ArtStreet wows visitors on opening weekend
Even with a gray sky looming, Roseville resident Joanna Mendoza stood patiently as she waited her turn before entering the ArtStreet warehouse.
Accompanied by her son and his girlfriend, Mendoza said she had made plans to visit the art exhibit as soon as dates for it were posted online.
“I’m excited to see everything,” she said. “It’s so creative and different.”
Mendoza was one of about 60 people gathered in front of the ArtStreet warehouse doors Saturday morning, a day after its opening.
Nestled on an industrial block southeast of where Interstate 5 and Highway 50 intersect, the 65,000-square-foot museum displays the work of more that 100 local and international artists. It also features three bar areas split between the outdoor and indoor exhibit areas and a collaborative kitchen run by local chefs.
The project was spawned by M5 Arts, the same group that put together last year’s Art Hotel. The two-week showcase was erected at the site of the Jade Apartments on Seventh Street near the new Golden 1 Center. Lines of people stretched around the block as more than 13,000 people turned up for the display.
This year, the M5 Arts organizers expanded the project in hopes of better meeting the large demand seen at the Art Hotel. Capacity for the warehouse portion of the exhibit, where the majority of the displays are housed, is set at 199 people.
The 199-person cap, though not as large as what organizers originally envisioned, is already well beyond that of Art Hotel, said Scott Eggert, an ArtStreet spokesman.
“We’re already at four to six times what we were at for Art Hotel,” Eggert said. “We may run into lines and capacity issue, but it shouldn’t be as bad.”
The outdoor exhibit space, featuring several murals and graffiti pieces, a food area and bar, is available for attendees as they wait for their spot indoors, he said. An online reservation system allowed people to pay $10 for a reserved time slot for the otherwise free exhibit.
Groups of 30 people are let inside the warehouse portion of the exhibit every seven minutes. They are allotted 45 minutes to take a tour before their time is up. Once inside, attendees can wander through the mazelike exhibit to view installations and pieces from a diverse set of art disciplines.
At the beginning of a tour, a small red shack serves as a tribute to the Sacramento homeless who have died. The sound of falling rain and a passing train fill the dark room, outfitted with only a few personal belongings and the makeshift bed of a person who isn’t there. A document titled “Proposed Homeless Bill of Rights” is painted on the side of the installation.
Another display, titled “Faceless,” features 20 women, survivors of sexual assault, through a series of intimate photographs. The small alleylike display is covered with excerpts that tell their stories. Onlookers are encouraged to place small red stickers onto the installation walls to show solidarity and support for victims of sexual assault.
Stacy Auslam, a Sacramento resident, said she was drawn to ArtStreet by attending last year’s Art Hotel. She said she was glad organizers were able to expand the project and allow for more time to view the artists’ work.
“This is a really amazing experience,’ she said. “People might have had opinions one way or another about Art Hotel last year but this is super unique.”
What: The people behind Art Hotel, last year’s multiartist temporary installation, are back with a bigger multidisciplinary exhibit.
When: Daily through Feb. 25. Hours are 3 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends.
Where: 300 First Ave., Sacramento
Cost: Free (reservations optional)
Note: Organizers encourage visitors to dress warmly and to bring cash, as food and drinks are cash only. ATMs are available inside.