Leaf sculptures picked for Sacramento’s McKinley Village

A drawing shows what Marc Foster’s “La Feuille” sculpture would look like from the sky above the McKinley Village housing development.
A drawing shows what Marc Foster’s “La Feuille” sculpture would look like from the sky above the McKinley Village housing development. Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission

The downtown arena isn’t the only Sacramento project receiving fresh new art.

The McKinley Village housing development in East Sacramento is slated to get more than $400,000 worth of public art – privately funded by the project’s developers. The centerpiece of that collection will be a sculpture entitled “La Feuille” by local artist Marc Foster.

Foster is creating the sculpture in his Alhambra Boulevard studio in East Sacramento, just a few blocks from McKinley Village. The work – whose title is French for “The Leaf” – will be anchored by two leaf-shaped structures standing roughly 20 feet tall, with branches extending above and beneath the ground in either direction.

The leaf sculptures will be made of mirror-polished stainless steel, and Foster said the artwork is “an homage to trees and, more specifically, leaves.” The boundaries of McKinley Village are shaped like a giant leaf.

The sculpture will stand in a planned park near an entrance to McKinley Village, where developers have begun getting the 49-acre site ready for more than 330 homes. That entryway connects the area to the rest of East Sacramento at 40th Street through a railroad underpass.

The sculpture will be “the first thing people will see when they enter,” said Foster, an East Sacramento resident. “Having this project is such an interesting and emotional experience for me.”

Phil Angelides, the developer and former state treasurer who is building McKinley Village, said he envisions a series of art installations creating an art walk through the neighborhood. The developers plan to install eight pieces of art in park spaces throughout McKinley Village.

“An art walk will not only be something nice for this neighborhood and make it a unique place, but would also be something that draws people from other neighborhoods,” Angelides said. “We wanted pieces that would be unique to the neighborhood, and we think Marc’s piece is fun, it’s interactive.”

An art panel was used to select the sculpture and consider the other seven pieces that will be installed in the neighborhood. Among the panelists were Angelides, former Sacramento Mayor and Councilman Burnett Miller and Sacramento artist Wayne Thiebaud.

The local artists chosen for the seven other works will meet with the panel in the coming weeks to lay out their plans.

In exchange for financing $401,000 worth of public art at McKinley Village, the developers received a $100,000 credit on the fees they will be required to pay to fund improvements at local parks. Angelides said the developers would still pay roughly $1.7 million in park fees.

Call The Bee’s Ryan Lillis, (916) 321-1085. Read his City Beat blog at www.sacbee.com/citybeat.

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