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.
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
Sacramento, Calif. – The following statement was released today by Jim Peifer, Executive Director of the Regional Water Authority, and Tom Gohring, Executive Director of the Water Forum, in response to the release of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s final Water Resilience Portfolio. The Portfolio is the Administration’s blueprint for equipping California to cope with more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, declining fish populations, over-reliance on groundwater and other challenges.
“The Governor’s Portfolio moves California water into the 21st Century. We appreciate the vision and spirit embodied in the plan that empowers state and local agencies to work together to address the impacts of climate change. And, we are pleased to see that many of the plan’s recommendations support initiatives already under development here in the Sacramento region to help our community adapt to increasing threats of flood, fire and drought projected with climate change.
“The Governor’s Plan is helpful to the Sacramento region in several important areas:
- “The plan underscores that climate change will impact each region in California in unique ways and supports the role of local agencies in addressing the impacts and opportunities within their watershed. Rather than a top-down approach to climate planning, the Governor outlines a vision that empowers local agencies to create plans like the Sacramento Region Water Resilience Portfolio, which encompasses our entire supershed—from the mountain tops of the American River watershed to the urban core.
- “The plan puts a premium on multibenefit projects such as the Sacramento Regional Water Bank that have the potential to provide value across multiple areas, including water supply reliability, flood protection and environmental stewardship, both within a region and statewide. The Water Bank is an innovative groundwater storage program to improve water supply reliability and environmental conditions for the Sacramento region and potentially beyond.
- “The plan paves the way for local efforts to be successful by recognizing the need to make funding available for groundwater recharge projects with multiple benefits.
“We look forward to building on the successful collaboration of the Water Forum and Regional Water Authority by breaking down traditional silos that exist in managing our local water supplies, environment, flood risks and wastewater and creating stronger networks both within the region and with our state and federal agency partners.”
The Regional Water Authority (RWA) is a joint powers authority representing 21 water providers serving 2 million people in the greater Sacramento region. Formed in 2001, its primary mission is to help its members protect and enhance the reliability, availability, affordability and quality of water resources. Learn more at rwah2o.org.
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.