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West Sacramento seeks public art for Bridge District

Construction began in March at The Barn in West Sacramento. The Barn will be an outdoor entertainment venue at Garden and Riverfront streets in the Bridge District near the city's waterfront. Developers and city planners see the estimated $5.6-million project as an anchor of the emerging district.
Construction began in March at The Barn in West Sacramento. The Barn will be an outdoor entertainment venue at Garden and Riverfront streets in the Bridge District near the city's waterfront. Developers and city planners see the estimated $5.6-million project as an anchor of the emerging district. rpench@sacbee.com

There’s another major public art project in the works near the region’s urban core.

West Sacramento is seeking artists to work in the growing Bridge District neighborhood along the Sacramento River. Up to $500,000 is available for artists to cover the design, fabrication and installation of their work. The deadline to apply is June 22 and a Request for Qualifications can be found at www.sacmetroarts.org/Opportunities/Public-Art-Commissions.

The budget is likely the largest for a public art project in West Sacramento history, city officials said.

“(The art) will be on perhaps the most visually significant location in the city,” Mayor Christopher Cabaldon said. “It’s right on the waterfront and in the urban core, just steps from the Tower Bridge and Raley Field and in a place that will be home to 10,000 to 20,000 people.”

Funding is coming from contributions made by Bridge District developers and landowners to a fund for community amenities and from state grants intended to promote park development near affordable housing.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission is working with the city of West Sacramento to administer the funding. A panel of local artists and community members will choose the winning artist.

A similar panel is accepting applications from artists for work to be displayed at the new Sacramento Kings arena under construction in downtown Sacramento, about one-half mile from the Bridge District. The budget for that project – which will include art in four locations – is $1.3 million.

The Bridge District is a nearly mile-long piece of real estate between the Tower Bridge and Pioneer Bridge along the west side of the Sacramento River. About 200 apartments and townhouses have been built or are under construction in the district and 531 more housing units are planned by 2020, according to the public art Request for Qualifications.

Potential art locations include sites along a riverwalk, the gateway to the area near the Tower Bridge, the southern entrance to the neighborhood near the Pioneer Bridge and on the Mill Street Pier, a 120-foot-long pier that the city plans to rehab.

“It’s a very large site and a challenging site,” Shelly Willis, head of the arts commission, said of the Bridge District. “And that can be addressed in lots of different ways, maybe with a work that’s large in scale or with multiples that take you on a journey of some sort.”

The finalists will be selected June 25. After three months of vetting them, the panel will select the winning proposal by the end of September. The art is expected to be fabricated and installed by October 2016.

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