Client: Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission
Location: Sacramento, CA, United States
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $350,000
Erica Behrens, Director, USA/Canada
Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc.
Public Art Agent
City of Sacramento
Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture
Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineers
Bryan Valenzuela’s “Multitudes Converge,” a luminous aerial installation of 400 translucent glass spheres, which range in size from twelve to twenty inches, weighs over 8,000 pounds. The City of Sacramento commissioned this massive work, measuring fifty-feet long and suspended by scores of stainless steel splines, in celebration of local culture and history becoming one of the largest public art investments in the history of the city. A dynamic partnership between Franz Mayer of Munich and the artist ultimately produced this bold, energetic site-specific installation which enhances visitor experience as they journey through the bustling public space.
Valenzuela’s fascination with microcosms and weaving parts into a cohesive whole informs the concept and the structure of this work. He explained that his aim for the project: “To illustrate the idea of utilizing one of the most iconic features of our region: the river confluence. Where the Sacramento and American rivers meet near the heart of downtown are like the fresh water arteries coursing through the region. Drop by drop from mountain stream to valley flow, they are like two blue veins running through the urban and rural landscapes.” He wanted to reflect the spirit of the building, a place where people converge, to share experiences and ideas. He also sought to create imagery that was rooted in the local landscape and culture: “The gold flecks in the piece hint at our Gold Rush history, the subject is our rivers, it’s an aesthetic that is very Sacramento.” The work offers visitors an opportunity to slow down and reflect on this meditative work as they travel through this bustling interior.
Valuenzula worked closely with artisans to produce the spheres, which are connected by a series of cables and stainless steel spines. He also interfaced with government officials, construction workers, structural engineers, architecture consultants, steel fabricators and lighting designers, in order to provide stability and permanence but at the same time, achieve the effect of lightness and motion. Valenzuela took a hands on approach to every aspect, even leading a team of art handlers through the rigorous, fast-paced installation.