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Hundreds of Sacramento locals gathered at the corner of J and 20th streets in Midtown Sacramento late Saturday afternoon as world-renowned performance painter David Garibaldi showed appreciation for Kings fans by featuring them in his “Be Heard” mural.
Garibaldi requested photos of fans via Facebook and Twitter last week, and he chose 10 of the photos to display on his massive mural.
“I’ve never done anything quite like this,” said the Sacramento artist. “I was honored to give something back to the Kings fans, who are the ones responsible for the team staying in Sacramento.”
DJ Joseph One’s music echoed off the buildings and through the streets as crowds of people watched in awe and gossiped amongst each other over Garibaldi’s newest piece.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about him and have seen a couple videos, but this is the first time I have had a chance to see him in person,” said Kings fan Greg Maurantonio. “It was truly amazing to watch his idea unfold from start to finish.”
One of the lucky fans chosen to be displayed was Jarrad Hicks, who posted photos of himself, his mother and his uncle on Facebook on Friday.
“It really looks like me,” Hicks raved. “David called me a few hours ago and left a voicemail asking if it would be okay with me if he used my photo. By the time I called him back it was already 4:00, so I was happy he put me up there.”
Duane Hicks, Jarrad’s uncle, was also chosen and appears just below his nephew on the mural.
As Garibaldi finished his tenth and final portrait, he got on the microphone and asked fans to gather close as he put the finishing touches on the mural. “Be Heard,” the phrase that has gained praise through Twitter over the last few months, was spray-painted over the center of the group of portraits. Fans cheered as Garibaldi signed his finished piece and greeted a group of media to talk about his latest work.
Maloof Sports and Entertainment employees and Sacramento Kings ticket representatives were also onsite giving away “Be Heard” paraphernalia. Fans had the chance to ask questions first-hand and were encouraged to put down $100 deposit for 2011-2012 season tickets.
Garibaldi has performed at numerous venues and events over the last five years. He was invited to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in July, 2006 where he painted a portrait of Mick Jagger. In September of 2008, he opened for the Blue Man Group’s tour in Canada and the United States. He also opened for Snoop Dogg during halftime at a Golden State Warriors game in November of 2007.
The Sacramento native and life-long Kings fan was honored to give something back to the community.
“I was contacted by the Kings and was asked if I would want to paint something, and of course I said yes.” Garibaldi said. “I wanted to paint something to show the diversity of the city, and I wanted each portrait to be distinctive.”
The last couple of weeks have given Kings supporters hope after fearing the loss of their beloved team since the closing weeks of the season. Starting on May 3 with Mayor Kevin Johnson’s announcement that the Kings would be staying in Sacramento, followed by the “Here We Rally” gathering last Tuesday in Cesar Chavez Park, Garibaldi’s performance capped off one of the happiest stretches in recent memory for Kings fans. No doubt the fans have been heard and will be reminded each time they pass the corner of J and 20th.