City Beat

Finalists named for public artwork at Sacramento arena

The City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Kings have an agreement to buy an $8 million sculpture from world-renowned artist Jeff Koons. The sculpture would be showcased within the downtown arena plaza. Finalists for other artwork at the arena will be confirmed on Monday.
The City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Kings have an agreement to buy an $8 million sculpture from world-renowned artist Jeff Koons. The sculpture would be showcased within the downtown arena plaza. Finalists for other artwork at the arena will be confirmed on Monday. Sacramento Kings

A total of 17 artists have been picked as finalists for up to four highly visible public art installations planned for the new arena under construction in downtown Sacramento.

The list was released Thursday by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission and includes nine artists from the four-county Sacramento region. Another two artists live in Butte County, and six finalists reside in the Bay Area.

Arts commission Executive Director Shelly Willis called the pool an “esteemed group of finalists” and said the Sacramento area is well-represented. A special panel that has been exploring the public art program for the arena chose the finalists.

Members of the arts commission will vote Monday on whether to approve the list of finalists. If approved, those artists will be given tours of the arena site starting next month and will be asked to submit their proposals by mid-October. The winning artists will be chosen shortly after that.

The artists are competing to have their work shown at four spots inside and outside the arena.

Five artists were chosen to compete for an LED installation on the facade of the arena, near the building’s main entrance. About $50,000 will be allocated to commission that work.

The arena panel chose 14 artists from a pool of 131 to compete to have their work displayed at three other locations: the massive escalator wells inside the arena, along the L Street side of the arena, and near or in the public plaza that will extend into the arena site from Fifth and J streets. Individual commissions for those works will range from $250,000 to $400,000.

Specific proposals have not been released yet, but Willis said some ideas have already been discussed. For example, Bill Fontana, a San Francisco-based composer and artist, has talked about creating a sound installation on the L Street side.

The total budget for the public art commissions will be $1.3 million. Of that, $1 million is coming from a donation by local artist and philanthropist Marcy Friedman. The other $300,000 was split evenly between with Kings and the city of Sacramento; that donation was part of the Art in Public Places program that requires a portion of public construction budgets be set aside for public art.

The City Council has already approved the most visible art for the arena: an $8 million sculpture being created by renowned New York artist Jeff Koons.

Arena artists

Finalists for escalator wells, L Street and public plaza

Artist name, county of residence:

  • Seyed Alavi, Alameda
  • Living Lenses (Po Shu Wang), Alameda
  • JD Beltran/Scott Minneman, San Francisco
  • Bill Fontana, San Francisco
  • Shan Shan Sheng, San Francisco
  • Bryan Valenzuela, Sacramento
  • Lynn Criswell, Butte
  • Esteban Villa, Sacramento
  • Melissa Arendt, Placer
  • Michael Bishop, Butte
  • Suzanne Adan, Sacramento
  • Anthony Padilla, Sacramento
  • Gale Hart, Sacramento

Finalists for LED work on arena exterior

Artist name, county of residence

  • JD Beltran/Scott Minneman, San Francisco
  • Jiayi Young, Sacramento
  • Jess Riegel, Placer
  • Nelson Loskamp, Yolo
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