Franklin Urban Plein Air has three
components; a temporary public art along the boulevard an artist’s
in schools program at three local schools, and a traditional exhibition
that was held at the neighborhood’s Tangent Gallery.
The temporary public art project features 25 artworks painted on the
facades of businesses, cafes, schools, and other locations along the
street. The artworks are painted in the style called “Plein Air”,
a French term meaning ‘in the open air’ which refers to
a process in which the artist paints a subject, on location, which is
within his or her immediate view. In this case, the participating artists
focused on the colorful sites along Franklin Blvd.
The paintings, and the unique perspective of the artists, are meant
not to be visible from a car in transit, but viewed more intimately
at a pedestrian level. They are purposefully restricted in size and
at first glance seem to be more appropriate for a living room than the
side of a building on a major Sacramento street.
The mural project kicks off an artist residency program in 3 local schools,
teaching 4th grade students visual arts skills while they look again
at the businesses, organizations, natural vistas and homes that comprise
their Franklin Boulevard community. Students will view the plein air
paintings to explore how art can communicate ideas and to identify what
the artists were trying to reveal about their neighborhood. Artists
will teach students to use visual arts to explore their community and
to create their own vision for its future.
The teaching artists will paint three of the 25 murals at a later date,
which coincides with the 4th grade students’ curriculum.
An exhibition of work at the Tangent Gallery in September featured the
work of the artists participating in the project.