Out of the corner of the end of the world

“Apocalyptic Tricycle” by Aria Prater.

“Apocalyptic Tricycle” by Aria Prater.

Every so often, there’s something unexpected about Second Saturday: the place you didn’t know had art, perhaps, or a first-time artist that catches your eye. So it was last Second Saturday, as I wrapped up a successful walk with a cuppa my favorite warm drink, when I stumbled across the one piece that really knocked my socks off. Yes, I’d seen some wonderful stuff, but “Apocalyptic Tricycle” by Aria Prater, which was on display at the Starbucks at 15th and H streets, didn’t just make me do a double-take: I copied down the artist’s information and contacted her. This was the third full-size painting Prater had ever done, and was an assignment for a class at Sac City College. Originally, she’d been shooting for a “happy” sort of feel with a bright-orange background, but immediately recognized that there was a threatening element to it, and so the toddler’s toy of Armageddon was created.

“I think it’s a good example of how much color can communicate,” she told me. A move toward world-ending in her work doesn’t surprise her, no matter how unintended. “With apocalypse or revelation, everyone has their own vision.”

It triggered a visceral response in me, reminding of an illustration from a book my mother used to teach me Bible stories, which featured a little girl, her puppy, and—you guessed it—her tricycle falling into a great crevasse as the battle of Armageddon raged over her head.

Prater hasn’t been convinced to sell it to me yet. “My dad wants it,” she said.