Commissioned by the Sacramento Water Forum for its 20th Anniversary, the artwork celebrates the beauty and wonder of the Lower American River, the Sacramento region’s crown jewel and the only nationally designated Wild and Scenic River running through a major metropolitan area.
Slowly over the next three days, the two men would transform an expansive blank brick canvas into a startling image teeming with Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, beaver, otter, raccoon, coyote and people enjoying the river as the walk, bicycle and play along the shore.
“It’s just stunning, and very fitting for our work,” said Water Forum Executive Director Tom Gohring as he watches the team working from a swing-stage suspended from the building’s roof. “The Water Forum is about building partnerships among diverse interests—water providers, environmentalists, the business community—to balance the water needs of people vs the environment. That requires participants to understand perspectives far different from their own. This mural invites us to do that.”
The artwork takes an underwater perspective, looking up from the bottom of the river as an otter might, notes artist Stephanie Taylor. “It’s immersive,” Taylor said. “Seeing it in person, looking from the ground to the river’s surface, you feel as if you are standing within the river,” she said, noting how the river and this project was her peace during this crazy pandemic year.
The mural was created from Taylor’s original painting, The Lower American River, which was digitally printed onto a vinyl wall wrap 60 feet wide by 45 feet tall and cut into 15 long strips. Installation began at the roofline. Installers Chris Bonus and Anthony Hrusovsky carefully unrolled and placed each strip from the rooftop to the treetops below, gently removing the adhesive lining from the vinyl as they went, hand pressing the material to the wall. They then used heat and pressure to adhere the wrap to the brick. Slowly, at about 3 inches per second, they moved a hand-held heat gun firing at 1,000 degrees across the mural, conforming the artwork to the wall.
You can see the complete process in a time-lapse video here: https://www.waterforum.org/20th-anniversary-artwork/
Sacramento County was a primary driver of the Water Forum negotiations and agreement two decades ago, and so it is fitting that the County Administration Building is serving as the canvas for this tribute to the river and the region’s progress toward reaching the Water Forum’s co-equal goals of providing a reliable and safe water supply for the Sacramento region’s long-term economic health and preserving the ﬁshery, wildlife, recreational and aesthetic values of the Lower American River, said District Two Supervisor Patrick Kennedy, who spearheaded efforts to place the mural on the County’s empty brick wall.
“This is a perfect place for peaceful reflection about the river as a source of community pride, as well as our commitment to preserve and protect it through the Water Forum Agreement—now and for generations to come,” Kennedy said.
The artwork is expected to remain in place for the next two to three years at the Sacramento County Administration Building at 700 H Street (on the I Street side) and was made possible by the support of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and sponsors: the Sacramento County Water Agency, the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities, San Juan Water District, SMUD and the Sacramento Association of Realtors.
The Water Forum is pleased to announce the selection of Jessica Law as its new Executive Director.
The Water Forum is a diverse group of local governments, environmentalists, water managers, businesses and others working together to balance the coequal goals of providing reliable water supplies for the Sacramento region and preserving the environment of the Lower American River.
Law brings more than 15 years of experience in water and environmental resource management, public process, and land use planning. For the past 13 years, she has been heavily engrossed in working closely with experts in water management, fisheries biology, ecosystem restoration, engineering, environmental law and economics to guide decisions on complex projects and programs.
“Jessica’s expertise in the field of water and the skill sets needed to be successful in the Executive Director position are unmatched,” said Tom Gohring, who will be retiring as Water Forum Executive Director in 2021.
Law is currently serving as the Chief Deputy Executive Officer of the Delta Stewardship Council, established by the California legislature in 2009 to advance the state’s coequal objectives of water supply reliability and ecosystem health in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
For the past five years, she has led critical conversations and strategic planning to strengthen the Council’s partnerships with state and federal agencies. Law has successfully increased the amount of funding for state agencies and non-profit groups to plan for and create permitting efficiencies for ecosystem restoration projects. Through the Council’s partnerships with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Geological Survey, she supported the Council’s efforts to issue over $25 million in competitive funding for science over the past two years. Her focus also has included tackling critical issues like climate vulnerability and equity and bringing together diverse interests around a common cause.
“It is my privilege to be joining the Water Forum at such a critical juncture in its history,” Law said. “Over the past 20 years, the Water Forum has accomplished a tremendous amount of work to achieve the coequal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem health. As climate change accelerates, not only will there be a new set of obstacles to navigate, but those obstacles will be coming at us faster, and in unpredictable ways.
“I am committed to bringing the best available science to the table in order to understand the obstacles and the depth of their risk, and to working diligently, creatively, and with a sense of urgency to implement solutions that will make real change,” Law said.
Law holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology (Ecology) from Connecticut College and a master’s in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
The Sacramento Water Forum is a diverse group of business and agricultural leaders, citizen groups, environmentalists, water managers and local governments working together to balance two co-equal objectives: to provide a reliable and safe water supply for the Sacramento region’s long-term growth and economic health; and to preserve the fishery, wildlife, recreational, and aesthetic values of the lower American River. Learn more at waterforum.org.
Please find the final notes for the November 2020 ARG meeting posted here.
Note: Power Bypass Temperature Control Plan ends
Date Time From (cfs) To (cfs)
08/31/20 0001 2,250 2,150
08/31/20 0200 2,150 2,000
Note: Reduced Delta Needs
Date Time From (cfs) To (cfs)
08/06/20 0001 3,000 2,850
08/06/20 0200 2,850 2,750
08/07/20 0001 2,750 2,650
08/07/20 0200 2,650 2,500
Note: Delta Needs