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The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission Gallery Program provides visual arts experiences in public locations at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Gallery and the Robert T. Matsui Gallery (Sacramento City Hall). This ongoing series of free public exhibitions showcase the artistic and cultural resources of the region.

All aspects of the Gallery Program are administered by Arts Commission staff.

The Gallery Program:

  • Provides opportunities for local and regional artists at all career levels to exhibit their artwork in public venues.
  • Provides artists, curators, and others with an interest in producing exhibitions the opportunity to present their ideas to the public and to advance their curatorial skills.
  • Meets the public goal of enhancing the quality of life for visitors and residents,
  • Supports the Arts Commission’s efforts for community inclusion and diversity.

Exhibition Guidelines and Application Procedures

Proposals for exhibitions at the Robert T. Matsui Gallery (Sacramento City Hall) and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) are accepted year-round. Proposals are reviewed by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission staff. Staff makes recommendations for exhibitions and then determines the schedule of exhibitions for each venue. Annual exhibition schedules are reviewed and approved by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Art in Public Places Committee.

Proposals may be submitted throughout the year and are reviewed upon submission. For more information on each venue, and how to apply, please see the SMAC Exhibition Program Policy and Procedures

SMUD Art Gallery
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Customer Service Center
6301 S Street at 65th Street, Sacramento, CA 95817
Hours:  Monday-Friday 8am-6pm
Located in the first floor lobby.
The SMUD Art Gallery is a partnership between the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission with additional funding from the City and County of Sacramento.

Free Press: an exhibition of fine art prints by Sacramento area artists
Friday, March 21, 2014 - May 21, 2014

Picture at SMUD gallery
"What Are You Looking At?”, Joanna Kidd, serigraph, 2013, 16" x 18.5”

The fine art prints in this exhibition illustrate vastly different techniques, media, and subject matter by emerging and established Sacramento area printmakers: Carol Abbe, Sandra Beard, Christine Meighan, Sally Bullock, Joanna Kidd, Dixie Laws, Barbara Nilsson, Manuel Fernando Rios, Susan Silvester, and Katherine Venturelli.

During her travels, Dixie Laws records views from the windows of places she stays. These vistas often become the subject matter of her linocut prints, a process whereby a design is cut into a linoleum surface, inked and then impressed onto paper. In “Oregon Window 1” she uses the window frame as a compositional element while paring down the natural elements, beyond that frame, to their most basic shapes. The result is a stark and graphic image, reminiscent of centuries-old woodcuts. Laws’ method is in stark contrast with Katherine Venturelli’s intaglio method, which involves many etched and colored plates, leaving the viewer with organic and colorful shapes. Her on-going series titled, “Universe At Play” incorporates abstract images and doodles along with the use of symbolic imagery from her previous works.

Manuel Fernando Rios, a graduate of the UC Davis’ Master of Fine Art program, created his screen prints, or serigraphs, by layering stencils, and pressing ink through mesh screen onto paper. "Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You" illustrates a hand holding a chili pepper in the shape of California. It expresses Rios’ interest in borders and how they separate and define, as well as what the effects are when these boundaries are crossed.

Also working with serigraphy, Joanna Kidd’s most recent work deals with the themes of perception and interpersonal communication. In “What Are You Looking At?” she depicts a crowd huddled together, with just a glimpse at a few of their faces. The effect is gestural and painterly. Her aim is to create visual representations of inner emotional states with work that provokes an immediate emotional response.

Robert T. Matsui Art Gallery
City of Sacramento City Hall (North entrance)
915 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
(Located in the H Street lobby of the new City Hall building.)
Hours:  Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

March 25, 2014 – July 31, 2014

Defining Character: an exhibition of portraits by Sacramento area artists, opens at the Robert T. Matsui Art Gallery, City of Sacramento City Hall (North entrance) 915 I Street, Sacramento on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. The public is invited
to meet the artists at a FREE reception on Tuesday, March 25, 2014, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The exhibition includes paintings, drawings, and mixed media portraits by 8 area artists: Laura Caron, Maren Conrad, Debra Hardesty, Fred Dalkey, Troy Dalton, Frank Ordaz, Annie Murphy-Robinson and Jerald Silva. The exhibition illustrates the many different approaches, styles, media and techniques artists use to create a portrait.

Trained in illustration, Frank Ordaz paints in a realistic and narrative style that allows the viewer to experience the subject matter as if they were there. The subject of his oil painting titled “The Traveler”, looks as though one could reach out and touch the subject’s dirty-blonde, jewel-adorned dreadlocks. Through a similar hyper-realistic approach, Annie Murphy-Robinson’s large-scale charcoal renderings, titled “Wedding Dress” and “Mascara”, depict the bitter-sweet journey of a girl’s entry into womanhood.

In contrast, Jerald Silva’s painterly approach achieves a luminous quality through the unconventional process of painting transparent watercolor on sized paper. This technique prevents the pigments from staining the paper, allowing the artist to scrub out passages he might reconsider. In his ambitious self portrait, a pentaptych titled “Chalkboard in Five Stanzas”– he uses watercolor to depict chalk renderings of his likeness on a board – progressing to the crescendo of a fully realized self portrait in color.

Maren Conrad’s portraits of the wives, girlfriends and mistresses of California governors gain depth, transparency, and dimensionality through multiple applications of oil paint, metal leafing, and resin. “Christine Larsen”, one of several portraits from Conrad’s ‘Politically Vulnerable’ series depicts the feminine paradox of strength in vulnerability.
Another example of mixed media in portaiture is Laura Caron’s portrait of her grandmother, titled “Daisy Chain”—a combination of painting, textile and paper which captures the essence of spirit through vivid color. Though each of the featured artists have vastly different approaches to their work, they achieve a common goal by defining the characters they paint.


Airport Gallery
With the opening of the New Terminal B, the Airport Gallery program has closed. Find out about the new public artworks at the airport here.