California State Indian Museum

In the shadow of Sutter’s Fort sits the small but lovely California State Indian Museum.  The museum was created in 1940 and tells the story of many of the Indian tribes of California.  It highlights more than 60 indigenous groups who lived in our great state long before Mr. Sutter brought his Fort to the area and long before the Gold Rush encouraged waves of people to come out West.

Highlights of the museum are an impressive grouping of baskets, an 18 foot Yurok Redwood Canoe, a large number of beautiful photographs of Indigenous peoples in native outfits during dances or traditional activities, and detailed handmade clothing.

The relationship between California and the local Indian tribes has been a complicated one over time.  Disease brought by Europeans, forced movement, slaughter, and destruction of the local environment have changed the face of indigenous people forever.  This museum tells the story of California Indian heritage through physical items, clothing, photographs, landscaping, local events, and music and dance. It is a lovely reminder of the pride and history of the first Californians.  I only wish the museum were bigger and housed even more beautiful artifacts because I know there is much more to see.

img_9766

Rattlesnake!

img_9765

Take note of the feathers weaved in to the spectacular smaller baskets.

img_9767

This thing is HUGE and must weigh an enormous amount.

img_9769

Not sure what these berries are. I can’t say I ever remember seeing them in the area but they were beautiful.

Sutter’s Fort – Sacramento, California

The little one and I got out of the house recently and visited the Sacramento landmark of Sutter’s Fort.  This adobe fort was built in 1840, early in Sacramento’s history, for the purposes of trade by John Sutter with the coerced permission of the local Nisenan Indians and randomly with the help of Hawaiian laborers.  Sutter was granted Mexican citizenship in 1840 and the Land Grant for the area in exchange for keeping local Indian tribes “in order.” It was closed shortly after gold was discovered in Coloma sparking the 49r Gold Rush.

The fort has been lovingly restored and the California State Parks service does a great job displaying the period with detailed rooms depicting each of the trades and functions of the fort; Carpenter shop, Millstone, Gunsmith, Blacksmith, Guard Room, Kitchen, Bakery, and Weaving Rooms. The Fort sits on a beautifully maintained garden neighboring the California State Indian Museum.

It has always amazed me that my fellow Sacramentans restored, saved, and preserved this special spot because it is surrounded by period houses, hospital high rises, vibrant bars, all in the heart of downtown Sacramento. It is prime real estate as they say.

img_9737

Local Girl Scout Groups dress up in period costume for their visit. (I remember doing that not so many years ago!)

Wide Open Walls 916 – Sacramento Street Art Festival

Wide Open Walls hosted multiple events spanning multiple weeks this August in downtown Sacramento painting the city walls with street art! Several areas of downtown have been transformed by local and international artists. Locals watched the art being made, attended a number of hosted street parties, and even download an app for a guided walking tour of the various locations of public art pieces.

I  took note of a few of the locations to visit while downtown last weekend and it did not disappoint! I’m proud of my city for allowing something as exciting and forward as this public art exhibit. I am proud Sacramento is finally becoming a world class city by promoting the arts in a modern way. I look forward to next year where they will hopefully do it again in other parts of the city.

Is their interesting street art in your city? What’s your favorite public art piece captured below?

Do you have a post or a blog on street art you want to share? Please feel free to share your link here so we can all enjoy!  And feel free to share this post so others can enjoy.  Comments are always encouraged and welcomed!

img_9943

Seeing a photo of the Princess on Instagram is what led me to Wide Open Walls. I went downtown looking for her and found all of the rest of this interesting and awesome art.

img_9947

It’s hard to make garbage cans look good but they managed it!

img_9949

How cool is this? 3D!

img_9951

This one seemed to get a lot of attention by people walking around.

img_9954

This is a representation of the famed Sacramento Tower Bridge.

img_9953

Not sure what this is but I like it. And it was HUGE.

img_9952

Rainbow version of our beautiful State Flag.

img_9972

Take note of the ladies posing for selfies. I saw this in front of almost all of the art. People were posing and talking about posting it on social media like it was very serious business.

Like what you see?  Love street art?  Check out some Parisian Street Art by clicking here!  I would love to know what you think.

Crocker Art Museum – Sacramento

The Crocker Art Museum is a downtown Sacramento staple.  Every school age child comes here at least once.

The Crocker family earned their money from the railroad.  They parlayed that money in to many other things ultimately affording the family to build a legacy Sacramentans will be forever grateful for.  The Crocker’s showed interest in art and began collecting personally specifically Asian art and ceramics.  Eventually the beautiful house and the art collection were gifted to the City of Sacramento for the purposes of creating culture in an early Sacramento.

The original house has been enlarged during the Crocker’s time there and recently underwent the building of a world-class architecturally modern wing added in 2010.  I hadn’t visited since this beautiful wing was added and took the summer heat wave as an opportunity to enjoy their art & air conditioning.

Highlights of the exhibits are the house itself, outside large public art installations on the grounds, early California paintings, ceramics, Oceana exhibits, and a broad grouping of Asian art from the Middle East, India, Japan, China, and beyond.

 

 

Odd Colossal Auburn Statuary

Auburn is another fine Gold Country town near Sacramento, California.  Auburn is known for its mining and mandarins.  But, for those looking for something random and unusual look no farther than Dr. Fox’s Colossal Statues.

One giant Gold Miner can be seen from the freeway welcoming visitors and passersby.  This gold minor embodies the Gold Rush and is the unofficial mascot of the town.

Stranger and slightly more controversial are the naked Amazonian women and their friend in bondage who sit and protect a local auto mechanic’s shop.

I remember driving by these tall muses on my way to a yoga class one day and nearly drove off the road.  One just doesn’t expect to see something like this in the middle of an old fashioned gold country town.  And from what I understand they were quite controversial at one time.

Old Town Auburn Doors

Happy Thursday everyone.  Meet the doors of Old Town Auburn, California.  Auburn is another great city which has its roots in the Gold Rush.  It has changed a lot over the years and is growing regularly.  It is known for its vibrant Old Town, its mandarins, and its wine believe it or not.  I took some inspiration from Norm 2.0 and snapped some colorful photos of its doors for you.

 

For other Gold Country Posts please click here!

Scorching Sacramento Sunflowers

It is so hot and dry in Northern California right now (Around 100-110F/ or 38-43C) it’s intolerable at times.  What can possibly thrive in this heat?

Sunflowers friends, sunflowers can!  It’s sunflower season in the country so I took a quick drive to the Davis area and took some shots in a flower field before it got too hot and before the bees ran me off.  The sky is slightly hazy with smoke from surrounding fires which only got progressively worse after I took these photos.  So enjoy my cheerful sunflowers and stay cool friends!

Johnny Cash Trail-Folsom, California

A stretch of the American River bike trail has been dedicated to the man in Black – The Johnny Cash Trail. I had driven my multiple times seeing a piece of large art in the shape of a guitar with no clue as to why a random giant guitar was on the side of the road. I later learned the city dedicated the area to Johnny Cash.

The stretch of the beautiful bike trail runs parallel to the Folsom Prison tying it all together to his famous song “Folsom Prison Blues.”  The trail is very pleasant and very easy. My only criticism would be several signs with plans for public art related to Cash which are planned for the future but not yet complete. The portion of trail I walked on had no direct connection to Cash other than the Robber’s Ravine Bridge with a marker noting some Cash trivia.  Well, actually come to think of it I do have one other criticism, the portion of the trail which overlooks Folsom Lake does not have parking and was too far to walk with a baby in a stroller so I never made it to the end where the overlook and Cash guitar Pick art would have greeted me.

Regardless, the trail is worth a visit in cool weather. But, other stretches of the bike trail are frankly far more beautiful and parallel the water while one is walking. I’m glad I went because now my curiosity is sated. But, until the public art is complete I likely won’t be back.

Robber’s Ravine Bridge

This would have been even prettier a month or so ago when everything was still green

I couldn’t help but think that this little wild flower was trying to break out of prison

For you parents out there my son learned how to “moo” on this walk!

Fairytale Town- Sacramento, California

Fairytale town, located in Land Park, is a staple for all young Sacramentans. I came here as a kid and recently took my young son for the first time. Memories came flooding back. The park has been gussied up thank goodness with fresh paint and new additions everywhere.  This is great since it was a little tired in the 70’s when I was a kid.  (Doing the math though, it makes sense, because most of the park was built in the 50’s so it was already old when I was running around climbing on fantastic representations of our favorite fairytales.)

The crooked mile is as crooked as I remember, the old lady is still living in her shoe, the three little pigs are probably on their 20th generation by now, and kids can still have a safe place to run around and be free even on a life size piece of Swiss cheese if they so desire.

I’ve never heard of a place like this anywhere else short of Disneyland and the other large, busy, and expensive amusement parks.  Does anyone have anything like this on their end of the world?

Mind you head!

We were treated to a violin concert by a group of little ones.

The crooked mile may not be an actual mile but it still charms the kids the same way it did when I was young.

De Young Museum- Cult of the Machine

San Francisco’s premier art museum De Young , located in the glorious Golden Gate Park, is showing a “Cult of the Machine” exhibit which is simple, small, and enjoyable. The exhibit focuses on what appears to be period Industrial Art Deco style meets San Francisco Tech Industry.  A few pieces even focused on the Golden Gate Bridge, our beloved swaying icon of the area.  I found the exhibit to be very modern despite much of it being 100 years old.  The museum is a perfect respite from the heat and only feat away from my favorite San Francisco attractions; the Japanese Tea Gardens and the Botanical Gardens.  One could easily spend the entire day at the De Young even while the nature just steps outside beckon.

img_8954

Clarence Holbrook Carter – War Bride, 1940

img_8952

Joseph Stella – Bridge, 1936

img_8946

Charles Sheeler – Golden Gate, 1955

img_8942

Joseph Stella Factories, 1918