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N12 Street Mural 


May 2, 2019 Update:
The selection panel made up of city representatives, professionals in the field, and community representatives selected California artist Brett Cook as the lead artist for the North 12th Street Underpass Mural Project. Brett will begin soon on a two year long project along North 12th Street engaging with city departments, city infrastructure improvements, local stakeholders, and others in Sacramento. The project will include a series of related murals along North 12th Street along with participatory workshops for artists and community members. Please check our website for updates and information about how to get involved in this exciting community engagement focused public art project.

About the Artist
Brett Cook is an artist and educator who uses his creative practice to transform outer and inner worlds of being. For over two decades, Cook has produced installations, exhibitions, curricula, and events widely across the United States, and internationally. His museum work features drawing, painting, photography, and elaborate installations that make intimately personal experiences universally accessible. His public projects typically involve community workshops and collaborative art, along with music, performance, and food to create a more fluid boundary between art making, daily life, and healing.

He has received numerous awards, including the Lehman Brady Visiting Professorship at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Richard C. Diebenkorn Fellowship at the San Francisco Art Institute. Recognized for a history of socially relevant, community engaged projects, Brett was selected as a cultural ambassador to Nigeria as part of the U.S. Department of State's 2012 smARTpower Initiative and an inaugural A Blade of Grass Fellow for Socially Engaged Art in 2014. His work is in private and public collections including the Smithsonian/National Portrait Gallery, the Walker Art Center, and Harvard University.

Past Select Projects

Brett Cook 01

smARTpower/ Sharing Culture Permanent Installation in Lagos and Ibadan, Nigeria, 2012

Commissioned by the US State Department and the Bronx Museum of the Arts

The smARTpower/Sharing Culture Collaborative Project was a series of multi-faceted workshops that included collectively creating artifacts, celebrations, public art installations, and digital documentation to foster new connections and build community. Through direct experiences, participants investigated transformative ideas about what the practice of art could be, its societal benefits, and how it could be a force for personal discovery and mutual understanding.

Brett Cook 02

Amherst Portraits Octagon Installation (one of six installations), 2007
Commissioned by Amherst College

Amherst College Portraits was a multi-faceted process of building community that included the collaborative development of 18 large-scale public works made by students, faculty and staff from Amherst College, integrating the creative processes of Wendy Ewald and Brett Cook. Both the campus community collaboration project and the Practice of Collaborative Art Class culminated with the large-scale public works mounted across the Amherst College community for a year and an exhibition at the Mead Art Museum. In 2009 I published Who Am I In This Picture: Amherst College Portraits with Wendy Ewald and Amherst College Press documenting the project.

Brett Cook 03

Reflections of Healing Oakland Museum Of California 2014
Commissioning Agencies: Irvine Foundation, Oakland Museum of California, A Blade of Grass, Akonadi Foundation

Reflections of Healing OMCA was a multi-faceted process of community building that included the collaborative development of large-scale public installations featuring Bay Area residents whose practice or legacy demonstrated dimensions of healing.


 February 21, 2019 Update:

If you were not able to attend the February 20th panel discussion and Q&A session, the video above features the slideshow and recording of the conversation.

February 11, 2019:
Please come join us for a panel discussion and Q&A session for the North 12th Street Underpass Mural Project. This is an exciting project with many moving parts and stakeholders. After some presentations from our panel members, we will open up the floor for discussion and questions. Any questions and answers discussed will be posted on our website. The event details are:

When: Wednesday February 20, 2019 1pm – 2pm
What: Panel Discussion and Information Session, North 12th Street Underpass Mural Project
Where: SHRA Community Room, 321 Eliza Street, Sacramento, 95811
Why: Hear more about the North 12th Street Project, corridors and creative placemaking in Sacramento, and infrastructure projects happening on North 12th Street
Who: Panel will be made up of an APP representative, SHRA representative, Economic Development representative, and Urban Strategies representative


The City of Sacramento, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, a division of the City of Sacramento Convention and Cultural Services Department, invites artists and artist teams to submit their qualifications for a series of murals engaging community collaboration throughout the design and fabrication process along the North 12th Street corridor and the North 12th Street underpass specifically. The selected lead artist or artist team will work with numerous city departments, nonprofits, housing agencies, and community stakeholders to transform the North 12th Street corridor with a series of aesthetically innovative murals, with the underpass serving as a central project fulcrum of the transformation. Community interaction and collaboration are central to the project.

This call is open to experienced professional artists nationally. The final commission will be awarded based on experience in the design, fabrication, and installation of major artworks, as well as the strength of prior demonstrated community collaboration and participation within the artist's professional practice. Artists teams should have proven experience that demonstrates design team and community outreach experience. Professional artists living in the Central Valley region are encouraged to apply. 

Project Budget: $170,000

RFQ Deadline: February 25, 2019, 5:00pm

Download the full RFQ here

Applications must be submitted through Submittable: There is no fee to apply or use Submittable.

Questions should be directed to Donald Gensler; [email protected] or 916-808-8493.


1. What is the general timeline for the project? After SMAC has selected the artists/teams, what is the ideal start and completion dates for executing the mural project and workshops?
Preliminary Timeline – subject to change depending on Complete Streets project delays

• March 2019 – Panel meets to review artist submissions for North 12th Street Underpass Project and select lead artist.
• April 2019 – Design contract finalized, and selected artist is asked to meet with communities and city stakeholders and develop design proposal.
• September 2019 – Artist presents final design proposal to Panel and Community
• October 2019 – Construction contract finalized, and Artist begins mural fabrication
• November 2019 – July 2020 – Artist engages community with workshops and participation events
• August 2020 – Artist begins installation on site / Coordination with Complete Streets construction
• May 2021 – Installation and on site painting concludes
• May 2021 – Dedication event for North 12th Street Underpass Mural Project

2. The SacRT passes through one of the sides of the mural, will there be street closures (K Rails, Jersey barriers, etc.) for this portion? If so, will the cost for street closures be included in the $150k budget?
Yes, project is timed to coincide with the Complete Streets infrastructure improvements. City will obtain necessary permits for street closure at which time artist will be able to coordinate safe installation. All or portions of mural will be painted on parachute cloth in order to allow fabrication in studio that is then installed on site.

3. Will SMAC or another department help support the gathering of permits for street closure?
Yes, see question 2.

4. The middle divide of the underpass is a less accessible area in the project site. Is this the area intended for the parachute cloth or if not could you describe the area that is?
Yes, this is intended to be one area for use of parachute cloth. But, artist will ultimately decide. Additionally, at the artist’s request, SMAC will hold a workshop to introduce and explain the parachute cloth process and materials.