MODESTO – So you have some friends in town and you want to show them some of the best public art that the San Joaquin Valley has to offer.
What’s on your list?
Is it the murals in Manteca? Or the water feature of Downtown Stockton’s City Centre? How about the various art exhibits in Modesto?
If it’s Modesto that you’re thinking about venturing into, here are a few of the installations that can cap off a fine evening after visiting ne of the several nice downtown restaurants:
uAmerican Graffiti – Located in a picturesque, shaded plaza near Modesto’s “Five Corners” – specifically where J Street and Needham Avenue intersect – this bronze sculpture depicts a young boy leaning on the hood of a classic car and chatting with a young girl. It’s no secret that acclaimed director George Lucas graduated from Downey High School and that the movie was based at least in part on the vehicles that used to cruise through the streets of Downtown Modesto. This is homage to that sentiment and that history. The sculpture was created by Betty Saletta.
uStandiford Center Abstract Sculpture – Crafted by Armaldo Pomodoro, this chrome sculpture showcases interwoven steel tubes and reflects natural light that illuminate it within the public space. A heavily traveled area, the sculpture can be found at 1700 Standiford Avenue.
uNewspaper Boy – Located in McClatchy Park – which is named after the newspaper family that once owned the Modesto Bee – this bronze sculpture, also by Betty Saletta, shows a young boy and his dog that would more than likely be delivering newspapers to residents more than half-a-century ago. McClatchy Square is located at 1010 10th Street.
uThe West – This sculpture of Chief Estanislao – of whom Stanislaus County is named after – was also created by Betty Saletta, and stands at 11th and I Streets overlooking a natural streambed. Estanislao, a native Yokut, was a magistrate at Mission San Jose.