Don’t miss this free exhibit ending on Saturday, Feb. 25
Entering the partially-indoor, partially-outdoor world of Sacramento’s ArtStreet exhibit, you are met with the largest wind chime you’ve probably ever seen, and you get to touch beautifully framed moss and have a glimpse at several colorful murals. The diverse art mediums — sculptures, decorated rooms, an interactive kaleidoscope — all blend together to resemble an Alice in Wonderland-esque theme park.
There’s no denying that ArtStreet is “weird,” but it’s the good type of weird. Besides, what interesting art isn’t a bit strange at the end of the day?
Jose Di Gregorio, a professional artist whose exhibited art works include two murals and a laser cut piece installation, agrees that weird is good.
“I’m a self-proclaimed weirdo, and I want to own that term as a positive thing, I want my daughters to be weirdos, and I feel like when you can participate in a weirdo community, and that grows, it starts to become less weird, and less of a fringe subculture,” Di Gregorio said. “The creative culture is out there, it’s just that they tended to be relegated as a peripheral. And when you put these things in the forefront — you can’t deny the impact that it has.”
Shaun Burner, a professional artist who has been creating murals locally and internationally for the past 15 years, was approached last year by the owner of the Art Hotel to paint a mural on the side of the building before it was set to be demolished. This sparked an idea in Burner, who then suggested that the inside of the hotel could also be utilized to exhibit different types of artwork. The project took off from there.
Now a year later, the team of artists who participated in Art Hotel call itself M5ARTS, described as “an arts initiative in Downtown Sacramento who are committed to envisioning and creating culturally significant multifaceted and multidimensional art experiences.” As one of the founders of M5ARTS, Burner knew early on that the artists wanted to continue what they had created with Art Hotel. This year’s ArtStreet project opened on Feb. 3 and features around 100 visual artists and approximately 70 performers and musicians.
Quincy Gonzalez and Johanna Peterson, River City High School art students, visited ArtStreet two times, and they hope to come back once more before the exhibit officially ends this Saturday.
“I really like that they bring up serious questions and issues that we have in our society,” Peterson said. “I really like the Women’s March Wall, because it makes me feel that we’re gonna fight back and make a difference because we need to make a difference.”
On the other hand, Quincy enjoyed how some of the artists “incorporated a lot of Sacramento culture to it, and a lot of the pieces were in collaboration to things happening in Sacramento.”
Having access to free, diverse and multidimensional art is not always a possibility — so check out some of Sacramento’s unique artists and their work while this special opportunity lasts.
“These [art exhibits] become culturally relevant to any city’s fabric,” Di Gregorio said. “There’s a cultural currency out of this that you don’t get with paying for a product, getting it, and that’s it. These things are intangible, but they’re so important to create so that people have outlets.”
ArtStreet runs until this Saturday, Feb. 25 at 300 1st Avenue in Sacramento, CA, and it is free to the public. Check out M5Arts’ website and the ArtStreet Facebook event page to find out more about upcoming events and artists before it’s too late!
Written by: Pari Sagafi — email@example.com