Gioia Fonda

Original Medium: Mixed Media
Location of box art: 9th & O Streets


Gioia Fonda is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in two-dimensional media (painting, drawing, sewing and photography) with occasional forays in sculpture, performance and new media. Her subject matter is wide ranging from working in a colorful non-objective manner to directly addressing the fallout of the Great Recession. A resident member of Verge Center for the Arts, she is a dedicated member of the Sacramento art community contributing as artist, curator, jurist and collaborating artist. She has a bi-coastal art education receiving her BFA at the California College of the Arts in Oakland and her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is a tenured professor of art at Sacramento City College.

Artist Statement

I’m a declarer of holidays, a transmitter of trivia, a cultural argonaut and a faux anthropologist. I am simultaneously both neophyte and virtuoso of many skills. I’m a hypothetical historian, a connoisseur of tedium and a collector of the world’s flotsam. It’s by virtue of these proclivities that I create. I wanted my electrical box to evoke a sense of color and playfulness that may be in short supply during the average workday downtown. Many of the elements of this composition were created with repurposed materials familiar to all. It is my hope that a person that walks by this piece often will notice new things with subsequent viewings.

Mark Emerson

Original Medium: Painting
Location of box art: 15th & S Streets

Mark L Emerson 8-08

Mark Emerson is a fine artist with a concentration in painting.  He received an Associate of Arts degree from Sacramento City College, California in 1974. He also at the California College of Arts & Crafts (now the California College of the Arts) in 1975 with a concentration in painting and film. Emerson received a BA from California State University, Sacramento in 1979, and an MFA from the University of California, Davis in 1984. To date his work has been featured in 24 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions.

Emerson has taught art since 1986.  He is currently a Lecturer Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento art department.

Emerson’s work is found in many private, corporate and public collections, including in California: the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento; the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley; the University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento and Roseville; California State University Art Department, Sacramento; the University of California Art Department, Davis; Sacramento City College Art Department Permanent Collection, Sacramento; Kaiser Hospitals of California; and in Ohio, the Progressive Insurance Art Collection, Cleveland. Emerson lives and works in Sacramento, California.

Roma Devanbu

Original Medium: Paper Cut-outs
Location of box art: 16th & S Streets

R_Devanbu_in _tudio

Roma Devanbu was born in Boston, Massachusetts and spent her childhood in Montclair, New Jersey, making things and climbing trees.

Her undergraduate art education at Carnegie-Mellon University had its roots deep in the western traditions of Europe and America; figure study, renaissance perspective, Greek ideals of proportion, and 19th and 20th century movements and masters. Hungry for other perspectives, Devanbu traveled and studied art and Asian art history for a year in the graduate program at the University of Baroda in India.

Devanbu was a tenured art professor at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey before moving to California in 1997. She has taught Drawing, 2-D Design, and Color Theory at the Art Institute of California in Sacramento. She keeps a studio at her home in Davis as well as at the Verge Center for the Arts in Sacramento.

Dante Declarador

Original Medium: Graphic Design
Location of box art: 15th & K Streets

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Born and raised in San Francisco, Dante lived throughout the Bay Area and has made Sacramento his home since 2005. His studio is located in Midtown Sacramento where he runs his independent freelance business “Declare Design” specializing in branding and marketing communications. Dante’s background in graphic design heavily influences the content and look of his artwork which is done with spraypaint and hand cut stencils for the images. His paintings are a mashup of graffiti, street art, and graphic design.

Artist Statement

Creating art and design is how I declare my passion to the world. When painting, I use bright and vivid colors, building up juxtaposition of shape and dimension with the goal of conveying raw emotion. Images are layered over abstract elements to create dynamic compositions that explore balance, form and contrast.

The pursuit of the “perfect” piece has led me on a life long journey, defined by 3 dots at the end of my signature, which means – “to be continued”.   The quest to achieve greatness continues after each piece, knowing that perfection is an impossible feat, I continue to strive to create a collection of works that will leave a legacy for generations to come.


Julia Couzens

“Scrap Wrap”
Original Medium: Paint, ink, and paper
Location of box art: 12th & Q Streets


Julia Couzens maintains a deeply inquisitive visual practice, working in sculpture, drawing, and textile constructions. Born and raised in Auburn, California, she now lives and works at Quinta Luz, her home on Merritt Island outside the Sacramento River delta community of Clarksburg.

Working abstractly, in scales both large and small, Couzens delves into a rich bag of tricks: cutting, wrapping, pasting, tying, scavenging, stitching, slicing, sorting, bundling, and collaging to create eccentric objects possessing intense linear energy, textural physicality, and exuberant color.

Known as an “artist’s artist”, Couzens has been recognized with a Louis Comfort Tiffany Fellowship for her innovative work in sculpture. Her work is widely shown and is represented in the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Art, M.H. deYoung Museum, Crocker Art Museum, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, Butler Institute of American Art, Equitable Life, New York, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, and Yale University. She is also a poet, and writes about contemporary art for squarecylinder, Northern California’s leading on-line arts publication.

Artist Statement

In thinking about a design to wrap a utility box I envisioned electricity as a form of conversational energy and the box as a magnet, or punctuation point, along the Sacramento grid. “Scrap Wrap” represents coalescing particles from the life of the street — scraps of vagrant papers snatched by a breeze, twiggy bits dropped from trees, wind-skipping straws, the boogie-woogie street patois pulled into the orbit of our downtown Capitol City energy.

Nathan Cordero

Original Medium: Mixed Media
Location of box art: 16th & P Streets


Nathan Cordero currently lives and works in Sacramento, California. Although he has never received any formal training as an artist, he possesses the ingenuity and motivation to create his many drawings, etchings, and paintings done on scraps of plywood that he finds in his neighborhood. In a recent show at the University of California, Davis titled, “Are You Destined to Become Your Mother?” Cordero combined his playful pieces along with smaller sculptural works. Cordero’s method for creating his work begins when he finds the perfect piece of plywood and preps it—the ideas start flowing directly onto his canvas. Cordero appreciates the spontaneity of working in the moment, and he tries to mimic the environment in which he found the wood. In the future he plans to move on to diving into bigger dumpsters and hopefully finding the inspiration for creating larger sculptural works.

Laura Caron

Original Medium: Mixed Media

“Silent Pulse” (above)
Location of box art: 12th & P Streets


Artist Statement

My paintings have numerous layers both physically and figuratively. The original mixed media painting was created with the intention of portraying the vast underlying pulse of life.   The world as we know it continues to evolve based on our symbiotic relationship with both the physical and spiritual world.

For the utility box, I wanted to expand on this theme. The bee is an ancient mythological creature that traditionally symbolizes the bridge between the physical world and the unseen world. Since 2010, scientists say that nearly one third of the bee colonies in the U.S. have disappeared. This is an alarming development in which we cannot ignore.

“The Gift of the Dream” (below, click image to enlarge)
Location of box art: 5th and Capitol


Artist Statement

These images seem to have a dream like quality. I incorporated photos of many of the architectural elements of the Capitol building. I wanted to depict the formalism of these beautifully crafted areas and transform them with a sense of fantasy. My figures were created with an almost sculptural feel, inspired by the many sculptures on the property.

“Silent Pulse” and “The Gift of the Dream” were my first attempt at digital art. I created the art using images of my original drawings and paintings that were then photographed or scanned and placed in Photoshop. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and although I believe I am quite slow in the process, I look forward to my next digital art project.


Ianna Frisby

Original Medium: Embroidered canvas digitally overlaid onto sewing patterns
Location of box art: 15th & P Streets


Ianna Frisby is an Artist-in-Resident at Verge Center for the Arts and adjunct art professor at Sierra College, Sacramento City College and The Art Institute of Sacramento. She received her BFA from Humboldt State University and MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Although her focus is in ceramics, she has produced various bodies of work including highly-detailed and painstakingly embroidered canvasses of sewing pattern cover models.

Artist Statement

In the past, housebound housewives would often turn to sewing and embroidering as a way of passing expanses of time. In this age, when it’s actually cheaper to buy clothes than make them yourself, when us gals are now liberated and busy as hell, why should we invest the time? For me, the drawings on old sewing pattern envelopes stir memories of home economics class, Fashion Plates and other girly childhood pursuits. Their commercial ubiquity may have made them seem banal, so I chose to make them special again. Reproducing them in embroidery is an incredibly time consuming process that vastly surpasses the time it probably took to draw them in the first place. But it’s ultimately satisfying.