Beyond Sacramento’s Colorful Murals

On Labor Day Weekend, my friend Teila and I set out to appreciate the colorful murals of Sacramento. Since we didn’t have a solid plan, we wandered aimlessly in midtown towards the Old Soul Co. early in the morning. While photographing one of the murals on our way to caffeine, we met a gentleman with a tiny camera, and somehow we got talking. He happened to be fairly acquainted with Sacramento’s Street Art scene. “This is what I do’- he told us- “I photograph homeless people in front of murals”. He then gave us several tips about where to go.

The way to caffeine

When I got home after a long and productive photo walk, I did a little search for the work of our informal guide, whose name we never got to ask. Thanks to Google, I found his beautiful and meaningful work on Instagram. His name is Gale Filter, and his work, mostly in black and white, portrays and gives the name of quite a few of the several people in Sacramento who currently do not have a roof over their heads. If you do not have an Instagram account, you can at least watch this YouTube video about his work.

According to a January 2019 count, there were roughly 5,570 homeless people in Sacramento. The colorful murals of this small city both hide and help to reveal this sad situation, for which there is no simple solution.

Everyday we have a chance to do something to make our neighborhood a little better, or at least, a chance to do no harm. It is sad that some people choose to ruin Sacramento’s beautiful wall art with graffiti. During our walk, we saw several damaged murals. If we do not take care of our town, who will?

Please do not graffiti the murals!

On a side note, WordPress told me that I have passed the 50-followers mark. I went check, most are actually people (some are sites about how to make money without having a job). Thanks for giving me the time of your day!

Tips: There are several websites dedicated to Sacramento’s Street art, but I have not found anything like a simple, downloadable pdf with a route. If you walk on J, K, and I streets, including its alleys, from 15th street toward 33rd street, you are bound to see many colorful murals. This is what Teila and I did. Photographing these beauties requires not more than a cell phone, and a good pair of walking shoes. If you want to do this with a DSLR, wide angle lenses will give you the best results. Sunday mornings are the best because there are no cars parked in parking lots to spoil some of the beautiful parking lot murals. Do not forget that all street art is copyrighted and photographs thereof cannot be used for commercial purposes.

Mural credits: Feature Image: Detail, black and white rendering of SLEEPING GIRL WITH ADORABLE PANDAS MURAL. Location: Burgers and Brew Parking lot (1616 J street)

Published by Alessandra Chaves

Photographer with a preference for nature photography in black and white and other abstractions.

10 thoughts on “Beyond Sacramento’s Colorful Murals

      1. For a long time I’ve thought the police should work harder to catch graffiti scrawlers, and the legal system to prosecute them. Following the notion that the punishment should fit the crime, those found guilty of defacing property should be sentenced to a certain number of hours of having to remove graffiti by hand from properties in their community.

        Liked by 1 person

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