Arts & Theater

See where in Sacramento ‘Lady Bird’ will star again

Watch this space: 'Lady Bird' mural going up on 16th Street

Artist Maren Conrad, 37, will be painting a Lady Bird mural starting this weekend at 901 16th Street to honor Greta Gerwig.
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Artist Maren Conrad, 37, will be painting a Lady Bird mural starting this weekend at 901 16th Street to honor Greta Gerwig.

A “Lady Bird” mural is coming to midtown, and another bearing the movie's creator will follow in East Sacramento.

Sacramento artist Maren Conrad, 37, is scheduled to begin painting a mural inspired by the Oscar-nominated film on Sunday – the day of the Academy Awards.

The mural is being organized by Wide Open Walls, the annual mural festival that is entering its second year. The mural will be painted on the side of a building at 901 16th St., between J and I streets, on a 90-foot wall next to an Avis Car Rental business.

Conrad and a team of painters should finish their work by Tuesday, she said, assuming the forecast of clear skies holds true.

The design features a side profile of Saoirse Ronan, the titular character in Sacramento native Greta Gerwig's film, as well as the words "Lady Bird" in an old English font and two birds drawn on top of a physical wire already sticking out along the wall.

Several people in Conrad's social circle attended Sacramento schools with Gerwig, and the two artists became friends years ago. Well before "Lady Bird" made Gerwig a national star, she could be found hanging out at Conrad's studio.

"We're so proud of her for ... lending a great identity to Sacramento," said Conrad, an Elk Grove High School alumna who spent most of her childhood in Land Park and East Sacramento. "I feel like in this city of people who love to hate itself, this has really just been a huge moment of pride."

Gerwig's mother Christine has been known to show up at Conrad's mural sites, and she'll likely have a special interest in Conrad's next two creations.

After finishing the "Lady Bird" mural, Conrad plans to paint three Sacramento women – civic leader Carol Borden, U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui and Gerwig – outside a business park at 34th Street and Folsom Boulevard bearing the family name of Connor Mickiewicz, who dated Gerwig in high school and inspired the character of Lady Bird's boyfriend Danny O'Neill.

Wide Open Walls is organizing a fundraising campaign for the mural on Kickstarter. As of Friday morning, $450 of the $7,500 goal had been raised to cover art supplies, a lift, permanent lighting a materials to preserve the mural.

The Visit Sacramento tourism board and Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen are sponsoring the mural, according to Wide Open Walls.

The “Lady Bird” mural is a precursor to this year’s Wide Open Walls festival, scheduled to run from Aug. 9 to 19. Last year’s event led to 44 new murals around the city.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, begel@sacbee.com

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