Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 165: Controversial Public Art Statue

As I've mentioned in previous posts, Sacramento is home to a number of public artworks of all types, including a statue garden on K Street along the pedestrian pathway between the Convention Center and the Community Center Theater.  One of the statues is Poseidon:

Apparently, this statue has occasionally been somewhat controversial for attendees of certain conferences held at the Convention Center:

The Incident: Parents attending the Advanced Training Institute International’s home schooling convention at the Sacramento Convention Center in early July 2000 were bothered and offended by the nude statue of Poseidon. Expressing their objection to the seemingly harmless display of public nudity, the parents were given permission from city officials to clothe the statue during the three-day event. On day one they dressed him in a toga, on day two in a gold shirt and khaki trousers, and on day three in slacks, a dress shirt and a tie. Jim Voeller, director of the Advanced Training Institute said, "A lot of the parents would object to the display of public nudity. We didn't deface the statue, and we got permission to cover it for the conference." However, not all Sacramento residents were happy to see Poseidon dressed up, and during the conference, the clothing was repeatedly taken off the statue. Sacramento resident, Eric Ford, was caught removing Poseidon's pants by a conference official; he later said, "That statue is for the whole city, not for them. You don't go to a city and decide to change the city's artwork because you think it is not appropriate." As a form of protest, Ford and other city residents later removed the necktie from Poseidon and used it to blindfold the statue.

Other folks using the Convention Center have taken advantage of the statue to make their own political statement, as shown by this photo from 2004:

Unfortunately, the artist is unknown, according to all of the various web sites I consulted, which seems a bit odd since the City must have contracted with someone to create the piece.  Regardless, Mr. Poseidon appears to truly embody the spirit of "public art" in terms of generating reactions and interactions with observers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that SEIU version a statue of Ben? :)

10:52 AM  

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