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Over the last weekend of September, while Sacramento was enduring record-breaking hot temperatures, a crew of artists from all over the nation descended into a Midtown alleyway for a transformative event. A large south-facing warehouse wall, long considered an eyesore by its surrounding neighbors because of its history of attracting vandalism on a consistent basis, became the canvas for an all-female team of street artists armed with spray cans and acrylic paints. In less than 48 hours’ time, the group completed more than 10 unique examples of colorful tags and impressive illustrations that, all together, stretch nearly two stories high and more than half a block wide.
Image by: Isaac Gonzalez
The group is named Few & Far, and its organizer and founder, an artist who goes by the moniker Meme (pronounced me-me) started the collaboration in the summer of 2011. Their first project was a large wall in Oakland, where 17 different artists came together to craft a huge mural on two walls of an unremarkable old building. Since then, Few & Far has created similar pieces in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Tijuana, Mexico.
Meme, who declined to give her real name, said that it’s important for the crew to work together, especially since the scene is considered to be male-dominated.
“We also have a kind of chemistry, and that chemistry goes beyond friendships,” Meme said. “It goes into a place where we are admiring each other’s work and trying to push each other.”
Terry Mulligan, a local real estate agent who owns a property with eight residential rental units on the same alley as the mural, said he thinks that it’s wonderful to see the efforts of Few & Far in Sacramento.
“We’ve had so many problems with this wall, with the graffiti,” Mulligan said. “I’ve been out here painting over poorly scrawled names and profanity for years, but this is great. It’s so impressive and a huge improvement for the neighborhood. I’m so glad these artists picked this wall.”
Image by: Isaac Gonzalez
The theme of the Sacramento installation is animals, as one can deduce by observing the cartoonish giraffe, panda bear, monkey and other figures all over the piece. It took dozens of cases of Ironlak paints and an electric scissor lift to pull off the colorful display.
While Few & Far artists had permission from the building’s owner to make their inspirations into reality, there’s no saying how long it will be before it’s either defaced or painted over. That’s the risk they crew takes when they put on a project, and they know it. But they also know that it’s about the moment, and creating something that makes the passerby stop and acknowledge what they’ve done.
You can check out the mural for yourself in the alley between 24th and 23rd streets and S and R streets in midtown Sacramento.
Sacramento Press Editor's note: Isaac Gonzalez is the publisher of the blog RanSACkedMedia.com, where he wrote an earlier post about this mural.