Sep 26, 2016

Internationally Renowned Artist Jeff Koons Joins Sacramento Kings to Unveil Sculpture Commissioned for Arena’s Public Plaza

Largest Contribution to Sacramento’s Public Art Program Secured First-Ever Publically Owned, Permanently Displayed Sculpture by Jeff Koons

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, as part of an ongoing commitment to invest in public art, the Sacramento Kings and Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC) welcomed world-renowned artist Jeff Koons and local artists Bryan Valenzuela, Gale Hart and Bill Fontana to Golden 1 Center for the unveiling of their artworks and to celebrate the City of Sacramento’s growing public art collection. Coloring Book  – the eighteen-foot tall sculpture by Koons – will be displayed prominently in the Downtown Commons (DOCO) plaza at the entrance of the groundbreaking Golden 1 Center, which will be officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 30th. 

Golden 1 Center – the world’s most technologically advanced and sustainable arena – is a once-in-a-generation project helping revitalize and energize downtown, profoundly impacting the region’s economy, and serving as a catalyst to transform Sacramento into the next great American city. Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé crafted a vision for the first coliseum of the 21st century that blends technology, environmentalism, arts and culture – all to provide a new communal fireplace for Sacramento.

“We see our role in Sacramento as being bigger than basketball, and promoting the arts, culture and education is central to that mission,” said Kings Owner Vivek Ranadivé. “I believe public art is vital for a thriving city and we are proud to bring one of the most iconic and important artists of our generation to the Sacramento community.” 

Coloring Book is part of Koons’s iconic Celebration series of large-scale paintings and monumental sculptures. This series, initiated in 1994, was inspired by an enduring fascination with childhood experiences and optimistic consciousness. Towering over the viewer, the sculpture is made from the miraculously smooth mirror-polished stainless steel with a multi-colored highly reflective surface that dazzles the eye. 

Coloring Book is part of Koons’s iconic Celebration series of large-scale paintings and monumental sculptures. This series, initiated in 1994, was inspired by an enduring fascination with childhood experiences and optimistic consciousness. Towering over the viewer, the sculpture is made from the miraculously smooth mirror-polished stainless steel with a multi-colored highly reflective surface that dazzles the eye. 

This will be the first version of Coloring Book to be permanently displayed in a public space. Other unique versions of the sculpture have been previously exhibited outdoors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 2008 and at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in 2011.

“Jeff Koons is undeniably one of the most renowned artists of the post-war era,” says Rebecca Garrison, Arts Commission Chair. “This sculpture and the works of art by Bryan Valenzuela, Gale Hart and Bill Fontana will anchor a public art collection that will inspire the community and millions of visitors for years to come.”  

Through the partnership with SMAC, the Sacramento Kings donated previously existing art located in the Downtown Plaza to the City’s public art collection and worked with a panel of nine prominent artists and community leaders to create an art plan for the new arena and three-acre public plaza. “Sacramento’s Godmother of Contemporary Art” Gale Hart, internationally known sound artist Bill Fontana and local rising art star Bryan Valenzuela were selected to produce installations that will be introduced for the first time today. 

A fourth selection, a mural crafted by the Sacramento-based Royal Chicano Air Force, was announced in June and will be installed next year. 

Due to open on September 30th, Golden 1 Center was recently described by WIRED as “the highest tech stadium in sports,” the new arena will feature the latest in broadband and wireless technology to keep fans constantly connected and explore new ways for fans to experience the game inside and outside the arena. 


Jeff Koons:
Internationally recognized artist Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955. He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and he received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1976. Since Koons’s first solo show in 1980, his work has been widely exhibited internationally.  Major retrospective exhibitions have been presented by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1992); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1992); Aarhus Kunstmuseum (1993), Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (1993); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1993); Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo (2004); Helsinki City Art Museum (2005).  “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective,” opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2014 and traveled to Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.  Koons has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his cultural achievements. Notably, Koons received the Governor’s Awards for the Arts “Distinguished Arts Award” from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; the “Golden Plate Award” from the Academy of Achievement; President Jacques Chirac promoted Koons to Officier de la Legion d’Honneur; and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton honored Koons with the State Department’s Medal of the Arts for his outstanding commitment to the Art in Embassies Program and international cultural exchange. Koons lives and works in New York City.

Bill Fontana: 
Bill Fontana is an American composer and artist who developed an international reputation for his pioneering experiments in sound.  Since the early 1970’s Fontana has used sound as a sculptural medium to interact with and transform our perceptions of visual and architectural spaces. His work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, the Post Museum in Frankfurt, the Art History and Natural History Museums in Vienna, both Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London, the 48th Venice Biennale, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the Art Gallery of NSE in Sydney and the new Kolumba Museum in Cologne. He has done major radio sound art projects for the BBC, the European Broadcast Union, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, West German Radio (WDR), Swedish Radio, Radio France and the Austrian State Radio.

Gale Hart:
From early childhood Gale Hart has had a fascination with creating objects out of nuts, bolts, scrap metal and wood evolved into an intensely energetic creative drive.  She is a self-taught artist and has been showing her work throughout Sacramento since the early 1990’s.  Her work has been exhibited in galleries across the United States including the Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento; Bash Contemporary, San Francisco; Atelier 31 Gallery, Seattle, WA; Gallery ten472; New York; and the New Leav Gallery in Sonoma, CA. She conceived, curated and directed the “2nd Annual Circus Show and Other Atrocities” in Sacramento and founded, directed and participated in “A Bitchin’ Space” in Sacramento.  Her work has been written about in American Art Collector, the Sacramento Bee, Sacramento News and Review, and Sacramento Magazine. 

Bryan Valenzuela:
Bryan Valenzuela has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from California State University, Sacramento.  For over a decade he's been aiming to perfect 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. He was awarded, Best in Show at the 2015 California State Fair Fine Arts Competition.  When not working in the studio, he's composing and recording music, performing and touring with the band Exquisite Corps.

Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission: 
The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission is a public agency devoted to supporting, promoting and advancing the arts in the region.  Funded by the Sacramento City and County, the Commission provides funding to local artists and arts groups; promotes the arts through marketing, outreach and education initiatives; provides resources to support and increase regional arts education activities; and serves as a community partner and resource. For more information, visit

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