Four California artists will soon install five new works of public art at the SAFE Credit Union Convention and Performing Arts District. Sacramento artist Kimberly Garza will be the first artist to install their work, starting early next week.
Garza, along with Atlas Lab Inc., a Sacramento-based public art and landscape architecture firm, reflects California’s relationship to the natural environment with a 25-foot tall sculpture titled “California Cathedral.” The other artists selected are Jiayi Young, who also is from Sacramento, as well as California artists Nova Jiang and Einar and Jamex De La Torre.
“We’re delighted that the installation is beginning to get underway, and that Sacramento residents and visitors alike will have new public art to explore and experience as we continue to reopen,” said Megan Van Voorhis, the City’s creative economy manager. “Public art can play an important role in healing and recovery and these new works are poised to do just that by engaging the senses and bringing fresh energy to this area.”
“Our creative talent base contributes directly to our region’s creative vitality, while also attracting tourism, driving innovation and bringing people together,” said Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, who represents the district. “It’s vital that the City continues to support the arts community and pursue providing opportunities for our local creatives.”
The district includes the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center and the recently remodeled Memorial Auditorium. The convention center and performing arts center are currently undergoing an extensive expansion and renovation, which includes several public art projects.
“These artworks will all reflect Sacramento and the incredible works of music, dance, theater and other genres that will be performed inside our renovated performing arts center,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “The major amenities we are putting in place today downtown show how our city is poised to soar once again when we emerge from the pandemic.”
As part of the City’s $365 million C3 Project, The SAFE Credit Union Convention Center is scheduled to be finished in late May with a ribbon cutting ceremony planned for early June.
In coordination with the City’s Office of Arts and Culture, the four artists were chosen through a competitive process in which more than 300 people applied. Applications were reviewed by a panel and then approved by the Sacramento Arts, Culture and Creative Economy Commission.
“This is an impressive and diverse group of artists, and their contributions to our City’s collection reflect the character of the region,” said Lennée Eller the City’s public art program manager. “We’re looking forward to Phase 2 of this public art project that will be adding portable works to our municipal collection and opportunities for temporary works to activate the plaza.”
Sacramento City Council approved April 6 the 34-foot tall rocket ship sculpture “We have Lift Off!” by artist brothers Einar and Jamex De La Torre.
Below are summaries of the selected artists and their designs:
Kimberly Garza and the Team at Atlas Lab, Inc. of Sacramento – “California Cathedral”
California Cathedral is a 25-foot tall sculpture that reinterprets California’s iconic redwoods, pines, cedars and firs that comprise most of the states’ mountain landscape. Using the wood from these trees, trapezoidal planks will clad a tall steel frame that echoes the form of a tree. The public can enjoy standing in the middle for the sculpture viewing upward – evoking a contemplative feeling of soaring trees reaching for the sky.
Jiayi Young of Sacramento – “Lunar Specimen 12038,7”
Lunar Specimen 12038,7 is a 6.5’ x 5’ x 8’ clear acrylic resin sculpture modeled after the shape of a moon rock brought back from the 1969 Apollo 1I moon landing. The lighting spectrum of the rock is synchronized with the light spectrum of the moon; and it further echoes the phases of the moon providing seasonal variation to the visual representation of the sculpture. The sound component of the piece carries the sonic representation of the murmur of the cosmos. When you put your ear to the rock, you can hear recorded sounds from outer space. It is an artwork that is about human curiosity, courage, and ambition and our relationship with the technology.
Nova Jiang of Los Angeles – “Cacophony” and “Acorn”
Nova Jiang will be creating two pieces for the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center.
Cacophony is a 34-foot long aluminum and Swarovski glass crystal hanging sculpture of a recorded soundwave of the Sacramento Philharmonic tuning its instruments. The sound of an orchestra tuning before a concert, ballet or an opera creates a sense of anticipation. Lit at night, the suspended artwork of sound waves will be highly visible from outside the performing arts center.
Acorn is made of aluminum, fiberglass, wood instruments and acrylic paint and will hang from the ceiling of the lobby. This artwork is inspired by the image of an oak sapling sprouting from an acorn and explores how trees are used to make the instruments that fill theaters with music.
Einar and Jamex De La Torre of San Diego – “We Have Lift Off!”
We Have Lift Off! is an up-lifting, playful and inspiring 34-foot-tall sculpture made of steel, fiberglass and concrete rocket ship. During the day it can be viewed as a playful, up-lifting “Instagram moment,” and a landmark for meet-and-greet Convention goers. At night, the work will light up, depicting flora shapes from the Sacramento Region projected on the Convention Center’s monumental walls.