What’s Next for Downtown Plaza’s Statues? We asked the Artist Who Made Them

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Yoshio Taylor

One of the statues created by Yoshio Taylor that was removed from the Downtown Plaza to make way for the construction of a new arena


The buzz-saw of change is slicing down sculptures at the Downtown Plaza. Two sculptures in particular by Sacramento artist Yoshio Taylor.

“I was out there watching it come down with mixed emotion and nervousness,” Taylor said.

Tailor-made two figures who, for 21 years, have serviced as guardians and the welcome wagon to shoppers at the Downtown Plaza.

They came down Tuesday to make way for a new Arena.

Now the city says the sculptures will be packed away while a decision is made where they should be moved.

“Some other public place. Who knows where,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s unique techniques and distinctive style have made him one of the most recognizable local artists.

The figures that were just taken down are not Taylor’s only public commission. A 444 square foot clay mural hanging at UC Davis Med Center is his work as well.

Trained first at Sac State, and then at Berkeley, he says his sculpting career began to take shape when he first came to the US from Japan. He had trouble with the language but no trouble working with his hands.

“So I took art classes, architectural classes, science classes, where I didn’t have to speak,” Taylor said.

Ironic then that his artistic voice has become so distinctive and well known by so many in Sacramento.

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