B is for art

Not the red rabbit at the new airport terminal.

Not the red rabbit at the new airport terminal.

This past Sunday, a party celebrating the debut of the Sacramento International Airport Terminal B’s new art work is rife with progressive eyewear and artfully rumpled linen clothing. There were also three ex-mayors in the crowd, but no K.J.

Phil Isenberg, succinctly: “It’s a wow! The art’s terrific, the setting is almost monumental.”

Anne Rudin: “This makes Sacramento look like a totally different town—city, city. This is the most spectacular display of art … those elevators! I can’t wait to see what they’re like when you ride.”

The not-yet-functional elevator she refers to is made of glass and dressed in video panels, a collaborative piece by Camille Utterback (a MacArthur “genius” grant recipient) and Michelle Higa, who shares that the two artists stayed up all night integrating code with the elevator’s programming. The panels, which will change display according to the time of day and season of the year, echoing the overarching theme of Terminal B’s art: “bringing the outside in.”

Speeches at the event are undercut by recorded messages emanating from two people movers behind the stage. Everyone gives props to a beaming Art in Public Places director Shelly Willis, who is deemed “queen for the day” to hearty applause.

Artists cut a ribbon and the crowd rushes to board said people movers, which transport you to the “air side” of the terminal, where only international travelers can see the huge Greg Kondos oil painting “Sutter’s Gold.” A docent says it’s of the Yuba River, but a southern voice corrects sharply.

“It’s the American,” former Sacramento Bee reporter Dixie Reid interjects, “I was there when he sketched it.” Correction noted.

The new art piece that has garnered most media attention—and controversy—is Lawrence Argent’s red rabbit, titled “Leap.” It’s more matte and a deeper red than it appeared in preliminary renderings, but it’s still a showstopper. And, from the third floor, it looks to be leaping into nothingness. But, if you walk down an extremely steep escalator to the almost-deserted first floor, it’s revealed that the rabbit is literally jumping into a tiny (in comparison) suitcase with a surreal vortex swirling in the middle.

A woman says to a friend that she’ll be disappointed if she doesn’t depart from the new Terminal B. “What airline do I have to fly to leave from this one?” she asks. (Becky Grunewald)

Monkey business

Jane Goodall, often credited as the world’s leading expert on chimpanzees, will be the subject of a film event coming to multiple Sacramento theaters on Tuesday. “Jane Goodall Live” is hosted by NCM Fathom, an event company that broadcasts live to a network of national theaters. The one-night event will feature a live (but tape delayed) appearance by the British scientist answering questions, and the world premiere of the biographical film Jane’s Journey. Goodall is known for her expertise in primatology, anthropology and environmental protection. It happens at 8 p.m., Tuesday, September 27. (Jonathan Mendick)