(UPDATED 2/18/17) Description of “Missing the Mark” by Sacramento artist Gale Hart, a work of public art created for the Golden 1 Center.
A well-known self-taught Sacramento artist, Gale Hart was one of the local artists chosen to craft a work of public art to be displayed at the Golden 1 Center (aka Sacramento Kings arena). “Missing the Mark” is her first major public art commission.
About Missing the Mark
Missing the Mark is a series of sculptures on L Street between 5th and 7th Streets in front of the arena, and at the 5th and L Streets entrance.
The artwork consists of multi-colored fiberglass and stainless steel darts embedded into the sidewalk, a large terrazzo dart board, raised concrete numbers and a giant bronze hand with associated dart tails.
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Intimate Conversations with Remarkable Artists
I recently attended one of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission’s (SMAC) series of Intimate Conversations with Remarkable Artists at the Crocker Art Museum. Shelly Willis, the Director of the SMAC and the Golden 1 Center’s public art project director, led the discussion with Gale Hart and Bryan Valenzuela. Valenzuela, another Sacramento artist, created “Multitudes Converge” for the Golden 1 Center.
See related post: Multitudes Converge – Sacramento Public Art (part of an occasional series).
The conversation was both interesting and enlightening. The process of commissioning public art was discussed in some detail, along with the challenges both artists faced with the accelerated timeline they were working under.
Normally an artist would have an extended period to time – even years sometimes – to work through the process, refine their proposal and create their artwork. This public art commission was not “normal” to say the least.
Conversation Highlights and Insights
The following is my takeaway from the conversation.
I don’t know Gale Hart but she is clearly a unique individual. She is a skateboarder and is known to skateboard around her studio during the creative process.
Once Hart decided to apply for a Golden 1 Center art commission she decided early on that if she was going to undertake this project that she would have to be flexible. The events that followed clearly put her resolution to the test.
Hart went through a series of design reviews, and she recognized that things had to change along the way. She reworked and reworked her proposal – and finally received approval. Afterwards additional changes were necessary as well.
Each of the 16 finalists for a Golden 1 Center art commission had to pick and prioritize their top three sites to feature their work. Hart was asked to place her artwork on L Street in order to help “activate L Street”. The subtext was that placing her artwork in the plaza (her first choice) would compete with Koon’s Coloring Book #4 (aka Piglet).
See related post: Coloring Book #4 – Sacramento Public Art (part of an occasional series).
Construction Timeline/Sculpture Fabrication
The Golden 1 Center was under a tight construction timeline. Both Hart and Valenzuela were trying to read construction blueprints so that they could determine how their artwork would fit in. Visits to the site during the construction of the Golden 1 Center did not necessarily make things easier.
There was apparently a bit of “drama” connected with both artists as they struggled to meet the tight timeframe. Hart’s contract with the Sacramento City Council was for $283,500. She had a moment of panic when told (because she was required to utilize the arena contractors) that she was $50,000 over budget for the concrete footings to anchor her sculptures. Hart had not known about the “prevailing wage” required on public construction projects.
To compensate, Hart dropped a second planned bronze hand and other features of her artwork to reduce the cost.
The darts and dart tails were fabricated in San Francisco – and Hart was stressed about how to get the fabricated pieces back to Sacramento undamaged. This was vitally important as Hart had just two days to install her artwork.
On the Saturday and Sunday before the Monday Golden 1 Center Grand Opening (that is cutting it close!) herculean efforts were made to do the install at the same time that Golden 1 Center workers were rushing to complete last-minute details.
See related post: Golden 1 Center Open House.
To Sum Up
To sum up, Hart made it clear during the conversation that as far as she was concerned her sculpture is still not “finished”. It was truly unfortunate that cost overruns prevented the implementation of her original vision for the sculpture.
Also see related post: Sonic Passages – Sacramento Public Art.
(2/18/2017) Additional information added.
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[…] See related post: Missing the Mark – Sacramento Public Art (part of an occasional series). […]
[…] are Gale Hart (Missing the Mark) and Bryan Valenzuela (Multitudes Converge). See related posts: Missing the Mark – Sacramento Public Art and Multitudes Converge – Sacramento Public […]
[…] Hart also crafted “Missing the Mark” which is located outside the Golden 1 Center. See related post: Missing the Mark – Sacramento Public Art (part of an occasional series). […]