicated to his (then) soon-to-be-born first-child named Wren. (www.andywilliamspaintings.com/)

A colorful, funky piece by Eric Goodman. (www.ericgoodmanpaintings.blogspot.com)

A pair of odd humanoids by Shaun Turner, who has another piece you can see in part 1 of this series.

A serene crane along the river, with the Sacramento skyline in the far distance, by Marbo Bernard, an accomplished artist who immigrated from Japan in 1956. (www.marbosart.com)

Kathy McMahon painted this portrait of her daughter, Katie, and you can see artist and daughter in this video by Russ Andris. (www.facebook.com/pages/Portraits-by-Kathy-McMahon)

Two pieces by artists who remain a mystery so far.

This tall tree image was created by Brenda Boles, and another of Brenda’s signature tall trees appears on another section of the mural. (www.brendabolesart.com)

This reaching hands image was painted collaboratively by Claire Baily and Thomas Roth; two people instrumental in the creation of the Midtown Mosaic mural.

By the look of it, I suspect this is another small piece by Thomas Roth.

Two pieces by artists who remain a mystery so far.

Next up, part 3 of the Midtown Mosaic posts.


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


View Pedestrian Art, Sacramento in a larger map

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


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

Amaneceres de Sacramento ~ 16th & L

Nine beautiful sunrises (amaneceres) radiate energy along the facade what could have been an ordinary parking garage building. From the corner of 16th & J, the 16′ high cut steel grille arches, called rajas, extend down each block (1). The artpiece is called, Amaneceres de Sacramento, and it was created by Victor Mario Zaballa, an artist from San Francisco.

The rajas were inspired by wrought-iron tracery placed over doorways in 16th-19th century colonial hacienda and mission architecture of Mexico (#).

This piece was created as one of about two dozen art pieces by different artists in the Capital Area East End Art Program. Last September, I posted on a metal grillwork piece by Gale McCall that is also part of the East End project.

The state government website for this project describes the rajas as representing the rising sun:

The inspiration for the rising sun icon comes from the Aztec “Stone of the Sun” or Aztec calendars as well as the shining, sun-feathered headdresses of Quetzalcoatl or the Morning Star. (2)

The various shapes within the arches form layers of concentric arcs and these contribute to the radiating energy emanating from the central “sun” image.

Zaballa and his long-time partner, Ann Chamberlain (who passed away in 2008), collaborated in 1999 on a project for the Mexican Cultural Heritage Gardens in San Jose (3).

Images of their art for the San Jose gardens can be found on the Google Books page for a book titled, Designing the World’s West Public Art. The book describes the theme of their collaborative artpiece as, Cemanahuac, or “the location of the individual within their community and the cosmos.” Over 500 community members drew on their personal histories and participated in creating this piece during a series of public workshops (4).

In an interview with Shuka Kalantari, Zaballa describes how he survived liver failure some years ago (5). He was on dialysis for seven years while he waited for a transplant and during that time the viens in his arms swelled from the dialysis to the point where he could not create his art. He eventually had a successful transplant and has returned to his art. The interview discusses the cultural implications of organ donation and transplant in the Latino community, and it also includes a slideshow video of Zaballa and some of his art.

In 1990, Zaballa completed an artist research program at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. He created a performance piece called, Ayolotl, which drew, in part, from his own dreams:

Victor Mario Zaballa created a performance based on tradition, anthropological research, and his own dreams. “Ayolotl” explored the relationship of pre-Columbian people with the nature that surrounded them. The performance included the use of a Mayan water drum which he finished during his residency, and the traditional paper art of Mexico. (6)

Next time you drive, walk, or ride along the East End Garage at 16th & L, take a moment to notice and enjoy the warming energy of nine rising suns.

Another set of photos are available at the CA.gov main page for this artpiece.


Title: Amaneceres de Sacramento
Artist: Victor Mario Zaballa
Date: ~ 2003 or 2004
Media: Metal
Location: North and west facades of the East End Parking Garage at 16th & L


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(1) http://www.eastend.dgs.ca.gov/ArtProgram/Victor+Zaballa+Main+Page.htm
(2) http://www.eastend.dgs.ca.gov/ArtProgram/Victor+Zaballa+Main+Page.htm
(3) http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-04-22/bay-area/17146113_1_gallery-paule-anglim-collaborative-san-francisco-main-library/2
(4) http://thebesttimeoftheday.blogspot.com/2009/06/ann-chamberlain.html
(5) http://www.reportingonhealth.org/fellowships/projects/organ-donation-latinos-isnt-only-medical-issue
(6) http://www.exploratorium.edu/programs/ARP_projects.html

Impermanence

Everything changes.

This wall has no mural. Last time I saw this wall, it was graced with a wonderful mural, but yesterday when I visited to take photos and get a closer look, I found this blandly painted wall.

In December, Shaun Turner painted an intricate and interesting mural along this wall next to the courtyard of Sugar Plum Vegan Bakery Cafe at 2309 K Street. Fortunately, Russ Andris took a photo of the mural soon after it was created and you should visit his site to see a photo of the short-lived mural.

When I visited yesterday and found the blank wall, I asked after the mural at Never Felt Better Vegan Shop. Sounds like the appropriate permission/agreement was not sought before the mural was painted. Here is a Sacramento Press article on the story.

Unfortunate events leading to the loss of a beautiful mural! But there are plans to build a patio wall that will be home to another mural.

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 (http://nine16skateshop.com/ or http://www.nine16.net/). 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, theartofvaquero.com, 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 http://stephenvwilliams.com/ 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 http://nine16skateshop.com/ or http://www.nine16.net/


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(1) http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=997239
(2) http://www.flickr.com/photos/casch/3903944344
(3) http://placerherald.com/detail/156243.html

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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(1) http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/medicalcenter/features/2010-2011/11/20101104_waterfall-mural.html
(2) http://www.crc.losrios.edu/Events_and_Culture/Campus_News/Yoshio_Art_Mural.htm
(3) http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/medicalcenter/features/2010-2011/11/20101104_waterfall-mural.html
(4) http://www.sacbee.com/2010/09/25/3055403/a-peaceful-refuge-rises-at-hospital.html
(5) http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/medicalcenter/features/2010-2011/11/20101104_waterfall-mural.html
(6) http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/medicalcenter/features/2010-2011/11/20101104_waterfall-mural.html
(7) http://www.crc.losrios.edu/Events_and_Culture/Campus_News/Yoshio_Art_Mural.htm
(8) http://www.crc.losrios.edu/Events_and_Culture/Campus_News/Yoshio_Art_Mural.htm
(9) http://www.crcconnection.com/2.9558/art-professor-displays-new-sculpture-1.1370996
(10) http://www.natsoulas.com/html/artists/yoshioTaylor/yoshioTaylor.html
(11) http://www.crcconnection.com/2.9558/art-professor-displays-new-sculpture-1.1370996
(12) http://www.natsoulas.com/html/artists/yoshioTaylor/yoshioTaylor.html
(13) http://www.nowville.com/contra-culture/articles/featured-artist-yoshio-taylor/
(14) http://digital.lib.csus.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/mats&CISOPTR=123&CISOBOX=1&REC=16″
(15) http://www.asianamericanbooks.com/books/3588.htm
(16) http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/medicalcenter/features/2010-2011/11/20101104_waterfall-mural.html

Fremont Community Gardens ~ 14th & Q

Several artists’ works are integrated into Fremont Community Gardens at 14th & Q. The garden is part of the City Parks & Recreation program; the 52 plots are ‘rented’ to members of the community (1), and gardeners practice sustainable organic gardening. There are twenty eight small plots (10×10), twenty large (10×20) and four ADA raised plots (2). The garden art includes a gazebo, a windmill, a tiled entrance walk, and tomato and carrot sculptures doubling as bike racks.

The site of Fremont Community Garden has an interesting history…

It was originally home to the Ron Mandella Community Garden (3). This state-owned, undeveloped land was zoned for housing, but it had been used as a community garden for 30 years and was “a central gathering point for gardeners, residents, children and state workers on their lunch hour” (4). In 2001, Capitol Area Development Authority (CADA) announced that the garden land was to be reclaimed by the state and developed into residential use (5):

[This] became a difficult time for the entire community. This pitted those who wanted to keep the site as a garden against those who wanted it developed into housing. In 2002, CADA and the State Department of General Services committed to retain 100% of the community garden square footage. This was accomplished by acquiring a half city block near Southside Park. The land was developed for the new Southside Community Garden located at 5th and W Streets. This garden represented two-thirds of the original Mandella Garden space. Concurrently, CADA and the State set aside one third of the Mandella site to continue as a community garden, now called the Fremont Community Garden. (6)

Soil testing showed toxins in the soil which needed to be removed (7). A California EPA grant was used to remove 24 inches of soil from the entire garden for a total of about $450,000 (8). The soil near the roots of the walnut trees could not be cleaned, and so this area is now used for two bocce ball courts (9).

According to an article on the garden by Anne Hart, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, who is a former Charles Manson follower, and the man who pointed a gun at president Gerald Ford in 1975, was a community gardener at the Ron Mandella Community Garden in the 1970s (10).

Now back to the public art…

The steel and glass gazebo called “Bell Pagoda” was created by Chico artists, Patrick Collentine and Susan Larsen (11, 12):

The artists have explored the bell curve form in other works, and in this installation, the pagoda is referred to as a tribute to Sacramento’s Asian history, particularly because the area of Fremont Gardens was once Japantown (13).

Collentine and Larsen are CSU Chico alums and prolific public artists (14, 15, 16). They have a radio show on KZFR called Sonic View where you can “listen to the sounds of poets, artists, and music experimenters, from the 20th Century sound pioneers to the voices and visions of contemporary artists.” (17).

The gazebo has a solar powered neon light structure (18). I’ve driven by at night but have yet to catch it when it is lit.

In another project or theirs, Collentine and Larsen take photos in different locations with a 6-foot-tall photographer’s color bar; this project is called kolorbar and you can see some of the photos of the bar with Cristo’s Gates , in the redwoods, and at Burning Man under a double rainbow. Their main webiste appears to be kolobar.com, and this neon art website, Tesla Neon, seems to be associated with the two artists as well.

Larry Meeks created the carrot and tomato sculptures (19). These funky vegetables function as bike racks. Two carrots and a tomato sit along the grass outside the garden and a pair of each are inside the garden.

Meeks’ website contains a photo gallery of some of his works. He primarily works in metal (steel, brass, bronze and copper) and indigenous river stone (20). The site describes his artwork as flowing “from natural settings and many times reaches the edge of surrealism. He believes that art should make a bold statement and evoke the inner emotion of the viewer” (21).

Meeks public art work can be found around Sacramento including the willowy gates to the inner courtyard of the Shepard Garden and Arts Center in McKinley Park, and the steel trellises at the World Peace Rose Garden in Capital Park (22). Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission lists 6 pieces by Meeks in their online Art in Public Places Collection. The rain collecting lady bug is a must see.

Meeks is quite active outside of his art (23). He is a syndicated columnist who has written a column called, Ethnically Speaking, since 1991. The creators.com site lists Meeks as a pastor of a church, but I was unable to locate a church website for more details (24).

The windmill and the tiled entrance walk were created by Numan Begovic (25). The windmill looks like it will soon be draped by the vine growing on up its wooden structure.

Fall leaves blocked my view, but Sac Metro Arts has a nice photo of the tiled entrance Begovic created for the gardens, which is called “Spirit of the Garden”. They also have a nice photo of the windmill, which is called, “Spirit of the Garden II”. Begovic has numerous other works around Sacramento, Sac Metro Arts lists 9 public art works by him.

Begovic and his wife, Yasmina, were choosen for Sacramento & Co’s “Get Inspired” series for November 18, 2010. The video interview tells some about his history and art. He emmigrated from Bosnia and his art is in numerious mediums including stone, metal, ceramic, and wood. He incorporates memories of his life as symbols within his art (26).

The interviewer asks Begovic why art in public places is important, and he replies, “I think everyone needs art” (27).

Title: Fremont Community Garden
Artist: Numan Begovic, Larry Meeks, and Patrick Collentine & Susan Larsen
Date: 2007?
Media: Metal, wood, ceramic
Location: 14th & Q


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(1) Fremont Garden google group
(2) Fremont Garden google group
(3) Examiner article
(4) CADA project list
(5) CADA project list
(6) CADA project list
(7) CADA project list
(8) Examiner article
(9) Examiner article
(10) Examiner article
(11) Sac Metro Arts newsletter
(12) Chico News & Review article
(13) Chico News & Review article
(14) CSU Chico Humanities newsletter pdf
(15) Chico News & Review article
(16) Chico News & Review article
(17) www.kzfr.org/sonic-view
(18) Tesla Neon
(19) Sac Metro Arts – Art Tour PDF
(20) www.artworkunltd.com
(21) www.artworkunltd.com
(22) Sacramento Magazine Best Of
(23) creators.com profile
(24) creators.com profile
(25) Sac Metro Arts – Art Tour PDF
(26) Sacramento & Co Get Inspired Video
(27) Sacramento & Co Get Inspired Video

INK Bench ~ 2730 N

This elaborate bench was created by Matthew Byrd and sits outside the front door of INK Eats & Drinks.

Ink

Byrd is a Sacramento mixed media artist who works in metal, wood, paint, and more (1). He has a Flickr gallery with photos of some of his painting/sculptures and in the photos you can see how he brings in 3-dimensional aspects to his paintings. Here is a photo of the artist with some of his other works.

Ink

Turns out I’d already seen some of Byrd’s work last fall when he had a show at The Urban Hive. The Urban Hive is a co-working community here in Sac and I was working there at the time. A number of Byrd’s paintings were hung along the large brick wall.

Ink

The metal sculpted flower in the photo above is one of my favorite elements of the bench. I also like the array of colorfully painted images sculpted into the back.

Ink

The overall effect is very cool, and there are many smaller details to notice. Like this ship…

Ink

The Koi fish and the eye just above it….

Ink

Pac Man, blazing heart, checkered flag…

Ink

Cherries, knife, sun, star….

Ink

Dragon…

Ink

The star on the arm rest…

Ink

And this random wrench….

Ink

The bench fits perfectly with INK’s style and energy, and creates a bright, colorful spot on the corner of the block.

Ink

Title: (unknown)
Artist: Matthew Byrd
Date: 2010
Media: Metal, Paint
Location: Ink Eats & Drinks, 2730 N Street


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(1) http://www.flickr.com/people/matthewdavidbyrd/

American Market Mural ~ 24th & N St

Another corner market sporting an urban tattoo to liven the street. This mural is on the east wall of American Market & Deli and is attributed as a collective work by Shaun Turner, Daniel Osterhoff, and Miguel Bounce Perez (1).

Barbara Steinberg credits Bonnie Shafsky, a local landscape designer, with the term “urban tattoo” which refers to 21st-century murals (2). Steinberg describes her appreciation for urban tattoos:

One has to love this innovative wall art. Its edgy and funky appeal makes less attractive buildings seem born again. And our wonderful city streetscape is taking on a far-out chic appearance that is strangely reminiscent of the ‘70s psychedelic (3)

Earlier this month, I posted on another urban tattoo, Dimple Records Mural, which was created by Turner and Osterhoff in 2008.

Osterhoff is a mural artist and DJ. He is described as a “designer, artist, musician, all-around Midtown neo-Renaissance party man… surprisingly focused, even serious, for a guy who joneses to dance and deejays under the alias “DJ Whores.” (4). His website is http://www.myspace.com/djwhores916

Bounce and Turner are 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.” (5).

Our collective strives through art and visual mediums to back and support anyone who is pushing to make the changes we all are looking to see in the world.We want you to believe that whatever you are going threw in the name of your peoples is valid and worth having faith in so we bring it to the frontline to remind folks that when it comes to the people’s struggle, well in the words of T La Rock “it’s yours!!” so trust it, believe in it, love it, give it your all, but don’t ever let nobody take it from you (6).

You can read more about the group at these sites: http://tys.mvmt.com/, http://www.erinyoshi.com/, http://trustyourhustle.blogspot.com/.

Many of the images under the ‘Paint’ section of Bounce’s website are hauntingly beautiful. I particularly love “NO MAMES GUEY”.

Russ Andres has nice shot of the entire mural that he took when the paint was still fresh and the trees had lost their leaves, making the mural more visible.

Title: (unknown)
Artist: Shaun Turner, Daniel Osterhoff, and Miguel Bounce Perez
Date: 2007 (not confirmed)
Media: Spray Paint
Location: American Market & Deli, 24th & N


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(1) http://www.beachcalifornia.com/california/urban-tattoos.html
(2) http://www.beachcalifornia.com/california/urban-tattoos.html
(3) http://www.beachcalifornia.com/california/urban-tattoos.html
(4) http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=1352985
(5) http://tys.mvmt.com/about/
(6) http://www.myspace.com/trustyourstruggle#ixzz0yfs7EgHe