The Shepard Garden and Arts Center is home to numerous garden and art clubs in Sacramento – a place for garden and art clubs to both meet and hold club events. The Shepard Garden and Arts Center is located in McKinley Park at 3330 McKinley Boulevard.
I was aware that City of Sacramento support for the Shepard Garden and Arts Center had been dialed back dramatically, but did not know the details. I decided to look into the issue more closely as I walked over to the recent exhibit and sale held by the Capitol City Bonsai Clubs, a collaboration of all four of Sacramento’s Bonsai clubs.
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The Shepard Garden and Arts Center was built in 1958. The building is a prime example of 1950’s mid-century modern architecture. The structure includes a dramatic roof-line, lots of large windows, and a huge two-sided flagstone fireplace. The beautiful outdoor patio is often utilized as part of indoor/outdoor garden events.
According to the Shepard Garden and Arts Center website, after opening in 1958 as the Sacramento Garden and Arts Center, the Center was renamed in 1972 to honor Ira Gard Shepard. Ira Gard Shepard was a Sacramento Bee garden columnist who had served for many years as the president of the Center.
While the City of Sacramento Recreation and Parks Department owns the Shepard Garden and Arts Center, the Center is operated by the Shepard Garden and Arts Center Board of Directors. The upkeep for the Shepard Garden and Arts Center is funded by the clubs that use it – and the Friends of the Shepard Garden and Art Center (The Friends).
This arrangement is the result of an agreement two years ago in which the City of Sacramento restructured their support for the Center.
The Friends is a non-profit that was formed in 2001 to provide assistance to support the Center’s social and recreational functions. Membership is open to any interested person, group, or organization. Members pay annual dues and participate in fund raising events throughout the year.
Living nearby, I often stroll over to the Shepard Garden and Arts Center on weekends to enjoy the various (free) garden and art exhibits – and I occasionally walk away with a plant or two for my garden or home. I expect that many Sacramento residents do the same.
In addition to the Bonsai Show and Sale, some of my favorite garden events include the:
- Perennial Plant Sale
- Iris Show and Sale
- Rose Show and Sale
- Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale
- Geranium Show and Sale
- American Fuchsia Show and Sale
- Bromeliad Carnivorous Society Show and Sale, and
- California Native Plant Sale.
Arts related shows include the very popular Arts by Fire sale – held this past weekend. The annual Arts by Fire Show and Sale is held each Fall. It features handmade pottery, glass, sculpture and other works of art for sale – including jewelry.
According to the July-August CHAT Newsletter, the Center’s expenses last year exceeded income, and a modest reserve account is being used to make up the difference.
Thinking back on all the enjoyment I have experienced over the years, I have decided to join the Friends of the Shepard Garden and Arts Center. An annual membership fee of $20 for an individual or $45 for a family seems like a bargain when you stop and think of it.
Check out the link to the July-August CHAT Newsletter above for more information on the annual Friends of the Shepard Garden and Arts Center Membership Drive.
Comments on the Shepard Garden and Arts Center?
Do you attend events at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center? Do you have a favorite or two?
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