One of the Sacramento community’s strongest assets is its dynamic art scene. From huge exhibits to one off pieces, our city is a hub for every style of art imaginable.

Public art, in particular, has become a highlight, especially in recent years. Most recently, you might remember the extremely popular Art Hotel and ArtStreet exhibitions put on by the M5 Arts Collective in the midtown/downtown Sacramento area. Projects like these have helped electrify an already bustling interest in public art for the city. Here are a couple of our favorite art exhibitions around the city.

Golden 1 Center

Photo courtesy of @CooneyPhoto

The Coloring Book statue in front of the new Golden 1 Center by renowned artist, Jeff Koons, is forever a mark of Sacramento’s passion for public art. Koons’ work is one of the country’s most
popular contemporary artists, and his addition has helped to bring art to the forefront of the city’s development. Still, “The Piglet,” as it has come to be known, has certainly caused some controversy since it arrived in late September of last year – but isn’t that the mark of powerful art? Some Sacramento artists argued that the slot should have gone to a local, even though there are two other pieces outside the arena that did in fact go to Sacramento artists.

Gale Hart is known as the Sacramento’s “Godmother of Contemporary Art.” Her 10-foot dartboard installation sits on 5th and L. In addition, Sacramento native Bryan Valenzuela was awarded a slot inside the arena where he chose to create an abstract piece called Multitudes Converge that highlights the convergence of the American and Sacramento Rivers. Local or not, all of these pieces are a perfect representation of Sacramento’s growing interest in public art.

Wide Open Walls

Photo courtesy of Wide Open Walls

Last year, many Sacramento residents were stunned when huge, stunning murals started appearing throughout the downtown and midtown areas. The Sacramento Mural Festival quickly made a name for itself. This time around, that name is changing (and for good reason).  It returns this year under the name Wide Open Walls, and will expand to include areas such as Oak Park, Del Paso Heights, Natomas, and Power Inn Road. The festival will once again feature astounding local artists who will paint more than 30 large-scale pieces. But this time around, the festival will be much more inclusive for observers – look out for street performers, food trucks, pop-up shows and seminars, and a Second Saturday block party. Wide Open Walls will take place August 10th-20th.

The Rest of the City

Major installations are always a great highlight, but let’s not forget about the public art that is always on display throughout Sacramento. There are tons of bars and cafes throughout the city that showcase local artists on a regular basis. Places like Old Soul at the Weatherstone always have new projects on their walls, offering a more intimate look into Sacramento’s public art scene. There’s also the First Friday Art Walk that takes place every month on the R Street Corridor.

Regardless of your personal taste, Sacramento’s public art scene has something for everybody. Whether you want to marvel at giant murals or explore the small details of local photography, Sacramento has become an exciting city for art – get out there and take advantage of what your home has to offer!