Art Works Blog

Innovation and Public Art in Sacramento

Sacramento, CA

Dancers  from Sacramento Ballet perform on the street for free to better connect with the community. Photo courtesy of Sacramento Ballet


Since coming to Sacramento with roots in New York and Los Angeles, I am continually inspired by being part of a community reaching for its dreams. I am impressed by Sacramento's wonderfully optimistic arts scene, full of passionate and dedicated folks who do so much with so little. Surviving the economic downturn has been quite a challenge, and we have been witnesses to arts organizations changing their game, using their flexibility and adaptability and creativity to reinvent themselves. The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC), in concert with the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, gave three major cash awards to arts organizations for the implementation of innovative practices this summer (and we are preparing for another round in the spring). First place went to the Sacramento Ballet which rallied to stay alive, thereby becoming more relevant to our community. The ballet company?s dancers danced on urban street corners, performed living sculptures in local restaurants, began their own version of ?So You Think You Can Dance,? and opened up their rehearsal studios to the public for intimate dance experiences. They continue to reinvent themselves.

New Airport Art

By this time next year, Sacramento?s largest public art program will be installed at the Sacramento International Airport. SMAC?s two percent for public art ordinance program is overseeing the selection, fabrication, and installation of artwork by 11 artists, seven of whom reside in Northern California. The architecture of the new terminal is greatly complemented by the new artwork, which includes sites on the floor, the people-mover bus, the elevator, the ceiling, and the only two walls in the entire structure. You may have heard about ?the Red Rabbit diving into a suitcase,? a huge sculpture by sculptor Lawrence Argent that will span two floors, harkening to the traveler?s intense desire to retrieve their luggage after a long trip. We have seasons changing as the elevators go up and down, text messages turning into sound in the food court, the galaxy represented in a floor mosaic, and a glass house, to name only a few. You can find complete information on the airport public art program here.

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