New Sacramento International Airport Terminal: Art & Restaurants, Grand Opening & Public Tours

a side view of the Capital of California

Image via Wikipedia

Sacramento International Airport will open its brand new terminal on October 6, 2011.  This is a $1 Billion (with a “B”) expansion at the Airport and is greatly needed.

This terminal replaces the original terminal build when this airport opened  many years ago.  A few years back a new terminal was added and now the airport is back at (over) capacity so this addition will fill the current need and add space for future needs as well.

So what restaurants will be in the new terminal?

Sacramento made an excellent choice in moving away from the traditional fast food chain restaurants that dominate airports.

Travelers can eat their fill at some very good local restaurants that won the right to open in the new terminal.

Click the restaurants names if you want to see menu info, etc    The restaurants that will open  include:

Here is a view of Sacramento looking from the Sacramento River east through Old Sacramento and downtown with Midtown and East Sacramento a bit further still.

Flying into Sacramento with a little time to look around?  Or are you visiting Sacramento?

Check out my post for some Sacramento sites you won’t want to miss.

What about the art in the new airport terminal?

Public art is always such a dicey thing.  Especially in such a huge space as a large airport terminal.  The art has to be bigger than real life in order to catch the eye of the traveler especially since people in the airport are often rushing from one area to another.

This link has some teaser photos of a large artwork that has been installed in the new terminal.  Yes, it is a red rabbit.  The rabbit is 56 feet long (remember the ‘huge terminal’ thingie??) and titled Leap.  Thanks @SacBee.

<<<The Cornejo Rojo

There are a dozen new pieces of art in the airport terminal and nine of the pieces are by Northern California artists.  It is always important to use local artists for a project like our new Sacramento International Airport terminal.

Update September 19th:

The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission has put together a nice area on their website  with information on the art in the new Terminal and the important artists who created the works.  Click the link above for the full list of artists plus bios and descriptions of each of the pieces of art.

The artists with works in the new Terminal B are:

Joann Moment

“Moment’s  18’ x 12’ mosaic floor in the airport’s transfer level depicts an imaginary  world of water and air that is engaging, uplifting, and serves as an easy  meeting place or directional marker for air travelers. Titled, A Fragment of the Universe, the artwork accomplishes  this by connecting circular forms that evoke the night sky, outer space, the  surface of water and the playful interaction of crop circles and planetary  forms.”

Camille Utterbuck & Michelle Higg

“Utterback’s artwork, Active Ecosystem (SMF), is inspired by the rich agricultural activity and natural beauty of the Sacramento area, and more generally, the cycles of growth, movement, and decay present in all thriving ecosystems—agricultural or otherwise. Visiting Sacramento for the first time, the artist was struck by the richness and visual presence of the soil in the landscape and the multiple layers of green flourishing all around her. ”

Ned Kahn

“For the Sacramento Airport, (Kahn’s)  artwork titled Airside will line the sides of the APM bridge with an array of small wind vanes that  will respond to the turbulence of the passing trains as well as the natural  wind. The passing trains will flip the vanes from one side to another depending  on the train’s direction. In the interval between trains, the natural wind  currents will take control of the artwork.”

Marcia Stuermer

Migration, by Marcia Stuermer is a backlit  ceiling installation measuring 16’ x 52’ intended to be an evocative,  archetypal depiction of the timeless notion of travel. Stuermer chose to use  the imagery of sandhill cranes inspired by the fact that the Sacramento Central  Valley is located in the middle of the Pacific Flyway zone where these  migratory birds have travelled their twice yearly route between Alaska and  Pantagonia for centuries. ”

Suzanne Adan

“Suzanne Adan’s 12’ x 18’ glass mosaic floor is titled, Flying Colors. The primary element in  the composition is a circular pattern of birds and tulles (or cattails) that  can be viewed from any angle. These birds and tulles, as well as tree limbs and  other images, are juxtaposed with letters of the alphabet and various linear  shapes to create a pictorial narrative. The colors, shapes, textures, and  details are woven together to form a whimsical landscape designed to appeal to  youthful imaginations and engage the viewer in a playful and humorous way before  boarding his/her flight.”

Lynn Criswell

“(Criswell’s) artwork is located in the transfer level of the  airport’s ticket hall. It is defined by a yellow-green terrazzo rectangle  measuring 18’ x 30’ and directly over-head by 21 suspended emerald green  birdcages. Twenty-one silhouettes of  various indigenous Northern Californian birds will be water jet cut in 3/8”  brushed aluminum rectangles, inset into the floor, and filled with black  terrazzo. Each suspended cage is hung directly over a bird silhouette.”

Living Lenses:  Po Shu Wang & Louise Bertelsen

“Shaped  like a French horn, the sculpture titled “Your Words are Music to Their Ears” by Living Lenses (Louise Bertelsen and Po Shu  Wang) stands approximately 10 feet high and is made of stainless steel.  A small shelf jutting out of the sculpture  holds a computer. Passengers will be allowed to use the computer to send  messages. When a message is sent, the text is converted to music that emanates  from the sculpture. Part free Wi-Fi terminal and part musical instrument, the  artwork allows web-serving passengers to entertain close by passengers with an  instant literary-based musical composition.”

Gregory Kondos

“Gregory Kondos’ 8’x12’, oil on canvas painting is titled Sutter’s Gold. The primary element in  the composition is the American River running vertically through rolling hills in  the heart of California Gold Rush landscape. The painting is inspired by the  discovery of gold in 1848 and its historical significance to the Sacramento region.”

Note:  Gregory Kondos is one of the most famous Sacramento artists, and we have a lot of them.

Kondos has a gallery (called the Gregory Kondos Gallery) on the campus of the Sacramento City College across from Land Park in Sacramento, 3835 Freeport Blvd.  Check the site at the link or call them 916.558.2559.  Open M-F, noon to 4 pm.

Mildred Howard

“The  notion of home has been an ongoing investigation  and interest of Howard’s for decades and resulted in large sculptural  installations throughout the country including at the Crocker Art Museum, the  Di Rosa Preserve, and the Tacoma Museum of Glass, among others. She  further explores this idea in her work at the airport—a 17’ glass house. Howard  frequently explores how home is defined within the context of a place. ”

Donald Lipski

“Donald  Lipski’s sculpture or “grand chandelier” in the form of a Valley Oak tree is  situated at the crossroads of the axis lines of the terminal, giving it high  visibility form the moment one disembarks the Automated People Mover. It will  be a presence from the security area, a dramatic central focus in the food  court area, and a way-finding center point, as it can be seen peeking beneath  the arch of the entryways from the length of each arm of the concourse.”

Christian Moeller

“Christian Moeller’s  work, The Baggage Handlers, depicts the faces of four airport operation  workers. The artwork recognizes these workers as part of the largely invisible  manual labor force at work within the machine-like reality of air cargo and  travel. Despite the increasingly complex computerized nature of air travel, the  operation workers serve as a reminder that some tasks are still thus far beyond  mechanization. Rendered from photographs of the subjects, Moeller created their  portraits for the bit-wall using wood. The artwork consists of two 75’ x 12’  panels, set flush against the stone wall in the airport ticket hall.”

Lawrence Argent

“With the mindset of integrating art into the architecture and utilizing  the unique open/transparent aspect of the airport with the green space to the  south, (Argent) will bring the outside in with a sculpture titled, Leap. A rabbit appears to have leapt  through the glass from the green space on the south side of the terminal and is  diving into a suitcase that appears to have a liquid vortex opening on the top  which is situated on the floor of baggage claim. The rabbit is 56 feet long and  19 feet tall.”

The Cornejo Rojo

Jaume Plensa

“This  sculpture by Jaume Plensa, a portrait of a young woman, will be located in an  area called the “south lawn” of the new terminal. Jets of water are  pouring out of the girls face from carefully placed locations which are based  on the ancient Chinese tradition of acupuncture. Acupuncture has been  practiced in China since 2 BCE and is based on the tradition of Daoism, with a  belief that all parts of the universe are interconnected.”

This is the biggest public arts project in Sacramento history.  Nice job Sacramento!

Open House for the community:

There will be an Open House/Community Day even t on October 2nd prior to the actual opening day on October 6th.  Check it out on EventBrite here  You can register for one of the events and I’ll see you there!!

Community Day will be a “free, family friendly event where you can be the first to experience the newest gateway to Northern California and the World – the state-of-the-art Central Terminal B at Sacramento International Airport”.

Update September 18th:

As we get closer to the grand opening of the new airport terminal, Sacramento Press has a great article about how the terminal was designed and constructed for ease of use by passengers and visitors.  There are also quite a few nice photographs just to tease you before you can see the real thing!!

“An intuitive travel experience is one of the main goals of Sacramento International Airport’s new Terminal B, according to airport officials.”

The new terminal is actually two buildings and they are connected by two trains to move peoplequickly  to the right spots within the terminal.

One thing the article explains is how the seating was designed within the terminal.  Most of us try to find a single seat or somewhere to sit with an empty seat next to us instead of “sitting next to strangers”, so they broke up the arrangement of the seating into groups of two chairs instead of rows of 10 or 20 plastic “buckets”. And some single seats (rockers, yeh!) right in front of the windows.   Sounds good to me.

Now if they could convince the airlines that we want planes designed the same way!!!

Check the article here.  And the seats are pictured below.

September 16th:

Business leaders praise the new Airport Terminal  the Sacramento Bee reports after the businessmen and woman got “a sneak preview of the new Sacramento International Airport terminal Thursday  night” (September 15th).

The Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization held their annual party in the soon to open terminal.

Update September19th:  Upcoming Events at Terminal B

There are a number of events scheduled as we move to the Grand Opening of the new Sacramento International Airpot’s Terminal B, scheduled for October 6th as well as a few events after the new Termninal B has opened.

Saturday, October 1st:  Experience B Celebration

“Join (us) for an evening of celebration, under one awe-inspiring roof:
-First-look tours of the stunning new Central Terminal B.
-Exceptional Northern California wines and farm-to-fork fare.
-Live music, dancing, and entertainment at every turn.
-Art docents will provide tours throughout.

Participants can visit the restaurants and shops in the new terminal and
preview the public art collection.

You can buy tickets by September 23rd at this link.

Sunday, October 2nd:  Preview B, Community Preview Day

*****Are you going to Community day??  Check in at the “Red Rabbit”

Get a grand opening tour of the new Central Terminal B at Sacramento International Airport before it opens
-Be among the first to get a taste of the new terminal’s enticing shopping, dining, and services. Keep an eye out for local favorites!
-Enjoy shopping at this one-time opportunity to explore the terminal without a boarding pass
-Preview the new, eye-catching public art collection featured throughout the new terminal
-Art docents will provide tours throughout

You can reserve your FREE tickets at this link.

Saturday, October 8th:  Airport Art Teacher Tour (Reserve by October 1st)

Tours are tailored to the age of students and can be connected to particular areas of study or curriculum.  Additionally, a presentation or field trip activity can serve as a springboard for writing, poetry, and art activities.

To acquaint you with the artworks on the tour, a free field trip to the airport for teachers is planned for Saturday, October 8 at 1pm. To secure a reservation, please email Dixie Laws  by October 1, 2011.

For more information on Art in Public Places services to teachers, please contact Dixie Laws at (916) 386-8240  or

Saturday, November 12th:  Airpost Art Public Tour (reserve by November 9th)

A tour for the public of most of the new art at the airport is scheduled for Saturday, November 12 from 1pm-2:30pm. Art in Public Places tour guides will conduct the tour. Cost is $8.50 per person for adults over 16, children are free. The tour will meet at the new Terminal B at the airport.

To make a reservation for the tour, contact Dixie Laws, (916) 386-8240 by November 9.  The group size is limited, so make your reservation early.

September 24th:

Besides presenting travlers and visitors with some great art and food from great local restaurants, we hope our new Airport Terminal will spark economic growth by pumping millions of dollars into the local economy.

The airport will start with some $950 in debt due to the slumping economy and the cost ill be shouldered in the manner airports usually raise funds to pay for expansion–ticket surcharges, some pennies attached to meals, as well as grants and leases for new parking, store concessions, etc.

The Sacramento Bee reports today that “the next five years will be critical”…..and “The airport has set aside tens of millions of dollars in reserve accounts. If  needed, the airport could cut annual operating expenses more, possibly by  privatizing some work, (county airports director Hardy) Acree said”

October 1st:

The new terminal may confuse folks at first, so here is a User’s Guide with photos.

And this link takes you to a great interactive graphic inside the new terminal.

October 2nd:

Will the beautiful new terminal create better impressions of Sacramento for visitors??

October 3rd:

Photos from the reception parties from Sacramento Metropolitan Arts  Twitter @SacMetroArts

October 6th:

Today is opening day for the new Sacramento International Airport Terminal B.

“Today marks a new dawn, literally, for the future of Sacramento,” Assemblyman  Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, said. “We’re taking this entire region into a new  age.”

The Grand Opening with photos in Sacramento Press
“More than 1,000 people attended a party Saturday that included Cirque du Soleil performers dancing with hoops, walking on stilts and performing acrobatics from 40-foot-long ribbons hanging from the rafters to celebrate the grand opening of the new Terminal B of the Sacramento International Airport.”

October 18th:

The new airport terminal has been open for awhile now.  Have you seen it??

Well, there are more tours & parties and opportunities for you to check it out and enjoy yourself.

The November 12th public tour is already at capacity so the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Comission has another big event scheduled:

Airport Art Public Tour: December 3, 2011

“A tour for the public of most of the new art at the airport is scheduled for Saturday, December 3 from 1pm-2:30pm. Art in Public Places tour guides will conduct the tour. Cost is $8.50 per person for adults over 16, children are free. The tour will meet at the new Terminal B at the airport.”

The price is certainly fair, so to make a reservation go contact Dixie Laws, (916) 386-8240  or by November 25.  The group size is limited, so make your reservation early.

For more info plus other exciting art activities in Sacramento, go to the above link.

Remember:  October is Artober here in Sacramento.

October 21st:

Here’s a link to an interactive guide to the new Terminal B and the Concourse.

The new Airport Terminal is “bigger and grander than anything our relatively humble airport has offered  travelers before.”

In the article above a reporter tests the new terminal to determine how convenient it is for the traveler.  Check it out.

November 8th:

Sacramento had hoped for one good/great hotel at the Sacramento International Airport, to replace the one very aging Westin hotel which closed in 2008.  Now it seems that we may get TWO hotels!

A very surprising development and incredibly good for the airport and for the City/County as far as tax base.  Read about it at the link.

June 20th:

Red Rabbit sculpture wins award.  

Lawrence Argent’s “Leap” sculpture – the centerpiece sculpture at the Sacramento International Airportbest known as the “Red Rabbit” – has garnered a national award.

The work was selected as one of 50 winning works among a pool of 500 by the national arts advocacy group American’s for the Arts Public Art Network.”

This is an arward that recognizes art in public spaces nationwide.

Read more here

Gold Rush Days in Sacramento, Sept 3-5, 2011

Over the Labor Day weekend Sacramento hosts our great Gold Rush Days.

It runs from Friday, September 3rd thru Monday, September 5th.

Gold Rush Days is held in historic Old Sacramento, the area of the city where Sacramento began back in 1849 with the real 49ers.

Admission to the Gold Rush Days is FREE… often do events like this charge no admission.  And of course it is a family friendly event.

Here are some early photos from the 2011 Gold Rush Days event, thanks to Sacramento Press (Twitter @sacramentopress):

In addition to the Gold Rush Days events, Old Sacramento has a ton of great things to see and do including the Sacramento River, the California State Railroad Museum, historic buildings from the time of the original gold rush, restaurants and shopping, an old one-room schoolhouse and railroad rides along the river down to Miller Park and the Delta King paddlewheel river boat.  The Delta King is now a great hotel right on the river!

Gold Rush Days has a recreation of an original 1849 tent city, gold panning, pony rides for the kids, arts & crafts and artisans like blacksmiths and tinsmiths and Pony Express relays.  Also we have a great Pony Express memorial.  The Pony Express terminus was in Sacramento and we have regular commemorations and re-enactments here as they do at the starting point in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Old Sacramento also hosts tours of our original city level which is now below ground.   The entire area was jacked up after many floods and what was  the first floor is now underground.  Cool!!

You can take carriage rides in the area and on into the downtown past the California State Capitol.

It is open from 10 am to 5 pm, and Old Sacramento itself is open until some of the bars close at 2 am.

.The event schedules are found here.  You will find music and dance and other presentations on a several stages throughout the area.

You can find a great map and download it here.

You will find a ton of photos from prior years Gold Rush Days here.

If you need to contact the folks that run the event call 916-808-7059. has a nice article about the Gold Rush Days in their Discover Gold site

“Stepping foot into Old Sacramento is like traveling back in time to California’s Gold Rush era. On any given visit, one can see the dirt being kicked up from the hooves of a horse drawing a carriage down the cobblestone streets. Wide and creaky wooden walkways lead up to restored buildings that used to house hotels, saloons and bathhouses. Now these structures are home to a myriad of shops, restaurants and bars entertaining the more than five million visitors to this State Historical Park.”


This video is from the 2010 Gold Rush Days.  A nice joke to start it off and then footage from the event.

Reminder: Honored Elders Day September 22nd in Sacramento California

Just a reminder that California is hosting our Annual Honored Elders Day.  It was originally scheduled (as always) for the first Saturday in June, but was unfortunately rained out.

This year the rescheduled date is:

Saturday, September 22, 2011

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

on the South Steps of the California State Capitol

near 11th and N Streets


For you Facebookers, there is a page here

The day will include opening ceremonies, singing and dance, traditional food, and many vendors with native goods.

I think all people have traditions of honoring elders and this day is set aside to honor all elders, but especially our Native American elders, who share their wisdom and humility with us.

The annual Honored Elders Day is usually held at the California State Indian Museum at 2618 K Street in Sacramento.

The California State Indian Museum is on the grounds of Sutter’s Fort which encompasses more than 2 square blocks in Sacramento.

Together the fort and the museum are a California State Historic Park and have made a great site for this annual gathering.  It is nice to have the state set a rescheduled date and host us at the State Capitol.

See my prior posts on this event and on Sutter’s Fort.

This is a family friendly event and children really enjoy themselves.

See you there!!

Annual Honored Elders Day

If you are in (or will be visiting) California, please attend the 44th Honored Elders Day.  This event is still often called the 44th Annual Native American Day, but we welcome elders and families of all nationalities.

Native Americans, as well as most cultures, have a deep belief that our elders lead the way with their wisdom and sense of history and of place.  We always honor them and we are fortunate that the State of California provides a day each year to publicly honor native elders and include the opportunity to honor all elders.

Prior events have been held the first Saturday in June at the California State Indian Museum at Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento.  This year it rained out, so it will be held September 22nd on the grounds of California State Capitol in Sacramento.

The celebration includes native music and dance, prayers, vendors and food (free for our elders, inexpensive for the rest of us).

This is a family-friendly day and a great opportunity to teach our children the way of the elders.

We carry our ancestors in our heart.  They bless us every day.

Please share this information with folks you know, and when you go take your favorite elders with you.  Celebrate them every day!


Need more Elders in your life??  Adopt a Native Elder.

Visiting Sacramento, California?

The California State Capitol building in Sacra...

Image via Wikipedia

If you visit Sacramento, California we do have a number of places to check out.

California State Capitol

The capitol was built in the 1850’s once Sacramento was designated as the permanent capitol.  The building was completely restored to it’s past glory just a few years back.

Besides the building there is a museum and a beautiful state park.

California State Capitol

Sutter’s Fort

For those who forget their history, John Sutter founded Sacramento, building a fort on his Spanish Land Grant.

Nice spot for a family outing.  Don’t miss it.  The city has grown around the fort but it is still there.  It was at Sutter’s Mill that gold was discovered in 1849.  Important site for sho.  The Living History days and the Annual Honored Elder days should not be missed.

Old Sacramento

The waterfront district where Sacramento started.  Now it is a few blocks of shops, a paddlewheel river boat great restaurant & bars.  Lots of history including underground tours of the original city and the Railroad Museum.

Here is a nice article with tips for places residents should visit in Old Sacramento.  It’s good for visitors as well!!  Dives, speakeasies, hard to find sites….nice.

The Railroad Museum

Sacramento was the western starting point as our nation worked to complete the transcontinental railway which ended with the golden spike connecting the eastern and western railway routes.  The Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento houses not only trains but one of the original golden spikes!

If you have ever watched Huell Howser’s California Gold series on PBS you have probably enjoyed his show about the railroad, the museum and the golden spike.  He made two shows about Sutter’s Fort.  Sacramento is famous even in the 21st century.

Crocker Art Museum

Sacramento not only has a number of very good art galleries and our 2nd Saturday Art Walk, but we have the Crocker Art Museum.  The museum is in the original Crocker mansion.  Those California history buffs out there remember the Crocker family.  Judge Erwin served on the State Supreme Court and his brother Charles was a member of the “Big Four”.

The mansion is a significant Victorian building, beautiful on the outside and simply stunning on the inside.  The site also house a modern gallery and beautifully landscaped grounds.







Sac State

There are quite a few colleges and universities in the Sacramento area.   Sac State (CSUS) is the first and sits on the storied American River.  Beautiful grounds.

Welcome to Sac State

California State Fair

Running now (July 2011) at Cal Expo (see my prior posts for more info).

Discovery Park

Sacramento lives at the confluence of two rivers.  The two rivers come together at the site of Discovery Park. Picnics, boats, watersports etc.

The Sacramento River which is the cities connection to the San Francisco bay and beyond., running thru the Delta.  Seen any movies about the Mississippi River or the Mississippi Delta??  Chances are it was actually Sacramento.

The American River where gold was first found and later the site of huge gold mining efforts.  Still gold in them thar hills!!

Below is the old bridge crossing the Sacramento River.

Coloma:  Gold is discovered!!

Gold was discovered in 1848 by James Marshall.  Marshall ran the mill on the American River for John Sutter.  He and Sutter died poor.  Crazy huh??

Family friendly historic site.  You can even pan for gold here and take home what you find.

So that’s my city.  I hope you can visit Sacramento soon.