Rendering of the Coloring Book sculpture at the ESC plaza
Rendering of the Coloring Book sculpture at the ESC plaza

The Sacramento City Council approved the contract for renowned artist Jeff Koons’ Coloring Book sculpture as the focal point of public art in the new downtown arena. The $9.5 million project includes $5.5 million in contributions from the Sacramento Kings and $4.5 million in private donations. A contribution of $1.5 million will be allocated specifically to purchase public art from regional artists.

The Jeff Koons sculpture will be showcased within the Entertainment and Sports Center (ESC) plaza and would mark the first artwork by Koons purchased by a municipality for permanent display.

In May 2014, the City and the Kings announced that $5.5 million of the ESC construction budget would be invested in the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission’s (SMAC) “Art in Public Places” program, representing the largest commitment in City history. A nine-member panel of prominent artists, curators and community leaders were appointed to recommend the acquisition, exhibition and maintenance of the artwork, including artist selection and artwork design approval.

The panel selected, and SMAC approved, the sculpture from the Koons Coloring Book collection, a towering design of stainless steel. Coloring Book is a quintessential element from the artist’s Celebration series. The sculpture is intended to capture a child’s ecstatic enjoyment of the world.

Through an arrangement with Gagosian Gallery, Inc., the will be acquired and installed for $8 million. Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé, Envision Pharmaceutical Holdings, Inc. Founder Kevin Nagle and Buzz Oates Group of Companies Chairman Phil Oates will gift $3 million toward the purchase cost. The remaining cost would come from the initial $5.5 million contribution to the Art in Public Places program.

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JEFF KOONS: Jeff Koons (http://www.jeffkoons.com) is considered one of the most important and influential artists of the postwar era. Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Koons’ work has been shown in major galleries and institutions throughout the world. His Celebration series was the subject of exhibitions on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Château de Versailles opened its doors to a living artist for the first time with Jeff Koons: Versailles, where a selection of his works was presented within the Grand Apartments. The Whitney Museum of American Art presented the most comprehensive survey of Koons’ career to date, Jeff Koons: A Retrospective (through Oct. 19, 2014), which will also travel to the Pompidou Centre Paris in November, and to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in June 2015. Koons has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his cultural achievements. Notably, Koons received the Governor’s Awards for the Arts “Distinguished Arts Award” from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; President Jacques Chirac promoted Koons to Officier de la Legion d’Honneur; and most recently, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored Koons with the State Department’s Medal of the Arts for his outstanding commitment to the Art in Embassies Program and international cultural exchange. Koons has been a board member of The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) since 2002, and co-founded the Koons Family International Law and Policy Institute with ICMEC; for the purpose of combating global issues of child abduction and exploitation and to protect the world’s children. Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955. He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and he received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1976. Koons lives and works in New York City.

SACRAMENTO METRO PUBLIC ARTS COMMISSION: The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (http://www.sacmetroarts.org) was established in 1977 by a City Ordinance and a County Ordinance. The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC) is a public agency devoted to supporting, promoting and advancing the arts in the region. Funded by the Sacramento City and County, SMAC provides funding to local artists and arts groups; promotes the arts through marketing, outreach and education initiatives; provides resources to support and increase regional arts education activities; and serves as a community partner and resource. The agency is guided by 11 Commissioners, five appointed by the Sacramento City Council, five appointed by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, and one appointed based on the recommendations of the existing Commission members.