Public Art on Highway 99 – Steel Panel Project

We Breathe

Two triptychs (a set of 3 panels) will be installed along Highway 99 at the Mack Rd over-crossing. The intention is for the panels to represent the spirit of the surrounding community.

Neighbors in Deerfield / Mesa Grande are excited about their bright future and the ways their residents breathe life into the community through education, music, and sports. We chose to represent this using books, writing implements, creative tools, musical instruments, bikes and balls. They spoke of an admiration of community helpers like teachers, scientists, police officers, and community organizers represented by the stethoscope, paper clip, oak and acorn. To celebrate their community gardens, nature, and the area’s history of agriculture we used bees, birds, leaves, pinecones, and dragonflies.  In all the panels there is a feeling of growth, lifting and lightness that reflects the hopes and aspirations of the people who reside in the area.

Selected Designs

Draft Design Options

About the Project

The Clean California program provides investments in litter collection, community engagement and education to transform unsightly roadsides into spaces of pride for all Californians. This is a statewide effort with projects in all 58 counties and with a third of the funds going directly to cities, counties, tribes and transit agencies to clean local streets and public spaces. 

Project Location
Panel mockup in location

Meeting #2: Draft Desgin Concepts

In this meeting we reviewed a number of layouts for the panel triptychs that used the concepts and ideas we identified in meeting #1. These selected concepts will be expanded upon to create 2 triptychs for each concept.

All the draft designs

Kick Off Meeting

In our kick off meeting we identified a number of symbols and concepts that are unique to the Deerfield / Mesa Grande neighborhood region.

Following is a brief description of the meeting:

  • Welcoming and Introductions
  • Purpose and goal of the meeting by Cal Trans Project Manager Robert H. Nguyen
  • Introduction and presentation by artist Heather Hogan
  • Discussion about the history and Background of surrounding neighborhoods in South Sacramento by neighbors
  • Brainstorming to collect ideas exhibiting the culture and identity of the neighborhoods
  • Brainstorming to reflect potential themes for developing Steel Art by the artist
  • Presentation of preliminary ideas by the artist to develop the Steel Art
  • Discussion about next steps for the project

In our second meeting on Oct. 24th we will arrange symbols into layouts using the scaffolding concepts we identified in order to draft 5-6 designs for a wider public review.

The draft designs will be circulated via online survey in order to reach a wider audience. The survey will be available from Oct 31-Nov. 6th.

Below are the results of our brainstorming and information gathering session:


  • Kids are important, many gain success and notoriety and return to the community to teach. (toys, bike/trike, blocks)
  • Music Programs, BTU Arts (trumpets, drums, congos, violin, tuba, flute, clarinet, saxophone)
  • Sports (Basketball and soccer)
  • Community Gardens (farm to fork, bees, dragonflies, corn, tomatoes, basil, picnic table, watering can)
  • Agriculture (livestock, fruit, grains, veggies, farm workers)
  • Teachers (pencil, apple, books, glasses)
  • Healthcare (microscope, stethoscope, white coat)
  • Science Instruments
  • Community Helpers (Police, librarians, neighbors)
Clockwise Left from front: Heather Hogan, Richard Falcom, Barbara Falcon, Chris Johnson, Jesus Cervantes, Rhonda Henderson, Kevin Murphy, Robert Nguyen

Concepts (Scaffolding)

  • Growth and Metamorphosis (tree growing unique things, butterfly)
  • Home/Family with objects coming out the top
  • Pathway & Children (symbols on wheels along a path)
  • Food Truck or Cart selling opportunities
  • Segmented Plate or Kids lunch tray with growth opportunities
  • A Book with options or images