Description of Wide Open Walls 2018 (aka WOW), Sacramento’s annual mural festival held this year from August 9 through August 19 at various locations throughout the city. See a sampling of murals below.
I had been looking forward to Wide Open Walls 2018 – Sacramento’s annual mural festival – since last year’s event. Sacramento’s first event – known as the Sacramento Mural Festival before being re-branded in 2017 – was held in 2016.
Wide Open Walls is a 501 (C) (3) whose mission is to promote and celebrate public art. So far so good! I was happy to read recently that Sacramento’s Wide Open Walls mural festival is the largest mural festival in the country.
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This year, artists participating in Wide Open Walls 2018 created around 40 new murals – enlivening both alleys and building walls throughout Sacramento. The focus this year was on Downtown and Midtown Sacramento, also including Del Paso Blvd. and Oak Park. To date, I have had the opportunity to view some of the murals located on the R Street Corridor and in Downtown and Midtown Sacramento.
Sacramento mural artists were joined by national artists from as far away as New York City, New York. Both Los Angeles and San Francisco were well represented. International participants included artists from Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Germany, France, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Afghanistan.
A well-known artist participating this year was LA-based Shepard Fairey who designed President Barack Obama’s “Hope” poster used during the 2008 presidential campaign. Fairey also founded the OBEY clothing brand.
The 15-story Fairey mural can be found on the east wall (L Street) of the Residence Inn by Marriott located at 1121 15th Street. The large mural of Johnny Cash is a tribute to Cash’s iconic performance at Folsom State Prison in 1968. Both my friend who joined me on the last day of Wide Open Walls and I found the mural of Cash to be particularly impressive!
I found it of particular interest that about fourteen of the mural artists this year were women. These included Shamsia Hassani (the first female graffiti artist in Afghanistan) and Lin Fei Fei (Shenyang, China native now a resident of Midtown Sacramento). Lin Fei Fei, who graduated with an MFA from Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang, was named one of the ten “Contemporary Chinese Artists of the Future” by the Wang Shi Kyo Art Foundation in Beijing.
It is anticipated that thousands of spectators will view the murals during their creation, and even more over time after the official end of Wide Open Walls 2018. Each year since 2016 I have made several excursions to different parts of Sacramento to do so – I so enjoy the creativity of the artists.
Among my favorite murals this year is the 3-D mural of Bordalo from Portugal. I really recommend that you check it out! You can find all the locations of the 2017 and 2018 murals at the Wide Open Walls link found above.
Day 6 – R Street Corridor
Day 11 – Downtown & Midtown
Comments on Wide Open Walls 2018?
Have you checked out some (or all) of the Wide Open Walls 2018 murals? Do you have a particular favorite?
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