I have passed through McKinley Village several times as it has developed. For years I drove by the triangular fruit orchard along the business 80 freeway just this side of the American River. Then Phil Angelides purchased the property to develop for housing. It took many, many years to gain the permits and now far more homes than one might have thought possible are being built. The streets and parks are named for prominent Sacramento artists and art patrons.
The Village is bounded by the railway on two sides and the freeway on the third, yet it peaceful on a Sunday afternoon. The townhomes, clubhouse and many large single family homes have been completed and many are occupied. The City of Sacramento parks are already complete and available for anyone in the public to enjoy. In addition to the artist tributes in the way of street names, there are many public sculptures to enjoy.
The Sacramento Metro Arts Council website provides biographies of each of the artists spotlighted in McKinley Village. Briefly they are listed here:
- Pat Dullanty, painter, and long-time art professor at Cosumnes River College.
- Michael Himovitz brought attention to Sacramento art scene through exhibits at his Himovitz Salomon Gallery and later to the Himovitz gallery.
- Amalia Fischbacher, long time Sacramento City College art instructor. City College recognized her by naming the art department building in her honor.
- Don Birrell served as the Crocker Art Museum director from 1951-53 and then the design director at the Nut Tree for almost 40 years. He was both a painter and graphic artist.
- Roy DeForest taught at UC Davis and worked as sculptor, printmaker and fabric designer.
- Harry Fonseca is best known for a series of work he began in 1979 that depicted coyotes in non-traditional settings. His work is held in collections in museums throughout the USA.
- Larry Weldon painted in watercolor and acryllic and taught at Sacramento City College for 25 years.
- Darrell Forney was a multimedia artist and long time teacher at Sacramento City College.
- Troy Dalton taught painting and figure drawing at numerous area colleges after earning his master of fine arts at UC Davis.
- Alan & Helen Post may be the most fascinating of all the artists. Alan Post served as California’s Legislative Analyst for almost 30 years and was also an accomplished painter. Helen was an active civic leader and a sculptor. Her bronze sculptures are mounted on columns located within a grove of trees.
- Fred Uhl Ball graduated from Sacramento State University and developed new techniques in enameling.
- Don Reich, a prolific painter, his work encompassed figures, surrealist fantasies, and non-objective images and later into color abstraction.
- R. Burnett Miller, former Mayor of Sacramento, was a philanthropist who supported a life long passion for the arts.