(Last UPDATED 7/31/2021) Description of, and background on, the iconic Indo Arch by Sacramento sculptor Gerald Walburg.
Indo Arch was my first introduction to public art in Sacramento. I remember it in particular as there was some controversy about the piece at the time. The Indo Arch is located at 4th and K Streets in Downtown Sacramento. It was created in 1978 but put in place in 1980.
The controversy took place shortly after I arrived in Sacramento. I was just starting to familiarize myself with the city and the surrounding region. As I recall, in short, the controversy had to do with what some saw as its phallic nature.
The 40-foot tall Indo Arch is an abstract sculpture made of Corten steel. Corten steel was an ideal choice because when it rusts it develops a protective layer. As a result, there is no need for weathering treatments. The Indo Arch is now an attractive deep coffee brown.
When I first saw the Info Arch – looking up at it – I remember thinking that the sculpture was massive. Visiting the sculpture recently it appears smaller – perhaps as it is now dwarfed by the surrounding buildings and trees.
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About Gerald Walburg
In 1980, Walburg was an Art Professor at CSU Sacramento. He had won a competition to create a sculpture at the entrance of what was the Downtown Plaza (now known as Downtown Commons or DOCO).
Walburg, one of Sacramento’s most notable artists, has a number of public art sculptures on display. One can find his sculptures outside of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, on the campus of San Jose State University, and on the grounds of San Francisco General Hospital.
Sacramento Art in Public Places Program
It is notable that the Indo Arch was the first piece of public art commissioned by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC). SMAC, jointly funded by the city and county, was established in 1977 by city and county ordinances. It is charged with implementation of the Sacramento Art in Public Places program. Most importantly, SMAC continues its work to this day.
As an aside…
On Mother’s Day, 2015, my daughter and I were enjoying the East Sacramento Garden Tour when we discovered that one of the featured gardens was at the home of Gerald and Deborah Walburg. The property includes the Walburg home, a studio and a guest house. Several lots have been combined over the years to form a delightful and magical space filled with sculptures of various sizes (many quite large), plants, walkways and outdoor living areas – all surrounded by a fence that is also a work of art. Unfortunately, I did not have my phone/camera with me. As a result, I cannot share the experience with you.
(10/3/18) Several years later I had the opportunity to see the Walburg property again – and this time I had my phone/camera! See related blog post to view photo’s of the Walburg sculpture garden: Urban Renaissance Home Tour – 2018
Comments on Indo Arch?
To sum up, I personally like the Indo Arch – what do you think?
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