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Seward Johnson Sculptures Coming to Downtown Pleasanton

Original post made on Apr 1, 2010

The sculptures will be on display from April 1 through June 30. City of Pleasanton will welcome an interactive art exhibit by internationally-known sculptor J. Seward Johnson to sidewalk locations in downtown Pleasanton. Eleven life-size, three-dimensional bronze sculptures depict the everyday activities of people who may be found anywhere. Call 931-5355 or email

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 1, 2010, 6:39 AM

Comments (36)

Posted by Erik, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 1, 2010 at 8:38 am

These are wonderful! I saw some of them downtown yesterday & it was a nice surprise. I can't wait to show my kids. What a nice thing to have in our town..I only wish they were permanent!

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 1, 2010 at 9:25 am

I'm so glad they are not permanent.....they are very strange and weird!!! Cant wait till they go away and I'm glad that the City did not pay for this art!!

Posted by Salsa, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 1, 2010 at 9:54 am

What a fantastic display! I'm glad the city is doing this. I think this is a wonderful way to bring art to our city. We will be showing this off to our friends and relatives this weekend.

Posted by Mapped out, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 1, 2010 at 10:06 am

Will there be some kind of map showing where all the pieces are located?

We drove through downtown last night to run an errand and thought they were kinda fun!

Posted by Claudette, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2010 at 10:38 am

I saw some of these on TV during a program... can't remember what it was, but it was by chance. Also at the Vegas airport. It would be nice to know how many pieces in total and a map where they are all located...

Posted by Serendipity, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2010 at 10:50 am

I understand the intent of the folks asking for a map, but a lot of the concept of "art in place" aka outdoor scuplture is to have passerby "discover" the art by themselves, as part of walking their surroundings. Having a map takes away from this concept a bit, since people could then just get in their cars and drive from Point A to Point B to Point C, never get out of the car, and not come across the art in a natural way.

Not sure if this is the actual purpose of this sculpture installation, but having experienced other exhibits of this sort, it's one idea.

Posted by ps, a resident of Pleasanton Village
on Apr 1, 2010 at 12:14 pm

What fun to drive your normal drive down main street and see these sculpture.The one in front of the Dariy is perfect. Whatever it takes to get our town back in the groove,even though the city probably is paying rent on them. Why is there always someone that has to be negative. Life is to short--- Be Happy!!!

Posted by Anti-liberal Brigade, a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 1, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Just another "feel-good" Librul waste of taxpayer money. Why would I get out of my truck to look at some stupid sculpture my 6-year old could have done. What we really need in this town is some good places to eat like an Applebees or Bennigans or Hard Rock Cafe. All the restaurants downtown serve fancy Librul elitist food that no one wants. Bring in some good chains and people will flock to downtown.

Posted by Explorer, a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I saw people taking pictures with them and posing, a fun distraction!

Posted by resident, a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Apr 1, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Anti-liberal Brigade- either you haven't seen the sculptures or you have one very talented 6-year-old.

Posted by cs, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 1, 2010 at 9:28 pm

the sculptures are great! my husband and i were going to Emilio's for lunch. we saw the first statue, a fisherman, by the creek. next, we're staring at a lady posing with a camera taking a picture of the Pleasanton Hotel in front of the Cheese Factory. we're like, she looks so real! and then she moved. opps! :)

Posted by Chris, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm

The sculpture walking maps are available at many Downtown shops and at the Museum on Main.

The online map - Web Link

Fact Sheet - Web Link

anonymous - The exhibit cost $18,000, paid for through the Pleasanton's civic arts commission art-acquisition fund and well spent.

Posted by Qwerty, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2010 at 12:32 am

I was driving down main street recently and thought "What is that old guy doing fishing off the bridge??" and then I realized it was a statue! Very cool. There were more than a few people who were slowing down to watch what the "guy" was doing.

I had no idea there were 11. Makes me want to walk around a bit more to find them.

Posted by Peter Gibbons, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 2, 2010 at 8:35 am

2 things for Anti-liberal Brigade:

1. Bringing Applebee's downtown would create a city-wide diarrhea epidemic and a toilet paper shortage.

2. Hopefully your six year-old isn't home-schooled.

Posted by colette, a resident of Del Prado
on Apr 2, 2010 at 8:41 am

The sculptures made me smile as I drove down Main Street. Couldn't wait to take my kids...especially love the fisherman by the bridge. I agree with the comment Life Is Short. Let's slow down and enjoy the little things in life. Thanks Pleasanton for bringing this to Main Street!

Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2010 at 11:03 am

The sculptures are entertaining. As art, though, they are completely unchallenging.

Posted by Andy G., a resident of Charter Oaks
on Apr 2, 2010 at 11:48 am

Just another example of a white elitist comunity displaying a series of statues that NOT ONE depicts a person of color. Be sides, they creep me out!

Posted by Person of color, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 2, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I haven't seen all the statues yet (thanks for the link to the map-I enjoy discovery but want to be sure and see all of them)....but the one outside Gay Ninities is an adult and child of color.

Posted by Pat Griffin, a resident of Valley View Elementary School
on Apr 2, 2010 at 1:52 pm

The statue of the soldier and his daughter took my breath. All the statues a refreshing boost to my day.

Posted by Mad about art, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm

The city spent $18,000 from the Art budget for sculptures? I am in favor of beautification through art BUT during hard economic times maybe the city needs to grow a conscience and DONATE the entire Art Fund to our local schools so the ART TEACHER isnt layed off or the ART PROGRAMS arent cut from the curriculum!!!

Posted by p, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm

B happy u live where u live. My goodness- Pleasanton was so nice 20 yrs. ago and then all these yuppies moved in and changed Pleasanton, move back from where ever you came from, get that high paying job somewhere else and leave our town alone,I've lived here since 1962 and ever since they came in to our town life in Pleasanton has changed--

Posted by Qwerty, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm

To "anti liberal brigade":

If your 6 year old was really capable of making such sculptures as you said he or she can, then you wouldn't be driving around in a beater truck.

Posted by Appreciator, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm

The sculptures are great. I wish they were permanent. Nice job!!!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Apr 2, 2010 at 4:59 pm

i plan to see them soon...i don't care if any of the statues portray "people of color"...

if the art creeps anybody out too much...take an aspirin and get some rest...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...

i hope local vandals don't pay a visit and spray them with you know what...

pretty is as pretty does...

Posted by Resident, a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm

The sculptures are fun and brought a smile to people's faces. Too bad they aren't permanent. It would be nice to commission some pieces with art students at the high schools to depict Pleasanton residents out and about.

Andy G needs to see the sculpture of the soldier coming home and being greeted - across the street from Tully's I think.

Thank you to the people responsible for bringing in this exhibit.

Posted by R Lou, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 2, 2010 at 8:37 pm

The statues are wonderful. Come downtown and take a look. There are Maps at Sincerely Yours Cards and Gifts, the Museum on Main, Little Valley Winery and other Shops.

Posted by Nancy, a resident of San Ramon
on Apr 2, 2010 at 11:46 pm

The sculptures are amazing! It is fun to drive or walk down the street and look for another beautiful sculpture. They are so life like...every feature is so well done. The textures (hair, clothing, shoes, etc.) are amazingly realistic. Thanks to all who brought the exhibit to Pleasanton for our enjoyment.

Posted by Nancy, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 3, 2010 at 5:37 pm

My husband and I enjoyed walking along Main this morning to view the visiting sculptures. I thought I could wait knowing they're here for three months, but my curiosity was too great. Actually it was an exciting experience and a good one in the name of "art". It may not be incredible art but it is a type of art. It's good to see Pleasanton taking the step up to bringing public art to Main. It's wonderful to have something like this that is light and "fun" these days as there is so much heavy political "stuff" crowding our minds. Nice job Pleasanton!

Posted by candyce roberts, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 3, 2010 at 8:21 pm

I thought they were wonderful and I wish they could stay. People were taking photos with them and of them, with a kind of kid like sense of wonder suitable to Easter weekend. I'm sorry that one anti statue commenter didn't see the sculpture in front of gay ninety's before he did his "anti-sculpture, no person of color" rant. It is clearly a person of color and in fatigues, a military hero. good job Pleasanton!

Posted by Pat West of Foothill, a resident of West of Foothill
on Apr 4, 2010 at 1:16 am

All I can say is... I'm sooooo glad we are not paying for this and that this not permament! "The Day the Earth Stood Still" comes to mind.

Posted by resident, a resident of Old Towne
on Apr 4, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Those sculptures were a delight to my friends and myself who after a visit to Mt. Diablo and hike were not too tired to walk Main Street to enjoy them. We couldn't get over the reality of the clothing on the sculptures. Thank you for delighting us with something so unusual.

Posted by Chris, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 4, 2010 at 7:28 pm

The comment from Pat that we didn't pay for this exhibit is incorrect. The exhibit cost $18,000, paid for through the Pleasanton's civic arts commission art-acquisition fund. It was money well spend in my opinion.

Posted by Gary Schwaegerle, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:33 am

Gary Schwaegerle is a registered user.

The ART is GREAT! This weekend you could watch the People interact with them - sit or stand have pictures taken with, people were looking at them having a fun time; in Our Beautiful Downtown the Heart of Pleasanton. As I drove up Main Street there were so many people some standing or sitting, you had to take a double look to see if they weren't a statue. Cheers Gary Schwaegerle

Posted by Karen, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Apr 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

I really like the art too... but $18,000 is a lot of money in these hard times. Heck it is a lot of money period. I thought the arts commission was working hard on fund raisers. Do they have that much money to spare? How many fund raisers are needed to make $18,000?

Posted by SKJ, a resident of Valley Trails
on Apr 8, 2010 at 9:16 pm

I think the decision for Pleasanton to rent the statues is wasteful, even if the budget was earmarked before the economic downturn. We are struggling to keep our schools intact, and this decision should have been rethought. $18,000...really? I can think of so many other things that should take priority right now! What a slap in the face of our Pleasanton teachers and community workers that are being cut. Bummer for the bad decision!

Posted by Auburn IN, a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2010 at 8:32 am

Congratulations Pleasanton on bringing the exhibit for all to enjoy. Our community had a Seward Johnson exhibit in our small community in 2007 and it was such a hit we are having another exhibit beginning in June. All different sculptures plus a 2 story sized "monumental sculpture". Lots of hard work and fund raising through the local arts commission. We cant wait and have planned many fun activites based on the various themes of the sculptures.
Definitely an economic boost to our local businesses as a side benefit! If you are ever this way in your travels this summer, please stop in for a visit. check out info at auburnarts

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