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Karen Ulep

Original Medium: Found Objects, Woodworking, Photography & Digital Media
“Homegrown” (above)
Location of box art: 16th & N Streets

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Originally from Atkins, Iowa, Karen Ulep is an artist based in Sacramento, California.  She works at CADA as a Communications Manager providing writing, graphic design, web design and mixed media art for the organization and for its special events.

Artist Statement

I wanted to create something that represented Sacramento in a really eclectic, whimsical way. The end goal for me was to have pedestrians smile as they walk by and maybe stop to inspect the images a little closer.

I began with collecting specific items that one would associate with Sacramento (Kings tickets, a train to represent Sacramento’s history, and camellias – Sacramento’s official flower).  In looking at EVIVA, I thought it would be interesting to contrast the modern building with something that looked more organic, like a tree.  So I built a display box that would look like a tree or flower box from a distance.  I wanted it to have “windows” of transparency to fool the eye when pedestrians got closer (each side looks as though you can reach inside to grab an object from the opposite panel).

The wagon wheels were added for another reference to Sacramento’s past of horse drawn covered wagons during the gold rush era and for use in transporting agriculture. As for the people, I was thinking friendly CADA faces would be fun to incorporate as we are the official stewards of the Capitol Park Neighborhood, but I wanted them to look like objects for a surreal effect.

The statements burned into the box are just positive affirmations (“Never look back,” “Be True, BeYOUtiful,”and  INSPIRE”), which I also printed in braille using transparent tape.  CADA has several residents who are visually impaired and the Society For The Blind often sends students out into our area to practice their skills; I wanted my artwork to be inclusive.

The images of the eye, bumble bee, leaf, the letter N, and horseshoe when read correctly encourages the viewer, “I believe in you.”  After all, who doesn’t need encouragement these days?

Finally, the face on the top of the box will only be visible to visitors and residents of EVIVA, giving them a secret to share with those who aren’t lucky enough to live there.  I dare you not to smile when you see my friend’s face – it still makes me laugh today and I’ve been looking at this image for months!

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To be determined

This utility box will be installed after the completion of EVIVA Midtown, a new six-story mixed-use apartment project. The artist for this location is being selected by the developer outside of the public call to artists process.  EVIVA Midtown is slated to be completed in the summer of 2015.

Kerri Warner

Location of box art: 4th & Capitol Ave (above)
Original Medium: Watercolor and colored pencil (figures) and the background is digital painting

Location of box art: 15th & J Streets (below, click image to enlarge)
Original Medium: Mixed Media Collage

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Website:  Kerriwarner.com
Work available through: Studio 333
333 Caladonia Street, Sausalito, CA
Location of box art: 4th & Capitol Ave
Original Medium: Mixed Media Collage

Stag Kerri

Kerri Warner is a mixed media artist based in Sacramento, California. Kerri’s work blends conventional and unconventional materials, paints, colored pencil, book pages, inks, paper and found objects, into two and three dimensional works. Various techniques, painting, cutting, gluing, sanding and assembling found objects create her layered textures on wood panels and sculptural forms. Through each step that leads to the finished surface, Kerri brings out the relationship between differing objects, colors and textures; with each mistake being an irreplaceable component of her process. Figurative forms, letters and numbers are often incorporated into her work as a graphic element or to convey a thought or theme. She is inspired by found objects, fragments of antique treasures, and everyday manufactured materials that were never intended to be art. Kerri’s work is available at Studio 333 in Sausalito, California and through her website.

Bryan Valenzuela

Original Medium: Mixed Media – Ink, Acrylic, Digital Media on Paper
Website: www.bryanvalenzuela.com
“Meta Mirror I” (above)
Location of box art: 8th & O Streets

“Meta Mirror II” (below, click image to enlarge)
Location of box art: 7th & Capitol Ave

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Northern California artist Bryan Valenzuela lives and works in Sacramento. For over a decade he’s been aiming to perfect a unique drawing technique involving the atomization of the figure by carving out shape and light with handwritten text.  Though virtually unnoticeable from afar, once the viewer steps closer to each work they are engulfed in a barrage of words intermingled with other mixed media elements such as needle and thread, acrylic paint, and collage. When not working in the studio, he’s composing and recording music, performing and touring with the band Exquisite Corps.  http://exquisitecorps.bandcamp.com

Artist Statement

Building images with the written word is my primary visual focus. Paragraphs, sentences, phrases, and fragments are all the DNA of my work. Similar to the concept of DNA, the language acts as both form and content. As form, the text delineates figures and subjects layer upon layer as shading. Words varying in size from the miniscule and unreadable, to large and bold are used in a manner similar to crosshatching with pen and ink. As content, the language provides a sense of the inherent information and associations, metaphors and meanings embedded in everyday existence. The words come from a spectrum of sources ranging from original excerpts from journals, poems, songs, and automatic writings to quotes from popular culture, literature, science, and sacred texts.  They are utilized as a meditation on the image itself in both literal and figurative ways.

Foremost in each piece is a draughtsman-like attention to rendering in detail. A fascination with exactitude and precision which demands a constant process of image collection, and lengthy research into subject matter. The images are gathered from multiple venues. Self generated photographs, archive photos, old anatomical drawings, even star charts and architecture become the raw material with which to compose preliminary sketches in Photoshop. They are later translated onto large scale canvasses in mixed media. On a general level, the subject matter explores connections between perceived opposites. The work aims to weave disparate elements into a whole. An idea alluded to in the use of sown scraps of canvas as a foundation. On a specific level, it seeks to combine concepts from the scientific and the spiritual, the mythic and the mundane. It searches for symbols that meld together interests in the natural world, psychology, religion, and astronomy to name a few. All of them becoming, piece by piece, the building blocks of each image.

Melissa Uroff

Original Medium: Mixed Media
Website: www.MelissaUroff.com
Location of box art: 16th & J Streets (above)

Original Medium: Mixed Media
Location of box art: 6th & Capitol Ave (below, click image to enlarge)

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Melissa has been an artist all of her life. From the first smell of the darkroom at the age of 14 she was hooked of photography. Residing in Sacramento, CA she dabbles in photography’s historical processes along with many experimental processes. She will always use film, however she has embraced the digital world as well. She also paints, collages, assemblages, draws, plays accordion, rides a moped and loves her two big crazy dogs. Melissa is the founder of the Sacramento based celebration of the arts magazine TUBE. (www.TUBEmag.com). She also curates art and music shows locally.

Susan Silvester

“Encounters”
Original Medium: Mixed Media (drawings & digital painting)
Website: www.susansilvester.com
Location of box art: 10th & O Streets

susansilvesterHead shot

Originally from the New York city area, Susan Silvester lived in Dallas, before moving to Sacramento, California.  Her artistic background is vast.  As a fabricator, she created art pieces for Robert Rauschenberg, Tom Wesselman, and Marisol.  Silvester sculpted clay animation models for Pee Wee’s Playhouse, designed computer graphics for the animated TV movie “Santa and the Snowmen,”  and she created one of the sets for the retired Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios Hollywood. Silvester created models for TV commercials such as, The Pillsbury Dough Boy, Twizzlers, Teddy Grahams, Acura, and she sculpted prototype toys for Warner Brothers and Disney.  She was also  a digital designer on one of the first PC computer games, “Rise of the Triad.”

Silvester has also been an adjunct professor teaching fundamentals of design, color theory and observational drawing at a local college. She maintains a studio at the Verge Center for the Arts and is focused on creating new original works.

Artist Statement

Inspired by fairy tales, natural science, Sci-Fi, art history, and the decorative arts, my work  brings together layered elements which are psychological rather than literal stories.  Keeping these concepts in mind, I created a design referencing my personal fantasy world filled with the local animals and my costumed figures that contrasts with the urban terrain.

Sam Sellers

“Statues and Lights” (above)
Original Medium: Digital photography and Collage
Website: www.samsellers.com
Location: 15th and L Streets

“For Rent” (below, click image to enlarge)
Original Medium: Digital Photography and Collage
Website: www.samsellers.com
Location: 3rd and N Streets

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Sam Sellers is a Midtown resident who earns his livelihood as a graphic designer and illustrator, finds a creative outlet in his sketchbook, loves walking aimlessly, is inspired by what he sees on those walks, reads tons of sci-fi, and is looking forward to the summer when he can swim in the American River. He’s honored to be asked to take part in this project, and be able to add to the beauty and character of Sacramento.

Artist’s Statement

My work for this project uses a digital collage technique, featuring manipulated photos of items and objects from all over the Midtown/Downtown grid. I used a digital camera and Photoshop.

Donald Satterlee

Original Medium: Photography & Digital Media
Website: www.satterleephotographs.com
“Supremely High Octane”
Location of box art: 8th & N Streets

Donald-Satterlee

As a commercial photographer Donald Satterlee is known for creating, beautifully lit, slick images of electronic devices of all sorts.  In total contrast, Donald’s personal work often takes on a grungy textural look that replicates the patina of a rusty old machine.

Donald frequently teaches Photoshop compositing techniques at the Viewpoint Photographic Art Center.

To view more of Donald’s fine art photographs, go to www.satterleephotographs.com.

Artist Statement

A photo of a weathered old gas pump triggered the inspiration to create this piece entitled Supremely High Octane for the Utility Box Project.

The piece  incorporates 5 images taken around Northern California.  The pumps were taken at the Empire Mine in Grass Valley and in Broderick. The riveted sides are images of the huge train engine parked behind the California Auto Museum. An abandoned fire truck in Williams provided the gauges and an image from the Folsom Powerhouse Museum provided the blue pipes. All the elements were composited using Photoshop, after which, layers of texture were added to create the aging patina.

Arturo Romero

“Siempre Juntos”
Original Medium: Painting
Website: twitter.com/arturomero2
Location of box art: 15th & Q Streets

MrRomero profile pic

Arturo Romero was born in Southern California and is currently working out of Sacramento, CA. His work has been in local competitions, displayed in galleries and exhibitions including : The Temp, Raw Artist, Blue Lamp, Sac Fine Arts Center, and Stashcity.com (a Sacramento-based street fashion site). He is participating in a number of public projects, collaborating locally, and growing his base of private collectors of his custom paintings. Romero is also a regular participant in Sacramento’s Second Saturday events.

Artist Statement

The goal behind most of my artwork is to positively stimulate the viewer’s mind by using bright, bold colors and patterns. I aim to spark the curiosity and imagination, no matter the age. For this particular project, ancient designs inspired a piece that represents the union of man with his fellow animals, deliberately engaging the viewer to walk around the utility box, capturing there sense of wonder at whats around the corner. The title translates into
“Together Forever” my contribution to Sacramento’s art scene. Public projects of this nature are critical to a communities identity. I am both proud and humbled to do my part for this wonderful city.

Jim Piskoti

Original Medium: Acrylic Paint
Website: www.jimpiskoti.com
“Night Rhythms” & “Giant Orange” (above)
Location of box art: 8th & Capitol Ave

“Figures Passing” & “Toast” (below, click image to enlarge)
Location of box art: 16th & L Streets

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Combining the traditional medium of acrylic paint with new technology, motorized parts, and LED lights, Piskoti’s works border on satire, while commenting on important social issues ranging from the death penalty to America’s eating habits.

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After receiving his Masters in Art from Yale University, Jim Piskoti taught painting and printmaking at the California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock until his recent retirement in 2005.  His large-scale paintings are meticulous depictions of the darker side of California life.  Interactivity plays a key role in his mixed media work, as viewers activate sensors that set the work in motion.  Since the audience becomes physically engaged with his ‘hands on’ work, they are forced to contemplate their own lifestyle choices and their relationship to Piskoti’s subjects.

Breaking from the typical rectangular format, Piskoti paints on wood and shapes each surface to suit the activities of his characters.  Although Piskoti touches on difficult issues such as environmental destruction, social inequalities, and America’s dependence on technology, his work remains playful, as seen in his use of bright, pop art colors.  His dynamic art is a testament to the fast paced life of the average American, in perpetual motion through challenging urban and suburban settings.

Piskoti’s painting titled, “Justice” is on display in the Crocker Art Museum’s The Californian art collection.