FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — APRIL 17, 2013 —
By Steve Marschke
Help make some art:
You’re invited to participate in West Sacramento’s “Grow Yolo Mandala,” a community art project expected to debut at the local farmers market on June 6. The art project will be a ground-level display that shows off the wide variety of agriculture and crops in the area, arranging various display pieces in a mesh of geometry.
The artistic team of Paula Wenzl Bellacera of West Sacramento and Taylor Gutermute of Sacramento were selected by YoloArts to spearhead the project. Funding comes from the James Irvine Foundation.
The master design for the art project includes “imagery referencing local agriculture such as seasonal crops, lunar cycles, compass directions, fields, furrows, waterways, and much more,” say the artists.
The artists have been to a number of area farms to collect materials for the art project, and they have talked to Yolo County’s ag commissioner, John Young, about what gets planted locally, and when.
“We’ve been to the Yolo Wool Mill (in Woodland), and we’ve got a lot of their byproducts to use,” Bellacera told the News-Ledger. “We’ve got grapevines from Bogle Winery, we’ve got things we’re going to weave. Some of the smaller items, like barley and seeds, will be glued in place.”
Individual community members will get a chance to decorate “seed packets” that will be incorporated into the larger display.
“Everybody will have the opportunity to take one of these seed packets and draw one of the local crops,” she said. “Once we get all these parts made by the community, it will be our aesthetic and artistic challenge to create the whole mandala.”
According to the organizers, a “mandala” is a “visual symbol of the universe that represents unity and harmony.” Creating one has a community art project helps to stress the interconnectedness of the citizens and their connection to land. It also stresses the cycle of agricultural life – and the impermanence of all life, said Bellacera.
The finished “mandala” will go up for display at this year’s first West Sacramento Farmers Market on June 6. (The local chamber of commerce is working on a slightly different location for the market this year, but it will again be on West Capitol Avenue near city hall.)
The mandala will remain standing in public for about a month before it finishes its own cycle of life.
Are the artists worried about vandalism during the few weeks it stands on West Capitol?
“We spoke to YoloArts about that,” said Bellacera. “They said, ‘you know, it’s public art. Whatever happens will be okay.’”
Interested people can show up to help the project at 3 p.m. on Saturday at the library, 1212 Merkley Avenue.
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Copyright News-Ledger 2013