All about Sacramento's 2nd (Second) Saturday Art Walk
On the second Saturday of each month, many local Sacramento galleries feature new shows of individual and collective artists. Many galleries play host to the artists so it's a wonderful way to meet them in person. Some galleries provide beverages, Hors d oeuvres, live music and even dinner with the artist!
Since many galleries are grouped into two main areas in Sacramento, midtown and along Del Paso Blvd., many people like to take an ARTWALK and wonder from gallery to gallery and make and evening of art and people viewing. More galleries and venues can be found in Old Sacramento, Downtown Sacramento as well as in outlying areas including Folsom & Fair Oaks.
WHEN IS IT? WHAT TIME DOES IT START? WHERE TO BEGIN? SCROLL DOWN....
Want to skip all this and just get a map? >> Second Saturday Art Map
Second Saturday can be summed up in two words:
Accessibility: While galleries participating in Second Saturday can be found all over Sacramento, most are grouped into two areas: Midtown Sacramento and along Del Paso Boulevard. You can EASILY walk between five to six galleries effortlessly. Also, as many galleries will have resident artists in attendance, you'll be able to actually meet the artists who produce the works of art. Some galleries also feature artist lofts and workspaces open for your perusal (please respect boundaries and inquire if you're not sure a section or artist's work area is open to the public).
Discovery: Whether you are new to art or consider yourself a well learned scholar, Sacramento has such diverse artists working in so many media that you will no doubt discover new styles of art. As Second Saturdays are often a social event, you might go out with friends or even colleagues - and perhaps discover something about them you didn't know by their taste in art!
When does the Art Walk start & end?
The ARTWALK happens EVERY MONTH on the SECOND SATURDAY, yes, all 12 months a year, rain or shine. Yes, it is ALWAYS on the 2nd Saturday of the month.
There is no official start time for the Art walk, as many galleries are open their regular hours during the day. Some galleries close for a few hours and reopen later. Historically, though, most people start coming out about 6 -7 pm and most galleries/venues are open till at least 9 pm, with some staying open until 10 pm or even later!
Many people choose to go to dinner before, in the middle of or after visiting several galleries. Midtown supports dozens of fine restaurants. Since MOST galleries close by 9pm, we recommend having a LATE DINNER as many restaurants stay open until midnight on Second Saturdays.
Some galleries have specific programs which occur at pre-scheduled times. It is always a good idea to call to verify that a gallery is participating and to check their hours.. or you can just wing it and have fun!
CONSIDER STARTING EARLY AS MOST GALLERIES AND VENUES CLOSE BY 10pm AND MANY CLOSE AT 9pm!!
Is there a fee to come to 2nd Saturday?
SECOND SATURDAYS ARE FREE for everyone. There is no charge to come out, listen to music and stroll from gallery to gallery, venue/store to venue/store. Please note that while 99.9% of all venues are free, certain events and or locations (ie bars or music venues) reserve the right to charge a cover and or admission fee.
How much time should I allow for my walk?
Everyone's experience and expectations are different. Some people pick ONE gallery to attend and hang out there all night - while others treat the evening like a gallery marathon with their goal to make it to as many galleries as they can! Probably the single largest challenge that FIRST TIME art walk participants have is that THEY START THE EVENING TOO LATE.
Many galleries close by 9pm and MOST by 10pm (with a select few remaining open post this hour). Many people have a casual dinner and start the walk close to 9pm - only to find many of the galleries they want to visit are already closed. If we have ONE SUGGESTION (or several) - start your walk early. Have an early dinner - or start early and have a snack in the middle or a late dinner. Many restaurants stay open late - till midnight on this busy evening.
Many participants say that about two hours is an optimum amount of time to do a reasonable amount of galleries (such as those in the central midtown area - where in two hours you can easily visit about a dozen or more galleries and venues within easy walking distance of each other). You may want to increase this time if you plan on driving to different galleries. Some galleries have specific events at specific times.
What kind of art will I see?
You won't believe the variety and talent of Sacramento's artists! Everything from pen & ink drawings, watercolors, oils, handmade jewelry, sculptures in clay, paper mache and bronze all the way to kinetic sculptures in metal and glass! If you can imagine it, you might find it in one of Sacramento's galleries. Certain galleries also feature well known and newly discovered artists from around the world as well as artist demonstrations.
Are children allowed?
Everyone is welcome, including children. Please note that some galleries may display adult oriented pieces of artwork (partial or full nudes in photographs, paintings or sculptures) that may not be appropriate for all ages. While many people make 2nd Saturdays a family outing, alcoholic beverages are served at some venues and attendees under 21 may not always be allowed.
Most galleries and venues are NOT playgrounds and children are expected to behave. Many galleries and venues have FRAGILE items that are NOT FOR TOUCHING. We find that most children are well behaved. If bringing young children, please talk to them about NOT TOUCHING items.
Are all the participating businesses galleries?
While many of the businesses that participate in Sacramento's Second Saturday Art Walk are what most people's idea of a gallery is, many other businesses also participate. Retail stores, hair salons, photo studios, artists lofts and studios, public buildings, restaurants and others participate by allowing space for the display of artwork.
In addition to stationary galleries, there is Izzy's VanGo Gallery which moves several times per night and the Phantom Galleries of Del Paso that display artwork in empty storefronts and buildings - often for only one night. Many galleries and other venues have specific events that occur at specific times. If you find a gallery you like, make sure you sign up on their mailing list - but don't be afraid to try new ones!
Where should I start my art walk?
There are a lot of places you can start. We recommended parking in a central location then walking. If you start at the corner of 18th & L Streets you can start with three of Sacramento's premier galleries (including Phoenix gallery rated within the top three galleries/2nd Saturday destinations by the Sacramento News & Review) and you can easily visit 7 or 8 of some of the best galleries in the surrounding few blocks. The regional map that Zanzibar provides lists 31 venues that you can visit in about 2 hours on a typical evening. You can pick up a map at Zanzibar Gallery and start your walk! Of course there are dozens of other galleries, some of which will require you to drive to another area.
Is food or wine served?
Many venues and galleries choose to offer their patrons a glass of wine, and light Hors d oeuvres. Please note: Galleries and venues that are serving alcoholic beverages MUST secure a permit from the city of Sacramento (not free) and no one under 21 will be served.
The serving of wine and other alcoholic beverages on Second Saturday by non liquor license holders is a privilege allowed by the Sacramento Police Department and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Please be respectful. Alcoholic beverages must be consumed indoors and you CANNOT take open containers outside of the venue where it is served (in other words, you can't walk gallery to gallery, venue to venue with an open container of alcohol).
If you look under 25, bring ID and be prepared to have your age verified before being served. Not all venues provide food and drink or do so on a rotating basis, as it can be a major expense. The Sacramento Police does have officers patrolling 2nd Saturday and do issue tickets for those who break the law!
Please be considerate of your hosts and don't "pig out" - the refreshments served are not meant to be a free buffet or a bottomless wine glass but an enhancement to your gallery experience. Nibble don't gobble. THANK the hosts for the free goodies! (you'd be amazed how many people expect it and never say thank you!)
Are there any galleries I simply MUST visit?
Sacramento certainly boasts a diverse grouping of galleries and participating venues for the art walk. Many galleries and venues are worthy of a visit and we encourage you to visit as many galleries and venues as you can to see the variety that Sacramento's artists have to offer. If you're a beginner, we highly recommend starting at Zanzibar Gallery to pick up a map and get your bearings (corner of 18th & L Streets). While it would seem unfair to promote specific galleries, our webmaster recommends you NOT to miss the following galleries:
Zanzibar Tribal Art & Jewelry Gallery (Corner of 18th & L Streets - GREAT PLACE TO START!)
Phoenix Framing & Gallery (on 18th Street between K & L - new location!)
Galleria Tempest & Blooming Art (in the 1801 Building - on L Street between 18th & 19th)
Solomon Dubnick Gallery (on 20th Street between J & K in the new MARRS building)
20th Street Gallery (20th Street between I & J Streets)
W Gallery (on J Street between 20th and 21st)
B Sakata Guru Gallery (20th Street between I & J Streets)
Barton Gallery & Artist Studios behind Michelangelo's (I Street at 18th)
Exploding Head Gallery (near the corner of J & 12th)
The Foundry (live bronze castings usually at 7:30pm) (R Street between 10 & 11th)
FOR A MORE THOROUGH LISTING OF GALLERIES, RETURN TO THE HOME PAGE
Parking can be a challenge in Midtown Sacramento and along Del Paso Blvd., but with a little knowledge, you can usually find a convenient and easy parking space. Please consider car pooling with your friends and if you plan on imbibing, to designate a non-drinking driver.
Good News! There are no meters to worry about in the evenings (currently - apt to change soon) - just other cars! DO NOT PARK in RED ZONES, block alleyways or otherwise park against posted signage and or rules - as the city now has meter readers patrolling after 6pm and will ticket illegally parked vehicles!
We recommend finding a central parking space and walking the area. CONSIDER CAR POOLING! Many midtown and Del Paso galleries are grouped together with just a few blocks separating them. There are paid parking garages on J Street at 14th and on H Street across from Music Circus. There is also an inexpensive paid parking lot on "L" Street between 18th & 17th (on the south / left side of the street) - and there are two galleries directly across the street so this is a a GREAT SPOT TO START!
There is also the East End Parking lot (between L & Capitol, between 16th & 17th that JUST OPENED at night (THANK YOU CITY OF SACRAMENTO FOR NEGOTIATING THIS!) and offers $2.00 evening parking. Another convenient paid parking lot is on "K" Street in the middle of the block between 19th & 18th. Fees for these are $2.00 in the evenings* (apt to change). There is also a paid lot on Capitol Ave between 19th & 20th, next to the tracks, just across from Jack's. Valet Parking ($5.00) is available at 18th & Capitol.
Typically the meters are free after 6pm (may change in the city's future plans), however the Sacramento Police Department often patrol and will give tickets to illegally or improperly parked cars. There are several other parking lots, including one on the corner of 21st and Capitol and between 21st & 20th on L Street - DO NOT PARK HERE! Parking is by permit only and you may be towed! PLEASE take a few moments to look at all the posted signage and or limitations on the parking lot you choose. All paid parking lots charge after 6pm.
How long has 2nd Saturday been going on?
Second Saturday Artwalks in Sacramento have been happening since 1992. The event thrived for many years before kind of falling out of fashion (but not completely disappearing) by the late 90's, until it was revived with a passion in the early years of the 21st century. In recent years (especially the last year and half) it has had EXPLOSIVE growth, going from less than a dozen participating venues to over 100 and climbing!
To read a more comprehensive (and admittingly opinionated version - as everyone has a different opinion of how it got started and about a dozen people take credit for its creation), click here.
Are there other art walks in the greater Sacramento area?
Yes! Other communities, including Roseville, Loomis, Lincoln, Locke, Auburn, Davis, Chico and Winters have artwalks on various non-conflicting days of the month. For more information visit our Regional Art Walk Listings
As some galleries serve alcoholic beverages (by special permit, to patrons 21 and over with valid ID) and many patrons also have a few drinks with dinner before heading out, we strongly encourage you to drink responsibly. Consider having a "designated non-drinking driver" and carpool. Galleries STRICTLY control alcohol and may card you if you look under 25 years of age!
Some galleries and or receptions/areas are open by invitation only. Please respect boundaries.
Please treat the artwork and galleries with respect, placing all food and drink containers in proper garbage cans. Please refrain from smoking near entrances of galleries.
Please be respectful of where you choose to plant yourself to chat with friends or acquaintances. Remember, when entering a place or business, it is like visiting someone's home. Don't plant yourself directly in front of the only door or in a narrow passageway and have a 20 minute conversation, blocking other's access - many galleries are small and cramped and literally hundreds of people move thru in just a short period of time.
Don't expect the galleries/venues to provide you with a bottomless glass of wine nor should you expect them to feed you - often foods and refreshments are provided to nibble, not replace a full meal.
While it is fully expected and even encouraged that you can have direct access to the gallery owners and artisans, please respect the fact that this is typically a very busy evening for the gallery owners and artists and allow other people access to them. If you have pressing interest in specific works, consider chatting with the owner or artist for a short period then making an appointment for another time. Most galleries are open regular business hours OTHER than Second Saturday. Second Saturday is a time for exploration and discovery and please keep this in mind when visiting these establishments.
Don't be disappointed...
This is a busy evening - often the busiest day/evening of the month for many galleries. Artwork often sells on these evenings - so if you see something you like... buy it... don't think about it... because it might not be there tomorrow or 15 minutes from now. INVEST in local artwork, artists and galleries.
START EARLY!!! WE RECOMMEND YOU START YOUR WALK ABOUT 6pm - as most galleries close by 9pm with only a few remaining open till 10pm. VERY FEW GALLERIES ARE OPEN PAST 10PM!!!
Want to know how the artwalk got its start?
For More Information Contact:
Sacramento Second Saturday Gallery Association c/o Scott Farrell
Scott Farrell, Zanzibar Tribal Art
1731 L Street Sacramento CA 95814