There is a lumber yard in Sacramento called The Mill that has a 65,000 square feet warehouse that currently houses a temporary art space containing the work of over 100 local and international artists of all persuasions. It is called Art Street and is free to the public until February 25th, 2017.
After that, the art installations and crowds of spectators will be replaced with bulldozers and tractors, as the property is slated be leveled in order to make room for a new housing development.
The project is the brainchild of an arts initiative in Sacramento called M5 Arts that is dedicated to “envisioning and creating culturally significant multi-faceted and multidimensional art experiences.” After visiting Art Street, I could see that M5 is true to their mission. The installations give voice to people in the community and address topics ranging from homelessness and gentrification, to sexism, misogamy.
As I experienced each installation, I had the realization that environments where people can safely gather as a community to open-mindedly experience the perspectives of others from disparate walks of life is rare. Where else can a person go to have honest dialogue around sensitive and controversial topics without polarizing everyone involved? When people gather to experience art, they are embracing new ideas and perspectives and are provided with experiences to think and reflect. This is rare and one of the many reasons why the arts are so necessary.
Art Street is addressing this enormous need, and with lines stretching around the block to get in, it is obvious that the general population is craving to share the thousands of ideas and perspectives that are ignored in the mass media. If you have the opportunity to make it out to Sacramento, I highly recommend visiting Art Street. As I always say, art is a language, art is a voice, and art is definitely power.
[caption id="attachment_2688" align="aligncenter" width="669"] Photo by Jim Prigoff