“I want to make a visual statement that celebrates a shared sense of community through these hands lifting one another up out of a background of abstracted swirls and patterns that resemble the chaos…” — Bryan Valenzuela
THE ARTISTS: Northern California artist Bryan Valenzuela lives and works in Sacramento. For over a decade he's been perfecting a unique drawing technique involving the atomization of the figure by carving out shape and light with handwritten text. Though virtually unnoticeable from afar, once the viewer steps closer to each work they are engulfed in a barrage of words intermingled with other mixed media elements such as needle and thread, acrylic paint, and collage. Recent winner of both the Leff-Davis Fund for Visual Artists and a Best in Show prize at the 2015 California State Fair Fine Art Exhibition, Valenzuela was chosen by the City of Sacramento in 2016 to create a large scale public art piece for the new Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento. When not working in the studio, he's composing and recording music, performing and touring with the band Exquisite Corps.
THE ART: 8 ft. by 20 ft. acrylic and acrylic marker on wood panels mural of two hands clutching one another in a metaphoric symbol of a “helping hand.” The figure drawing consists of thousands of handwritten words that create shape, shadow, and light. The text is a loose, poetic narrative that tells the story of and emotions surrounding Napa’s devastating wildfires of 2017.
THE STORY: “...When I'm creating something that is site-specific I want to comment...on the place that the artwork will have its home. The tragedies caused by the [Napa] wildfires in October of 2017 have devastated much of the area—people's homes, their land, their loved ones, their memories. Yet always when these tragedies occur there solidifies a sense of commonality, of community, a bond where people look to their neighbors and unite in their mutual sense of place and home, even suffering and struggle.”
THE PLACE: Inside the Napa Valley Wine Train Station at 1275 McKinstry Street.