“Prosperity Through Perseverance” Koi Mural (August 2017)
Location: MARRS Building Sacramento
Commissioners:Mike Heller, Heller Pacific/ Mark Freidman, Fulcrum Properties/ David & Patricia Schwartz Trust/ Dr. Patrick Browning, Sutter Radiology
Project: This 12,000+ Sq.ft mural stretches the city block of 20th St from J St to L St. Inspired by the dragon origin legend of the koi that ascended a waterfall on the Yangtze River, this piece pays homage to the Chinese immigrants that persevered creating the transcontinental railroad, receiving little credit and subhuman conditions. The MARRS building’s vibrancy on the front has been undeniable since its remodel, however, the dimly light backside along the railroad prior to August of 2017 had been the site of a van fire, drug use and violence. The luminescent of metallic paint and lure of “selfies” help bridge the urban planning gender-gap by creating a safer place to walk at night.
Celebrity blogging friend, Kachét Jackson-Henderson, at The Kachet Life recently visited Maren Conrad’s murals and put together her recommendations of fun things to do while mural hunting. Click here.
Find this mural on the back of the M.A.R.R.S. building on 20th Street between J and K Streets. Link to map.
The Old Spaghetti Factory : 1910 J St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Block Butcher Bar : 1050 20th St, Sacramento, CA 95814
Pachamama Coffee: 919 20th St, Sacramento, CA 95811
Use hashtag: #
The Wishing Wall
Find this mural on the side of 819 19th St. Link to map.
The Mill: 1827 I St, Sacramento, CA 95811
Easy on I: 1725 I St, Sacramento, CA 95811
The Bread Store: 1716 J St, Sacramento, CA 95811
Use hashtag: #thewishingwall
Sac Proud Peacocks
Use hashtag: #hellodoco
Find this mural at Urban Roots Brewery & Smokehouse, 1322 V Street. Link to map.
Urban Roots : 1322 V St, Sacramento, CA 95818
South: 2005 11th St, Sacramento, CA 95818
The Quinn: 1103 T St, Sacramento, CA 95811
Dad’s Sandwiches: 1310 S St, Sacramento, CA 95811
Use hashtag: #smashedaturb
Inspired by the concepts of loss and renewal, Maren Conrad creates visual metaphors that express the collective truths learned from these shared human experiences. Composed of paint and metal-leaf between multiple layers of resin, her work creates a visually complex and multi-dimensional experience that establishes a distinct and lasting connection with her audience.
Sacramento Jet Center “elevation” (Fall 2016)
Location: 10510 Superfortress Ave, Mather, CA
Commissioners: Sacramento Jet Center
Project: According to lore, a huge school of golden koi swam upstream the Yangtze River gaining strength as they fought against the current. The school glimmered brilliantly as they moved together through the water. Upon reaching a waterfall at the river’s end, many of the koi turned back, but a small, bold group persevered onward undaunted.
Leaping from the depths of the river, they attempted to reach the top of the waterfall to no avail. Their efforts caught the attention of local demons, who mocked their efforts and heightened the waterfall out of malice. After a hundred years of jumping, one koi finally reached the top of the waterfall. The gods recognized the koi for its perseverance and determination and turned it into a golden dragon, the image of power and strength.
This legend mirrors the history of aviation. Through the strength, determination, and bravery over two thousand years, man was finally able to soar. The first flight by man was recorded in China using a kite in 600BC. Hundreds of years later, Leonardo da Vinci designed flying machines, but never built them. Finally, Sir George Cayley invented the first modern aircraft. Due to the tenacity of the Wright Brothers, and the many pilots who sacrificed their lives to pave the way, our world has changed and our ability to reach other cultures is at our fingertips. Using aircraft-inspired materials along with imagery from one of Asia’s most famous legends, this seven pillar painting pays homage to the power and strength within us all.
“…don’t expect to find kitschy tiki carvings and florals covering the space; Poke Noke will be decked out in mod touches like a mural of eight koi fish swirled in shades of blue, teal and gold by local artist Maren Conrad,” Tori Masucci Cummins & Eddie Pamintuan, Sactown Magazine.
“The Wishing Wall” (March 2018)
Location: Historic Alley & 19th St Sacramento
Commissioner: Julie Young and Linda Clifford, Urban Elements
Project: “The Wishing Wall” was a concept developed through a series of studio artwork created in my Artist Residency at the Hotel Andaz, Napa Valley. After creating a body of work for Urban Element’s project on Capitol Ave, I was asked to research their new tenant, Sacramento Covered, to pitch a design concept for a mural on the southern wall of Historic Alley. The goal was to create a safer environment and discourage vandalism on an alley backing the railroad tracks that was enigmatic of the city’s opioid crisis.
Lady Bird (March 2018)
Location: 16th& I St, Sacramento
Commissioner: Visit Sacramento/ Wide Open Walls/ Councilman Steve Hansen
Project: Visit Sacramento, Wide Open Walls, and Councilman Steve Hansen asked me to create a visual show of support for “Lady Bird” before the Academy Awards. This piece was completed in the 48 hours leading up to the Oscars. Using “writer’s” materials, I designed the moquette by sketching my version of the movie poster on several sheets of solid color paper and cutting them for the final reference from which to paint.
“Smashed”at Urban Roots Brewery (May 2018)
Location: 14th& V St, Sacramento
Commissioner: Urban Roots Brewery
Project: To help drive foot traffic and visibility to the side of the brewery that has been the site of sex trafficking and prostitution and to deter vandalism, I created a pair of giant’s legs to crush beer cans and inspire Instagram posts in addition to the large line mural design with logo that I was originally hired to execute.
Yahoo! UK & Ireland “Governors’ Mistresses Art Dust Up” June 27, 2013
World News “Governors’ muses, mistresses prompt art debate” by Tracie Cone June 28, 2013 MOJIM News “Governors’ muses mistresses prompt artistic criticism” June 29, 2013
Bellfast Telegraph “Governors’ muses, mistresses prompt art debate” by Tracie Cone Northern Ireland, UK. June 27, 2013
Santa Clara Review 2018. Volume 105 Issue 2 (Front & Back Cover Feature Art) Sacramento Bee, “Honoring Lady Bird” March 6, 2018. Front Page
Inside Publications August 2018
Comstock’s Magazine “Lady Bird Effect” August 2018
San Francisco Chronicle, Front Page Travel Section, June 2018 Sacramento News & Review “Art in the Streets” July 2017 Inside Publications July 2013
Sacramento News & Review “Art of the Mall” December 2013
Inside Arden, Inside Publications “Bigger Than Life: Fine Artist Finds New Inspiration Creating Outdoor Murals” By Daniel Barnes, December 2018
Sacramento News & Review “Superlative Smoke” by Nick Miller October 11, 2018 Sactown Magazine “Brew & Cue” by Jessica Rine August/September Issue
Inside the Grid, Inside Publications “Bigger Than Life: Fine Artist Finds New Inspiration Creating Outdoor Murals” By Daniel Barnes, August 2018
Comstock’s Magazine “The Creative Divide” By Torey Van Oot, August 14, 2018
SacTown Magazine “Eight Vibrant Backgrounds for Your Next Instagram Selfie” By Bianca Rodriguez and Andrew Warner July 6, 2018
The Sacramento Bee “It’s Site is Instagram-worthy. But how is the beer at Urban Roots?” by Daniel Barnes June10, 2018
SacTown Magazine “Taste: The Regions Latest” By Will Moon, Bianca Rodriguez, Curtis Yee June 7, 2018
The Sacramento Bee “Urban Roots Grand Opening” by Benjy Egel May 17, 2018
The Sacramento Bee “See Where in Sacramento ‘Lady Bird’ Will Star Again” by Randy Pench March 4, 2018
The Sacramento Bee “Maren Conrad Explains the Significance of her Koi Fish in Her MARRS Building Mural” By Matt Kawahara February 6, 2018
Sacramento Magazine “A Portrait of the Arts” By Jordan Venema February 2, 2018
The Sacramento Bee “Skulls, Dolls, and Birds at artspace1616” by Victoria Dalkey October 19, 2017.
SacTown Magazine “5 Artists to Watch (Literally) During 2017 Wide Open Walls Mural Festival” By Sonia Hillary Louise Johnson August 3, 2017
SacTown Magazine “Barbie Goes Darker in New Sacramento Art Exhibit” By Hillary Louise Johnson November 29, 2016
Sacramento Business Journal “Why Arden Fair is Looking for Local Artists” By Sonia Sorich April 27, 2016
Sacramento Business Journal “New University Village Restaurant Will Have Unique Feature” By Sonia Sorich April 20, 2017
Comstock’s Magazine “Darker Side of Pink Debut in Sacramento” By Allison Joy, December 10, 2016
Sacramento Business Journal “Here’s Why A Local Business Is Investing In Art” By Sonia Sorich March 4, 2016
SacTown Magazine “City Hall Defines “Character” with New Art Exhibit” By Sonia Sorich May 25, 2015
Comstock’s Magazine “Art on the WAL” By Tre Borden, January 9, 2015
Comstock’s Magazine “Off the Wall Linens by Maren Conrad” By Tre Borden, December 16, 2014
Sacramento Bee “Two Designing Women Market Artful Linens” By V. Anderson October 17, 2014
Sacramento Magazine “Bright Idea: Art for the Table” August 25, 2014
Comstock’s Magazine “Your Check is In the Mail: Five Steps to Turning Art into Sustainable Income” By Tre Borden, August 6, 2014
Sacramento News & Review “Art of the Mall” Cover Feature by Nick Miller December 2013
Bitch Magazine “Portraits of California Governors’ Wives and Lovers Spark Controversy” Art and Design post by Nina Liss-Schultz July 18, 2013
The San Francisco Chronicle “Governors’ muses, mistresses prompt art debate” By Tracie Cone June 28, 2013
NewsOK Oklahoma News, Sports Weather “Governors’ muses, mistresses prompt art debate” By Tracie Cone June 28, 2013
Ventura County Star Ventura County, California “Governors’ muses, mistresses prompt art debate” By Tracie Cone June 28, 2013
Contra Costa Times. Contra Costa County, California “Governors’ muses, mistresses prompt art debate” By Tracie Cone June 28, 2013
Santa Clarita Valley Signal. “Governors’ muses, mistresses prompt art debate” By Tracie Cone June 27, 2013.
Union Times San Diego. San Diego, California. June 27, 2013 “Governors’ muses, mistresses prompt art debate” By Tracie Cone
The Gazette Colorado Springs, Colorado “Governors’ muses, mistresses prompt art debate” By Tracie Cone June 27, 2013
Sacramento News & Review “Restaraunteur Randy Paragary Yanks Controversial Paintings Off New Bar’s Walls” By Rachel Leibrock June 20, 2013
The Sacramento Bee “Politically Vulnerable’ paintings well-done but problematic” By Victoria Dalkey, Bee Art Correspondent. Friday, Jun. 21, 2013 Page 25TICKET
Merced Sun-Star “The Buzz: Art of governors’ loves pulled down before downtown bar opens”by Jeremy B White June 13,2013
Sacramento Sun “Controversial art exhibit features California governors’ lovers” By KXTV 10 June 28, 2013
Sacramento News & Review “Artists’ statement: Exhibit S grand opening” By Rachel Leibrock.. June 27, 2013.
USA TODAY “Art show features politicians’ lovers, mistresses News. June 28, 2013
The Sacramento Bee “Vicotria Dalkey: Artists face themselves at Elliott Fouts” By Victoria Dalkey, Art Correspondent January 18, 2013. Page 26. Ticket Section.
Submerge Magazine “SEE: 40 & Under Show at Elliott Fouts Gallery” July 30- August 13, 2012. Page 9
The Sacramento Bee “Visions and Wonders Abound at Galleries on Monthly Art Walk” by Victoria Dalkey, Bee Art Correspondent. Friday August 10, 2012. Ticket Section Page 14.
Sactown Magazine “Best Place to Raise a Renoir” Best of the City” June/July 2011, page 71
Inside Publications “Little Picassos: Local Art Teacher Wants to Instill a Love of Art in Children” Artist Spotlight, October 2010 pages 70-71
Good Day Sacramento “Debut of DOCO’s Peacock Murals” November 1, 2018
Fox 40 News “Creating the Lady Bird Mural” March 20, 2018
KCRA 3 “Elk Grove Artist Creates Mural Honoring Sacramento’s Lady Bird” March 8, 2018
Good Day Sacramento “Lady Bird Mural” March 5, 2018
Good Day Sacramento “Poke Noke Mural” August 14, 2017
KCRA 3 “Wide Open Walls Artists Paint Sacramento Brighter” August 9, 2017
Good Day Sacramento “Life is Beautiful with Maren Conrad” February 9, 2017
Fox 40 News “Sneak Peek of a Darker Side of Pink” December 8, 2016
Fox 40 News “Elevation Unveiled at SacJet” March 1, 2016
Good Day Sacramento “Local Artist Maren Conrad On the Art Inspired Home” Sept 2, 2014
Fox 40 News “Local Artist Creates Home Décor” August 8, 2014
WUSA 9 Washington DC News “Art show features politicians’ lovers, mistresses”
Radio KFBK “Lady Bird Mural Now Graces Comstocks Cover” Afternoon News With Kitty O’Neil August 2018
NPR/ Capitol Public Radio: Insight “Artist Maren Conrad” By Beth Ruyak July 3, 2013
971 The River “Governors’ muses, mistresses prompt art debate” By Tracie Cone Associated Press June 27, 2013
B 98.5 Atlanta, Georgia “Governors’ muses, mistresses prompt art debate” By Tracie Cone Associated Press June 27, 2013
Maren Conrad - Artist Statement
In dirty space between urban dwellings, above the frayed and broken concrete littered with needles and drenched in addiction, lies my opportunity to turn scenes of despair and danger into backdrops of joy, expression and value. These larger than life canvases of steel, brick and stucco become the destinations that define a city. My murals become the place where toddlers go to wish, where dandies go to peacock, and where cars appear toy sized against the background of giants. Each work maybe a part of a developer’s project, or painted on a wall that someone has purchased, yet they are owned by no single person, not even their creator.
As a female muralist, the desire to transform dangerous alleys into stages for playful interactions originates from a place of self-preservation. The very places that now adorn my 12,000+ square foot creations were once places I would have dreaded to walk through alone. Using my passion as a vehicle that narrows the urban-planning gender gap is not simply insurance for my survival, it is my mission.