Category Archives: 2000’s

Dimple Records Mural ~ 16th & Broadway

The Dimple Records building at 16th & Broadway was one of the original locations for Tower Records. Tower opened there in the mid-1960’s and stayed open for nearly 40 years (1). After Tower folded in 2006, Russ Solomon (the original founder of Tower) opened R5, an independent record store, and moved into the site.

In 2008, this mural of 13 iconic musicians was created for the R5 store by Shaun Turner, and Daniel Osterhoff painted the mural on the other side of the building (photos below) (2). Recently, Solomon retired, R5 closed, and Dimple moved in (3). Dimple re-painted the outside of the building but kept the murals mostly intact (4).

Iggy Pop •• J Dilla •• Lauryn Hill •• Stevie Wonder

Tower is so much a part of Sacramento history that it is fitting to include some of that story here:

Tower was founded in 1960 by Russ Solomon in Sacramento, California. The store was named after his father’s drugstore, which shared a building and name with the Tower Theater, where Solomon first started selling records. The first Tower Records store was opened in 1960 on Watt Avenue in Sacramento. By 1976, Solomon had opened Tower Books, Posters, and Plants at 1600 Broadway, next door to Tower Records (5).

… the chain spread to San Francisco and Los Angeles before expanding across the US and internationally. It opened its first store in the UK in the early 1990s, and closed its last shop there a decade later. By the mid-1990s there were more than 200 Tower stores around the world generating $1bn a year in sales. Its megastores boasted well-informed staff, extensive stock and long hours (6).

In 2004, when the group first filed for bankruptcy, the Solomon family gave up 85% of its holding. In the last fiscal year, sales dropped 10% to $430m, although only 13 of Tower’s 89 American stores were thought to be losing money. Retail music sales as a whole fell 17% in the US from 2000-2005 (7).

Debbie Harry (Blondie) •• Bootsy Collins (Parliament) •• John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)

I found another Turner and Osterhoff mural; created for Osterhoff’s father’s sandwich shop (called Dad’s Sandwich Shop) and you can see a photo of the artists with the unfinished mural on Russ Andris’ amazing gallery of public Sacramento murals.

James Brown •• Eric Dolphy

Turner is 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.” (8). You can read more about them at these sites:,,

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 (9).

Here is a video of Turner painting the outside wall of Sol Collective, a community based arts education center in Sacramento. Amazing to see how quickly and skillfully he works (although I was bummed the Frida image was covered).

Miles Davis

You can see Turner’s entire mural in one photomerged image by Russ Andris.

A mural by Osterhoff covers the west side of the building. It is made up of mostly words for different musical styles (Rock n’ Roll, Reggae, Country, Metal, etc) in vibrant, expressive fonts. On the far end is a fabulous image of Billie Holiday.

Osterhoff is also a 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.” (10). His website is

Billie Holiday

You can see Osterhoff’s entire west-side mural in this photo by Russ Andris.

(Thanks to Joe H. and Daniel Osterhoff for helping me identify all of the musicians)

Title: (unknown)
Artist: Shaun Turner and Daniel Osterhoff
Date: 2008
Media: Spray Paint
Location: Dimple Records, 16th & Broadway

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Under the Microscope: Steel Doors ~ 28th & N

Local artist Keith Peschel crafted these steel doors and grilles for the Sutter Community Parking Garage at 2701 N St. He’s dubbed the design (appropriately for a medical center facility) “Under the Microscope”.

My photos of these pieces leave something to be desired. Some nicer quality photos are posted by the artist at (see photos 36-39).

A gallery of Peschel’s wide ranging work is available on his web site, Rock and Iron Design. He creates wine bars, chairs, doors, gates, hand rails, trellises and many other items from steel. Here is a double-entry gate from his gallery that I like a lot:

Cat Tail Double Entry Gate (7×6 feet)

Amazingly enough, in Peschel’s work, “the Steel has been bent by hand. There is no use of heat or machinery in the bending process” (1). It is hard to imagine cold bending steel is even possible, and I bet it would be fascinating to watch the process.

And a final odd tidbit, Sutter posted a press release (of all things) for the grand opening of the parking garage.

Title: Under the Microscope
Artist: Keith Peschel
Date: 2007
Media: Steel
Location: East and west corners of the alley side of Sutter Community Parking Garage, 2701 N St

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Stainless Steel Grillwork ~ 15th & O

This interlocking stainless steel grillwork created by Gale McCall can be found on O Street between 14th and 15th along the outside of the childcare facility yard at the Department of Education building.

The fence runs about half of the length of the entire block. There is a door at each end and one in the middle.

Between the doorways, there are eight large circular pieces that are made of interlocking shapes, cut-out like a puzzle and placed back together to make them whole (1).

This grillwork is one of many pieces in the Capitol Area East End Complex Art Program; which is a “$2.8 million art program that emphasizes the values, heritage, direction and goals of the State of California.” (2).

McCall works in a variety of media (3) and in her metalwork she often uses cold bending and welding (4). A few of her other pieces are displayed on this art slant profile. She has a number of public works including Columbia City Station, Port of San Diego, and The City of Whittier

Title: untitled
Artist: Gale McCall
Date: 2002
Media: Stainless Steel
Location: O between 14th & 15th

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Community Roundabout ~ 26th & S

Update Spring 2012: Two of the sculptures were knocked over, apparantly by a car accident, and they have since been removed.

This metal sculpture by Kristen Hoard sits in the roundabout at 26th & S. There are four figures marking each direction of the roundabout.

I can’t think of another roundabout in town that boasts art. Apparently Hoard went through an involved two-year process with the City of Sacramento and the Homeowners Association for this piece:

The public project that Kristen has named “Community” has involved submitting proposals and plans, obtaining engineering approval, and coordinating with other artists and assistants who have also donated their skills to cutting, grinding, powder coating, and eventually erecting the large metal pieces stabilized in concrete in a local traffic circle roundabout. Even the metal has been donated (Blue Collar Supply) since this is one of the few Kristen Hoard pieces that is not constructed of recycled metal (1)

The figures are powder coated a different color on each side, making eight colors total as a symbol of diversity in the Sacramento area (2). I bet it is particularly stunning in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.

Hoard works most often with recycled metal from scrap yards (3). She started working with metal in 1999 in the Bay Area and came to Sacramento about 7 years ago when she bought a house here and transformed the garage into her metal working studio.

My journey into artistry has been in parallel with my spiritual journey. And, I believe these two things are inseparably linked in numerous ways. The feeling I get from working with metal and all the processes involved is all consuming. There is great sensuality in working within this genre, because visually, heat brings out differing colors, shapes and textures that transform simple object into art (4).

You can see more of Hoard’s work on her website,

Title: Community
Artist: Kristen Hoard
Date: 2009
Media: Metal
Location: 26th & S

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Tree City Mural ~ 2524 J St

The images will speak for themselves here because not much information surfaced in my research on this mural. I like the flow of images following the mural up and around the side of the building. The way the birds fly across the space brings the window into the art as well.

Moving up the side…

And around the corner…

The mural is on the side wall of the Upper Playground store — the ultimate urban store and they also display a lot of local (I assume it is local anyway) art. When Joe and I went by to take photographs of the mural, the store was closed but we could check out the amazing wire sculptures displayed in their front room.

Sam Flores created this mural (one of his many) and he has a blog here,

Title: Tree City
Artist: Sam Flores
Date: 2008
Media: Spray paint
Location:Upper Playground, 2524 J Street

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Bon Air Mural ~ 2531 J St

10/18/11 Update: The Bon Air mural was removed earlier this month due to dry rot in the siding. Russ Andris reports that the owner plans to have a new mural take its place, hopefully by the same artist who created this original mural.

This spray paint mural was created by Joshua Silveira and Gabriel Romo for Bon Air Sandwiches in March 2007 (1). I found the term ‘urban tattoo’ from a blog article on local murals which says that innovative, funky, and edgy “21st-century murals [have been] cleverly and appropriately dubbed ‘urban tattoos’, by Bonnie Shafsky a local landscape designer.” (2)

Previously, the wall of the market was graffitied, and artists Silveira and Romo approached the owners of Bon Air about creating a mural (3). Since the mural, the wall has not been graffitied again. An article in Urbanites quotes Ham Nagin, co-owner of Bon Air, telling the story how the mural came about:

[The artists] approached us about painting the mural… Before, [the wall] had graffiti, so we sat down together and decided what to do. Now, the mural shows one person eating a sandwich, and they came up with [the idea] of another person having a drink, and they used my son as a model for that. Nagin says he’s gotten a lot of positive comments about the piece; a win-win-win for the artists, Bon Air and art lovers of all stripes (4).

As I was photographing the mural,the background image came into focus, and suddenly the Tower Bridge emerged behind the sandwich eater. Before that moment, my eyes hadn’t seen those shapes as anything but abstract elements of the mural. Viola! There was the Sacramento skyline.

The wooden birds are mounted using spacers to they come out of the wall at various depths, and a few birds are painted directly on the wall. Note the bird poop on the bird below. Graffiti artists may have respect for each other’s works but birds will crap anywhere.

You can learn more about the artists on their websites, and

Title: Bon Air Mural
Joshua Silveira and Gabriel Romo
Date: 2007
Montana Gold spray paint. Birds in wood. (5)
Location: East facade of Bon Air Market, 2531 J Street

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Spirit: The Chrome Horse ~ 1814 19th St

This chrome sculpture is an 11-foot tall, 2,500 lb imposing piece of art that dominates the front entrance to Safeway of all things. It is a strange beast. I admit my own intrigued but ambivalent feelings toward this shopping center art. After learning more about the artist, Sean Guerrero (aka The Bumper Hunter), and his work I have more intrigue and less (but still some) ambivalence.

Guerrero builds his sculptures in chrome from recycled bumpers of old cars. On his website, Bumper Hunter, he writes:

As an artist, when I’m alone out there among my latest finds, cutting off the bumpers of these old iron beasts. . . . I envision them as old buffalo that never completely decayed and crumbled into the earth again; different herds of steel buffalo- Pontiacs, Chryslers, Chevys, and Buicks- that all ran together on their prairies of concrete and asphalt. . . . Whether it’s a 14 foot rearing stallion or an imposing Knight on a Horse, I feel that through the reinterpretations I’ve created over the years I’ve preserved their strength and style like a monument to their dignity. (1)

The horse was commissioned by local developer, Paul Petrovich, who is quoted saying “Retail is about life and energy. . . . His art adds lots of energy.” (2) Retail is not about life to me, but Guerrero’s work definitely adds energy.

I was impressed to read a quote by the landlord of Guerrero’s studio in Denver who says, “He doesn’t make any plans, or any sketches, he doesn’t measure anything. . . . He just cuts a piece out and welds it on. It’s unbelievable how he can visually look at this stuff and have it come out the way it does.” (3)

I’ve seen some of Guerrro’s other work and it conveys to me the intensity and power I think he is seeking to convey. His pieces do feel like resurrections of the big chrome bumper car beasts, and the horse lover in me is drawn to what he captures in this piece. I suspect that part of my ambivalence comes from how these pieces evoke the myths of Westerns and the American Dream for me. I am aware of the problems those myths perpetuate so it is difficult to surrender to the images/feeling of the art. Part of the value of art is making us stop to reflect on these things, regardless of the degree to which we “like” the images or not.

Title: Spirit
Artist: Sean Guerrero
Date: 2004
Media: Recycled chrome car bumpers
Location: Safeway storefront, 1814 19th Street

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