By Antonio R. Harvey | OBSERVER Staff Writer
In honor of Black History Month, Sacramento City Councilmember Mai Vang of District 8 and the district’s former City Councilman Larry Carr recently hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Pannell Kinetic Art Project on February 2.
Created by Bay Area sculptor Zach Coffin’s Zachary Coffin Studio Inc., the kinetic artwork was installed permanently at the corner of 24th Street and Meadowview Road on the Sam and Bonnie Pannell Community Center’s grounds.
“This unique artwork is a landmark … there’s nothing like this anywhere in our city. It is a monument of power in our community,” Vang said during the ceremony. “It beautifies our district.”
The artwork is a 100-foot, vertical staff with two movable “sails” attached to it. Kinetically, the forces and motion of the sails are aided by wind, Coffin explained. It’s a can’t-miss piece that can be viewed from all directions and has an area for seating and gathering.
The Pannell Kinetic Art Project is a culmination of efforts from the District 8 Councilmember’s office, the Youth, Parks, and Community Enrichment Department, the City of Sacramento Public Works, and the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.
Vang, Carr, Coffin, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, and Meadowview Neighborhood Association President Jesse Reese were in attendance.
Megan L. Van Voorhis, Melissa Cirone, and Donald Gensler from the City of Sacramento’s Office of Arts and Culture were also present.
“It was truly a collaborative effort across the city’s department and that was remarkable,” Gensler said. “Proof of a well-run city is that we work together with our neighborhoods and communities.”
Carr had been working on the project when he was in office and Vang was one of his staffers. Carr, who represented the district from 2014 to 2021, decided not to run for a third term.
“This came about when we asked what was most needed in the community,” Carr said, jokingly noting that local artist Shonna McDaniel stuffed the suggestion box requesting public art. “She said she wanted to see more art in our district.”
Funding for the art project was administered through the City of Sacramento’s nationally renowned Art in Public Places (APP) program. An agreement with Zachary Coffin Studio Inc. was executed in an amount not to exceed $110,000 for the design, fabrication, and installation.
The deal was sealed on May 13, 2019, when a panel of city and community representatives selected Coffin as its first choice to complete the project. Coffin said he was responsive to the community and neighborhood’s input and involvement through the design process.
“This ended up being a difficult and long project,” Coffin said. “There were a lot of setbacks and design work but I am pleased with it.”
The presence of public art is showing the community of Meadowview that it improves the environment, heightens value, and beautifully transforms a landscape or facility.
In November 2021, the Sacramento Kings and Kaiser Permanente refurbished a basketball court in Meadowview’s LeVar Burton Park. The public artwork was produced by Sacramento native Eric Nodora and street art muralists, the Illuminaries. Gensler said that McDaniel, the founder of the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Museum in South Sacramento, is working on a series of art murals in the Valley High Shopping Center off Mack Road.
“This neighborhood of District 8 is on the rise. The city is on the rise,” Steinberg said. “We’re going to make arts and culture part of everything we do.”