Public art, by Hornet alumni and others, challenges our regional identity


hether you’re a fan, a foe or on the fence, if it makes you think, public art is doing its job.

paintbrushes“When public art is successful, it marks the identity of the region, even if its not necessarily representing what the region is,” says Liv Moe, MA ’08 (Art Studio), executive director of the Verge Center for the Arts in downtown Sacramento. “The art itself becomes part of that region. It becomes a beloved landmark. It’s something you meet around and becomes identified with that place.”

And controversy is part of the process.

“When a piece is brought into a community, there’s a sense that it has to be beloved and everybody has to be on board,” Moe says. “If that happens, you are not taking a risk. Public art should be challenging you a little bit. It should be operating on a high level so that it withstands the test of time and still makes us think.”

In Sacramento, works by Sacramento State alumni can be found throughout the region—dangling from the ceiling of the new downtown arena, illustrating the walls of buildings throughout midtown, emblazoning the tunnel leading to Old Sac.



“Multitudes Converge” by Bryan Valenzuela ’03 hangs in the Golden 1 Center. Valenzuela will also participate in Sacramento’s Wide Open Walls mural festival this summer (


L.A.S.E.R.I.U.M.” by Juanishi Orosco, a founding member of the Royal Chicano Air Force artists collective, illustrates 800 feet of the tunnel connecting Old Sacramento and downtown.


“Jack London” by Stephanie Taylor, MA ’06 decorates the wall of Beers Books on S St. between Ninth and 10th.


campos garcia“Imagination: the Catalyst of Dreams” by Luis Campos-Garcia ’12 (Art Studio) was commissioned by The California Endowment and hangs in its building at 1414 K St. The community collaboration was ceremoniously marched around the Capitol before being installed at its final destination.