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Art abounds in Stockton
pic stockton sculpture 1 n copy
The latest addition to DeCarli Plaza in downtown Stockton is the 23-foot-high stainless steel sculpture Anchored.

By VINCE REMBULAT                 

209 Living

A new public art piece just surfaced at the DeCarli Plaza in downtown Stockton entitled “Anchored.”

 That’s the aptly named sculpture created by regional artists Steve Petruska and Diana Pumpelly.

“’Anchored’ is emblematic of change, reflecting the dynamic nature of how influences come and go, how history being and end and overlap,” they said, describing the piece that was inspired by researching area history while focusing on successive historical periods.

From early Native American settlement, the Spanish American War, and the Gold Rush Days, the two artists also drew inspiration from modern urbanization and expansion.

Thanks to the Stockton Arts Commission and the Public Art Advisory Committee, “Anchored” was made a reality, according to City of Stockton Community Services Director John Alita.

“The City is very proud to see the completion of this long-awaited project and the aesthetic enhancement it will bring to downtown Stockton,” he said.

Alita added: “Public art is integral to quality of life and civic pride.”

This 23-foot-high stainless sculpture, rising 21 feet above the water, was permanently installed on the floor of the elevated fountain directly across the historic Stockton Hotel.

“Anchored” had been in the works for awhile. Petruska and Bates were selected by the Public Arts Advisory Committee after responding to a request for the proposal by the City back in 2010.

Stockton continues to support the arts with original murals and photo decals to help liven up the empty and dilapidated buildings, in turn, creating a more welcoming atmosphere for employees and visitors alike, according to the Downtown Stockton Alliance.

DSA is in partnership with business owners in sprucing up places such as Cort Tower store front at 336 E. Main St. and the St. Leo Hotel on the corner of Weber and California streets.

Decals with original art were also installed on California Building, San Joaquin Pride Center at the Metro Building, and the Terry Hotel.

Some of the local movers and shakers have been doing their part to promote the arts.

Take Zac Cort of The Cort Group and Jim Donaldson of JF Donaldson, for example.

Cort coordinated efforts on the original murals on the Ambassador Hotel at Channel and Sutter streets while Donaldson along with Ben Saffold of the Stockton Arts Commission recruited artists to decorate a wall of the JF Donaldson Auto Shop, 240 N. Hunter St.

As for future plans, Cort is already planning on partnering with a local high school to create several free standing metal sculptures to be placed on downtown streets.

These sculptures would depict native plants and animals of the San Joaquin Valley.

The Stockton Arts Commission, meanwhile, serves as the art advocacy group for the City. This group was founded by local artists in the mid-1970s and is the catalyst in bringing increasing awareness, opportunities and involvement in the arts and culture.

To locate the various public art pieces in town, log on to

 To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, email