The only thing that might be better than art is a street full of it.
Sacramento’s ArtStreet proved to be a major attraction among Granite Bay High School students in the month of February.
The project, officially named ArtStreet, was organized by M5Arts, a new organization dedicated to promoting the work of both local and global artists.
The 65,000 square foot attraction was centered around an old warehouse in downtown Sacramento and featured an exhibit full of art both inside and outside the premises.
Senior Sarah Enos believed holding the exhibit in an abandoned warehouse added another level of meaning.
“I think the idea behind it is to show that everywhere, (even) an abandoned warehouse, has beauty,” Enos said.
Unlike many other exhibits, ArtStreet was a temporary art exhibit that only ran from February 3rd to February 25th.
In the past M5Arts had organized ArtHotel, an exhibit that was held in an abandoned hotel, and ran from February 5th, 2016 to February 13th 2016.
Similar to ArtStreet, ArtHotel had also promoted the work of multiple artists, musicians, and authors.
Now closed, ArtStreet was a free exhibit and was open to all ages. Though admission was free, it was also on a first-come first-serve basis, which means that not all guests were guaranteed entrance.
There were particular time slots throughout the day that lasted about 45 minutes each. With a small donation, M5Arts allowed guests to book a reservation for a time slot online, but spots were limited according to their website.
Many GBHS students took this unique opportunity and decided to go explore the exhibit for themselves.
Senior Arjith Jayaraman found out about ArtStreet from his Advanced Placement Art History teacher, Stephen Cordell, and decided to check it out for himself.
“He had told us about his recent adventure at ArtStreet and encouraged us to get out there and see some meaningful art,” Jayaraman said.
Much of the art displayed had a purpose and held some sort of meaning behind it, allowing it to be interpreted differently by each and every person.
“I think the idea behind art street was to let people know that their voices will be heard and yours should be too,” sophomore Stephanie Samson said. “It was powerful in many aspects. Every exhibit was different to the next and I could tell (almost) everything had a purpose.”
Many of the pieces allowed the guests to interpret each piece however they pleased, a feature Samson describes in her favorite piece.
“My favorite piece was this small set up where essentially there was a desk in the center of the room and different screens surrounding it,” Samson said. “… when you pulled out the drawer the lights and sound would intensify. This was my favorite because it was interactive and really had no definite meaning of what it could be.”
A number of the pieces shined light on heavier subjects, like the truth behind sexual assault and the reality of the oppression of women.
Jayaraman believes that the art allowed individuals to visually see how occurrences like sexual assault oppression can make a person feel.
“Personally, I thought Art Street was unbelievably powerful,” Jayaraman said. “There were many pieces that spoke to the oppression of women in society … (however) my favorite piece was the wall of stories and accounts of real life sexual assault. This spoke to me the loudest because it brings to life an idea that is (widely) ignored around the world; when you read these stories, it’s impossible not to feel compassion for these women and what they’ve gone through.”
ArtStreet helped provide a greater insight into art for those who hadn’t explored the realm of art previously.
“I can honestly say that before high school I had no desire to look at art, nor did I have the capacity to understand what the piece meant,” Jayaraman said. “Now I am able to appreciate the motive of the artist and the beauty of the piece.”