San Ramon, Calif. (October 30, 2018) – Highlighting City Center Bishop Ranch’s identity as a unique East Bay destination, Sunset Development Company has initiated a revolving public art program that celebrates the East Bay’s cultural diversity by featuring local artists whose works have boldly interpreted and brought to life the cultural richness of the region.
Titled “The Slate,” the art program is a dramatic complement to the dazzling urban architecture of the new center, designed by the internationally famed Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
“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.”
The inaugural installment of The Slate features oversized banners affixed in front of the City Center facade, a striking structure of corrugated metal panels that create an open, airy, inviting ambience.
Collectively, the banners create a visually fascinating display of works by the first four prominent Northern California artists whose pieces were specially curated for The Slate’s debut.
The featured artists are:
The late painter Joan Brown was the only young female artist in the Bay Area Figurative Movement, and her work is considered to be among the most important contributions to the mid-20th Century art movement. Begun in San Francisco in 1950, the Bay Area Figurative Movement consisted of artists who moved away from the styles of the Abstract Expressionists. She produced what is considered her most mature work from 1955 to 1965. Brown, a San Francisco native born in 1938, attended the California School of Fine Art (now the San Francisco Art Institute).
Richard Diebenkorn, who lived in San Francisco from the age of 2, was an immensely talented and renowned painter and printmaker who also played a seminal role in the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Diebenkorn, who passed away in 1993, was admired for his early work with abstract expressionism and later, for his extensive series of geometric, lyrical abstract paintings.
Raymond Saunders is a painter acclaimed for his abstract mixed-media paintings that include collage elements and found text with sociopolitical undertones. His paintings blend figuration with gestural and calligraphic abstraction inspired by improvisational jazz and the work of artists such as Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg. Saunders, who was born in 1934 and lives in Oakland, is also admired for his careful draftsmanship, sculpture, installation and curatorial work.
Paul Wonner was another prominent figure in the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Wonner, who died in 2008, was renowned for still life paintings, landscapes and figures featuring the vigorous brushstrokes and dynamic compositions of Abstract Expressionism. Wonner’s works today are held in the collections of 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 said. “In the future, we plan to create 2-D and 3-D installations that showcase the East Bay’s outstanding innovations in science and technology, as well as its culinary and wine culture, our nationally recognized theater companies, and the renowned musicians and athletes who have proudly made the East Bay their home.”
To bring The Slate to fruition, Sunset Development commissioned Vanderbyl Design to curate the artwork, design the banners and create the vivid graphics that announce City Center and regional events of interest to the broader community. Ultimately, The Slate is designed to engage, educate and inspire by layering a collective artistic experience onto an exciting retail, dining and entertainment experience.
For more information about The Slate and City Center Bishop Ranch’s stores, restaurants and community events, visit www.citycenterbishopranch.com.
About City Center Bishop Ranch
City Center Bishop Ranch is a reinvention of the suburban shopping center model in which community, culture and commerce converge. Located in the heart of Bishop Ranch, City Center Bishop Ranch features 300,000 square feet of visionary downtown retail, dining and entertainment experiences, and will be anchored by THE LOT, a 10-screen luxury cinema, and Equinox, a luxury whole-body personal fitness, training and yoga center.