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Commission Approves Million-Dollar Art Project For Sacramento Convention Center


The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission has approved the piece, called "Heart of California," for the corner of J and 13th streets.


The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission approved a $1.3 million “heart” sculpture at the site of the remodeled Community Center Theater and Convention Center.

A new piece, called “Heart of California,” would be installed at the corner of J and 13th streets, outside the convention center, and will consist of a giant heart with tree branches that grow from the arteries.

The sculpture, to be created by San Diego artists Jamex and Einar De La Torre, will symbolize Sacramento as the center of California. It has been approved by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, which chose it out of 350 submissions as part of an effort to install more public art before the convention center closes and undergoes a renovation next year.

According to Lennée Eller, the commission's Art In Public Places program manager, the artists will now begin to plan the piece’s installation. "There's a lot of details left to be worked out in the design proposal,” she said. “Details all have to be worked through with the architect and to make sure that they actually work.”

The city requires at least 2 percent of a publicly funded project’s total construction cost be used for public art, which SMAC curates and the city council approves. The public art plan for the convention center and theater has a budget of about $5 million.

The “Heart of California” sculpture is the third large piece approved by the commission for the approximately $5 million public-art project at the convention center and theater.

Los Angeles artist Nova Jiang is working on two: a chandelier that looks like an audio waveform and a tree that transforms into musical instruments.

The Jiang pieces are expected to be completed before the theater reopens in September 2020. The de la Torre piece should be installed the following month, ahead of the convention center’s November 2020 re-opening.

The convention center and theater are scheduled to be closed for renovation beginning next July.

Noah Oppenheimer contributed to this report.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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