East Area Water Tank

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The East Area Water Tank is a four-million gallon water tank recently completed at 44085 County Road 32A by the City of Davis. It is visible from Ikeda's and Mace Boulevard. The East Area Tank is similar in materials and dimensions to the West Area Water Tank north of Sutter Hospital. It is a concrete reservoir approximately 135 feet in diameter, about 32 feet high (with an additional 10 feet buried). The site also has a separate structure that houses the pumps and electrical system. The purpose of the tank is to help with water pressure on the south and east sides of the city, as well as to help provide water during emergencies (fire, power loss, etc.). During regular use, the tank will be left half-full. Or, half-empty, depending on how you look at it.

Artist team Sofia Lacin and Hennessy Christophel of [WWW]LC Mural and Design were selected by the City of Davis to execute their design for the 4 million gallon water tank. They made a mural on the side of the tank, and grillwork around the top of the tank that casts shadows onto the side of the tank. [WWW]According to the Davis Enterprise, the monument was named "Public Works Project of the Year" by the Sacramento Chapter of the American Public Works Association.

At the right time of year, around Summer Solstice, the white letters on the side of the tank combine with shadows from the grillwork on top to spell "sol omnibus lucet", or as translated in smaller letters below, "the sun shines upon us all". Lacin and Christophel called the work "Same Sun". (See also the [WWW]Water Tank Blog for other details.)

Bob Dunning has repeatedly alleged over the course of two years that the mural is a waste of money, but also recently stated, "I've been willing to wait until the solstice arrives before pronouncing final judgment..." Since the 2012 summer solstice, Dunning has said almost nothing about the water tank.

EastDavisWaterTank.jpgEast Area Water Tank summer-solstice-tour-2012.jpgA wide-angle view of the mural just after summer solstice, during a tour given by the artists, June 24, 2012

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2011-08-11 14:46:44   Am I the only one who thinks the water tank is ugly? I hope that the paint they're putting on is just a base coat for a mural and it's not staying this way... —jsbmeb


2011-08-11 14:49:50   * Yes, agreed. Badly in need of a paint job. —OldDavis73


2011-08-11 15:22:25   Doh. Looks like this is and will be the mural. I should have read more in the description. —jsbmeb


2011-11-16 16:59:39   $75,000? Really!? well spent Davis! ...Or not. Thanks for the eyesore! Was this REALLY the best proposal given? My son described the colors as a bloody body dragged through baby poop and I honestly think that sums it up PERFECTLY! —Antoinette


2012-01-11 17:49:43   At certain times of the year the sticking-out-bits at the top of the tank will throw shadows of letters that complete the wording on the tank. —AnneHance


2012-01-11 17:57:43   $75,000 for art? Great. Lacin and Christobel have public art all over Sacramento, from the Shady Lady Murals to East Sacramento Hardware and many more. I hope they evolve to challenge viewers more. A tightrope to walk for any artist, taking money and challenging viewers at the same time, but they have solid representational talent that does look ready to evolve in different directions. ChristopherHitchens


2012-01-12 11:47:57   So the mural is, well, a Davis mural. And that's ok. But the "sculptural elements" around the top just look like so much leftover construction trash. —JimStewart


2012-01-12 14:30:57   I am clearly in a minority (so far) of wiki viewers in that I think the water tank art is a fine achievement. It could have been a common-or-garden painted sign but instead it is colorful and rather unique as a sort of sundial. Perhaps if Lacin and Christobel had painted the sculptural elements too in some colorful way they would be seen as part of the overall effect. —AnneHance


2012-01-17 16:41:01   I've tried to suck it up and keep my mouth shut, but I can't. The thing is ugly. The "sculptural elements" look like so much construction trash. I have a suggestion. Next time the city has a need to paint concrete to "greet people as they enter Davis", think "Sunflowers". Big, pretty sunflowers. If I want art to challenge me, I'll go over to the Natsoulas Art Gallery and wander around confused. I have enough on my mind driving 70 on Interstate 80. —JimStewart


2012-03-03 20:04:20   I agree with what AnneHance wrote...I think the mural is great! Whenever I drive by on the freeway, it often looks as if it's commingling with the sky and landscape. I find the phrase they chose ("Sol omnibus lucet"/"The sun shines on us all") uplifting whenever I see the mural or think of it. I appreciate the amount of thought, care and effort the artists put into it, and I'm glad they did something extraordinary. —DukeMcAdow


2012-05-20 08:37:55   People snub artists payment for their work all the time. Honestly, if you thought you could do better and would do so for less you should have applied. —KBathory


2012-06-25 09:58:36   My opinion now aligns with AnneHance: I think this is a fine achievement artistically. —DougWalter


2012-06-25 10:03:28   While I can, and do, appreciate the piece, I also feel there were much better ways for the city to spend the funds. —Wes-P


2012-08-30 13:37:05   Now that the artwork is finished, the water tank is another wonderful Davis icon. Congratulations to the artists for doing a great job. —GregKuperberg

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