#SMF916 Made Me Heart Sacramento All Over Again

By Laura Braden Quigley

Brace yourselves folks, and buckle in for a (positive) rant of epic proportions.

The Sacramento Mural Festival has made me fall in love with Sacramento. All over again.

It all started a few nights ago. I was driving home with the top down due to this crazy and weirdly pleasant weather we’re currently enjoying. I happened to drive past the Chase bank on 21st and noticed that the muralists had started working. I pulled into their parking lot, cranked the tunes and literally watched these women paint. For like 15 minutes.

Michelle Blade's team starting the mural at the Chase Bank at 1300 21st Street.
Michelle Blade’s team starting the mural at the Chase Bank at 1300 21st Street.

It turns out, watching a fugly wall/building transform into a giant art canvas by a passionate artist is deeply satisfying. You appreciate talents and skills you don’t have. It’s fun to guess what they’re painting. It’s fulfilling to watch an expert practice their craft. Who knew?!?!

And last night, I joined 200+ Sacramentans for a bike ride to six of the 11 sites. Good buddy and organizer David Sobon led the way with red megaphone in tow. At each stop, we heard a summary on the artist and the mural – and the actual artist was there working and sharing their thoughts on Sacramento.

Let me be clear. There were PLENTY of beautiful murals throughout the grid before this Festival. But the opportunity to actually witness that creation with your community in an organized fashion is rare. And that’s what makes this Festival so unique.

IMG_0261
So cute – who doesn’t wish their dog would sit still in a bike basket?

After the bike ride, I hit up the Barn in West Sacramento, and I couldn’t stop talking about these damn murals. I woke up wanting to go see the other five.

Clearly, it’s fun. But it’s also reawakened my passion, optimism and enthusiasm for this city. Because let’s keep it 100: you can get burnout from anything, and community/civic engagement is no different – especially when you have a front row seat to how the sausage is made. But experiencing #SMF916 has reminded me how amazing this city is, why I choose to live here and the power of collaboration to create whatever sort of community we want. Together. And I can’t wait to see what Sacramento does next.

…Perhaps a streetcar line connecting West Sacramento to downtown and midtown? 🙂 #GoSacStreetcar

The Festival is running now through August 27, and #SMF916 is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Get outside and explore the grid!

PS: Check out Shirin Rajaee‘s CBS 13 segment – she really captured the heart and the spirit of the project!

 

Organizer David Sobon briefing 200+ Sacramentans on Add Fuel's 80-foot mural at 1108 R Street. Also pictured is artist and all around bad ass Gale Hart. Be on the lookout for her sculpture at Golden 1 Center.
Organizer David Sobon briefing 200+ Sacramentans on Add Fuel’s 80-foot mural at 1108 R Street. Also pictured is artist and all around bad ass Gale Hart. Be on the lookout for her sculpture at Golden 1 Center.
One of my favorites - Irubiel Moreno at the Mogavero Architects' office at 2012 K Street. Word on the street is that parking lot is being transformed into a community gathering area. #StayTuned
One of my favorites – Irubiel Moreno at the Mogavero Architects’ office at 2012 K Street. Word on the street is that parking lot is being transformed into a community gathering area. #StayTuned

 

 

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.