In just a few short days, muralists and illustrators, hailing from near and afar will be taking part in the largest art exhibition Sacramento has ever experienced — on the walls of our great city. From August 20-27, the Sacramento Mural Festival is giving 12 artists free range to transform often forgotten segments of our alley network into stunning public art spaces. Friends of Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission and LeBasse Projects are banking that these indelible marks on our city will give notice to the global arts community of Sacramento’s creative spirit.
Sacramento365 reached out to the four local artists — Jake Castro, David Fiveash, Irubiel Moreno, and Alicia Palenyy — participating in the Sacramento Mural Festival to find out how they plan to paint the town.
Inspired to work alongside some of the most prolific muralists, these artists are excited to show what Sacramento artists are capable of. “A lot of people think they have to go to Los Angeles or San Francisco to get quality artwork, but events like [Art Hotel and now] the Sacramento Mural Festival are great examples of Sacramento’s potential…and [are] what people want to see,” states Jake Castro.
Without even beginning, each artist is enthused by the possibilities for the Sacramento Mural Festival. “This [festival] is a great way to show off art to folks who wouldn’t necessarily make a conscious decision to visit a gallery,” says Georgia transplant David Fiveash.
Artist Irubiel Moreno echoes this sentiment and would love to see this festival grow into an annual event: “[The festival could] activate more neighborhoods with artwork and bring the community together as well as make international art accessible locally.”
However, as the festival evolves, one thing is for certain — local artists do not want our region’s creative momentum to stop or stay unknown. As artist Alicia Palenyy best puts it, “[while] this is [the] Sacramento Mural Festival, but no art movement that I know of is confined to one geographical area. This [festival] isn’t a competition, it’s a celebration.”
Mural location: Crest Theatre Alley (1013 K St)
Photo by Wes Davis Photography.
Through his artistic process, Castro creates kinetic geometric imagery by experimenting with linear forms that generate depth, dimension, and movement found on the surfaces of his creations. On the walls of the Crest Theatre, the artist plans to stay true to his aesthetic, but intends to challenge his technique: “The [festival] is a great moment to experiment in uncharted territories and create something bold.”
His thoughts on the Sacramento arts community: “The Sacramento community is continually expanding and I feel like I’m part of a supportive community. Co-op working spaces [e.g. The Urban Hive and Hacker Lab] really encourage collaboration and innovation among artists and makers…and this helps push us to work harder and think more creatively.”
Mural location: 1025 R St (at 11 St.)
Hailing from a small town in Georgia, Fiveash was always thirsty for art as a youth; at the end of the Sacramento Mural Festival, he hopes to create a piece “where a little kid nags his parents to drive by every time.” Though moving to the west coast to attend art school in San Francisco, he has made the Capital City his home: “Sacramento has a lot to offer these upcoming artists and can take advantage of its lower cost of living, its ample space and the interest of its residents.”
His aesthetic, based on the traditional still life, emphasizes the fragility of nature and the impermanence of our individual experiences.
How he reacted to the Sacramento Mural Festival news: “I was at a swimming pool and did a back-flip off the diving board. I was very happy!”
While most of Fiveash’s work is on canvas and paper, you can see another example of his mural work along Black Rock Auto. Through the month of September, the artist will have work on display at the Tim Collom Gallery.
Mural location: Mogovero Architects (2012 K St.)
Photo by Instagram user Usley.
A firm believer in the power of collaboration, Moreno is buzzing off the current creative energy emanating from our local arts community and is stoked that international artists get to experience our city’s renaissance: “[Having] international artists come to Sacramento is a great thing…it will help Sacramento get recognized as a destination city for art.”
While his style evolves with every new project, his latest work has been technical, with a strong emphasis on concept and message. Moreno cannot wait to hear of the unique interpretations and personal connections mural seekers will have towards his festival piece.
How he reacted to the Sacramento Mural Festival news: “I started dancing and singing at the same time…and lately, I’ve been obsessed with this fresh sound from London by a producer called Dornik. If you like ’90s Michael Jackson, then you’ll love [him].”
See what you can expect from Moreno by swinging by his mural on 20th and Capitol in Midtown. (He completed the work with his brother.) Other collaborative projects are on the way, so keep an eye out for his signature style!
Mural location: CLARA Building (2420 N St.)
Though self-admittedly less experienced with murals, Alicia Palenyy’s unique mix of patterned and realistic portrait work will not go unnoticed. Playfully balancing chaos and order, her pieces reveal the hidden tells captured in a moment of time: “there’s…so much beauty in this world, things that people take for granted, many small things that get lost in the mundaneness of everyday life. My hope is that my art would prompt someone to stop and to be reminded of that.”
Palenyy hopes that the festival will raise the bar of the Sacramento arts community: “what I am interested in most is good, genuine art. I don’t want to see more art; I want to see more good art.”
How she’d like the Sacramento Mural Festival to evolve: “Some type of inter-city or international artist exchange would be a dream come true. Two places having a festival simultaneously (more or less) and the festivals ‘trade’ artists for a week or two.”
While Palenyy doesn’t make much art these days – “working to pay my bills 50 plus hours a week doesn’t even leave time for doodles” – her ambition has not diminished. For now, you can follow her creative journey on her Instagram account, @XXCVI_.
Eight other national and international artists will also be painting the town during the Sacramento Mural Festival; learn more about where you can see their art this coming week:
Mural Location: Chase Bank (1300 21 St.)
Driven by the inescapable qualities of the natural world, Blade’s work investigate curiosity and one’s search for meaning and place within the universe.
RISK (KELLY GRAVAL)
Mural Location: 1730 L St.
With a career spanning 30 years, the multi-talented fine artist, illustrator, and graffiti artist has been synonymous with the Los Angeles art community.
Mural Location: Kaiser Permanente (501 J St.)
An artist and journalist for Juxtapoz Magazine, she explores the legacy of folk art through humor, nostalgia, and magic found in her color-crazy geometric paintings.
Mural Location: Faces Nightclub (2000 K St.)
Rendered through bold colors and powerful compositions, Frizzell’s stirring narratives pay tribute to primal emotions of the wild at heart.
ADD FUEL (DIOGO MACHADO)
Mural Location: Warehouse Artist Lofts (1108 R St.)
An accomplished graphic designer and illustrator, the Portuguese artist has recently focused his attention to reinterpreting traditional azulejo tile design.
Mural Location: Native American Health Center (2020 J St)
Born in New Mexico, Merritt fostered a deep connection to art and nature. His use of graphics and vivid colors creates a visual biography around each subject, showing who they are and where they’ve been.
Mural Location: Elliott Building (1530 J St.)
Inspired by 15th Century map-making and Indian miniature paintings, observers can spot the themes of power, spirituality, and fantasy in Schoultz’s intricate ephemeral works.
DOG & PONY
Mural Location: Chinatown Alley (1236 C St.)
Dog and Pony is an international artist collective specializing in public art. The collective is inspired by society and its relationship within the natural world.
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Don’t miss out on these Sacramento Mural Festival events:
August 25: The Remarkable Artists Series: Sacramento Mural Festival at CLARA
Jason Silva will moderate a discussion with participating festival muralists Kristin Farr and Andrew Schoultz and curator Beau Basse on creating and engaging communities through public art.
August 27: ArtJAM: a modern pARTy at 2015 L Street
The second annual event promises to be an unforgettable night of doing, making, eating, drinking, watching, and becoming ART.
Note: Artists will be painting at their locations throughout the festival, however, hours may vary.
For the first part of our Sacramento Mural Festival series, click here.