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  • Words and Photos by John Domine

On the Road: Wide Open Walls '18

Last year, I covered Sacramento's inaugural mural event, "Wide Open Walls", which featured works by the likes of Matt Adnate, Caratoes and Christina Angelina (Starfightera), among others.

This year, I returned to see what beautiful new additions had been made, following such a strong showing the first year. Let's just say, I wasn't disappointed!

This year's event, which was held August 9th-19th, featured work by over 30 talented artists, both local and from around the globe. Leading up to the event, there were a few names that popped out at me, getting me excited to see the walls in person. Topping that list were Bordalo II(Portugal), Shepard Fairey(Los Angeles), Herakut(Germany), Pixel Pancho(Italy), Paola Delfin(Mexico), Mateus Bailon(Brazil) and Kristin Farr(San Francisco).

Bordalo II's Orangutan Mom and Baby 

Top Row: Shepard Fairey, Herakut, Pixel Pancho

Bottom Row: Paola Delfin, Mateus Bailon, Kristin Farr 

Aside from these artists whose work is always so inspiring, I was equally impressed by some of the other walls that were painted, by artists whose work I was less familiar. A total stand-out for me was the incredibly-detailed, realistic work of local artist John Pugh from Truckee, entitled "Do No Harm".

Just as creative, but with a playful twist, the wall by Brett Crawford (Los Angeles) painted on the side of The Bank, a downtown eatery and bar on 6th and J, brought a smile to my face. I love the way he made use of the drainpipe for those rascally raccoons to climb, and how the flashlight creates a shadow behind the crow. It's the little details that make that piece shine.

In addition to these walls, there were many other beauties spread all across the Downtown area of Sacramento. There is a map with all of the locations on their website. Here are some of the walls from this year which you may encounter:

But be careful crossing the streets! You never know if a train by Tom Bob may cross your path! (Oh, and don't jaywalk, even if you are from New York. It will cost you $160 when the cop stops you. And he will stop you. Or so I have heard.)

And after you have seen all the amazing art adorning the walls, you will probably be mighty hungry. The perfect remedy is a stop in for a snack at LowBrau on 20th Street, a fun German beer hall with a nice outdoor deck to enjoy the California sunshine. Be sure to order the mini corn dogs (they are off-the-hook good!) and wash them down with one of their many draught beers (I went with the Alpine Duet, a West Coast IPA). And you know what, you deserve it with all the walking you did, so go ahead and order some Dirty Duck Fat Fries, too! You'll need a nap afterward, but it will be worth it. 

What more could you want than beautiful art and a full belly?

If you would like to see some of the walls from last year's event, check out the story we did here.

Congratulations, Wide Open Walls, on another amazingly successful event. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us next year!

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