With the opening of City Center at Bishop Ranch now days away, Sunset Development Company has launched a revolving public art program that will decorate the retail center and celebrate the cultural diversity found in the East Bay.
Titled "The Slate," the program will feature the work of regional artists who bring to life the cultural richness of the community, with artwork planned to be on display at City Center’s grand opening, Nov. 8. The inaugural installment will feature the work of four renowned Bay Area artists: Joan Brown, Richard Diebenkorn, Raymond Saunders and Paul Wonner.
"City Center is an exciting new presence in San Ramon," said Alexander Mehran, Jr., president and chief operating officer of Sunset Development. "It offers a special experience for every visitor -- and we’re building on that through an art program that celebrates some of the East Bay's boldest voices in art and design alongside City Center’s top-tier shops and restaurants."
Artists' work will be displayed on large banners affixed to the front of the City Center exterior. Bishop Ranch officials say the installments will hopefully demonstrate the retail center’s mission of becoming a social hub that blends life and culture together.
Curated by Vanderbyl Design, the four Northern Californian artists include:
Late painter Joan Brown, who is considered one of the most important artists in the Bay Area figurative movement of the mid-20th century. Recognized as the only prominent young female artist of the movement, Brown produced what is considered her most mature work from the age of 17 through her late 20s.
Another celebrated painter of the figurative movement, Richard Diebenkorn was also a print maker who was most active around the same time as Brown. Diebenkorn -- who died in 1993 -- was celebrated for his early work with abstract expressionism and later for his extensive series of geometric, abstract paintings.
Acclaimed for his abstract mixed-media paintings, Raymond Saunders blended the styles of figuration with gestural and calligraphic abstract painting, inspired by improvisational jazz and the work of Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg. Saunders lives in Oakland and is recognized for his careful draftsmanship, sculpture, installation and curatorial work.
Also a prominent figure in the Bay Area figurative movement, Paul Wonner is renowned for his still life paintings, landscapes and Abstract Expressionism. Today his work can be viewed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, among others.
“We view The Slate Art Program, and City Center itself, as an important new means of enriching the East Bay community by weaving together culture, civic life and commerce,” Mehran wrote in a statement.
Mehran added that future exhibits will feature both 2D and 3D installations that showcase a variety of topics reflecting life in the East Bay. Future themes include: innovations in science and technology, culinary and wine culture, regional theater, renowned musicians and celebrated athletes.
The 300,000 square-foot City Center Bishop Ranch is slated to officially open to pedestrians for the first time Nov. 8. While every shop will not yet be open -- many stores will be opening through the holiday season and into the spring -- a variety will be ready for shoppers immediately.
Retailers and restaurants slated to be open on or near Nov. 8 include:
*Kin the Label
*On the Edge Shoes
*The Lot (movie theatre)
*the piece. store