Editor’s Note: This is the last article in a series about local artist Adan Romo.Sacramento artist Adan Romo, whose notoriety in the art world continues to rise, has enjoyed many opportunities during his life, including studying sculpture in Italy, teaching at St. Francis High School and creating art in his midtown Sacramento studio.
After completing his studies in Italy, Adan returned to his position as a teacher at St. Francis High School.
In recalling that time of his life, Adan said, “I was the head of the digital arts department there (at St. Francis) and the great part of being there was I was able to both teach art and create many works of art for the campus as it grew and changed.
“So, that’s been an exciting opportunity. I created a life-sized bronze sculpture of St. Francis, which is in front of the school, and then I was able to do a large, life-sized sculpture of St. Clare, who was one of his followers, with a meditative garden and fountain on the center of campus. These are slightly larger than life-sized, probably about 7 feet tall.”
Adan, who owns Romo Studios in midtown Sacramento with his father, Jesus Romo, also spoke about some of his other public art projects.
“I just did one for Jesuit High School,” Adan said. “I did a garden and some sculpture elements. That was done last year and we’ve done work for Palm Desert. We created a veterans’ memorial there.
“We just recently unveiled a bronze bust of Cesar Chavez for Cesar (E.) Chavez (Intermediate) School (at 7500 32nd St.). We donated our services for that project to help the school make that happen.
“We did one for Cristo Rey High School. And we did a work (at 5770) Freeport (Boulevard) at the Public Safety (Center) building, which has artwork that commemorates firefighters and police. And we did a similar project for the city of Phoenix celebrating their public safety workers, firefighters and police officers.
“For St. Francis High School, we created a living wall, which is something that was new for us. It has over 600 succulent plants in it, a vertical wall of plants.”
Romo Studios public art can also be found at Folsom Lake College and the North Highlands-Antelope Library.Aiding in Adan’s work, in both its size and ambience, is his aforementioned midtown studio, which is located inside a historic barn, which measures about 40 feet long by about 20 feet wide, and includes an old hay loft.
Adan, who also leads organized art tours to Italy, explained how he created a very Italian feel to his studio.
“When I came back from Italy, the studio that I had been working for decided to close down and they had an array of sculptures,” Adan said. “They’re plaster sculptures that they used. For over 200 years, this collection of sculptures had been there. So, when they closed down, I inquired what they were going to do with (the collection) and I was able to purchase a fair amount of them and have them crated up and have them brought back to (Sacramento).
“I didn’t have a studio at the time, but I brought them back here, and in the interim while they were coming over on a boat, I purchased my home and the old barn in midtown Sacramento. I got the (barn) studio ready, so when (the sculptures) got here, I would have a place to house them. So, my studio is covered with these Italian sculptures.
“I often have workshops and classes and events in my studio, so it creates an inspiring space for the students that I teach there and the events that I host there. There’s no other place like it in Sacramento. I assure you that. Everyone who comes back there is convinced that they’re in Italy.
“(The sculptures) range in (size) from one that’s 10 feet tall (to) 2 feet tall. They’re all figurative works of art, different works of art – angels, busts. I have (a replica) of Rodin’s ‘The Thinker.’ There are some that exist in the Paris cemetery and the Milan cemetery, but none others that you would probably recognize.”
Adan explained that he is truly working in a field that he loves.
“Public art is my true love,” Adan said. “I love creating art for the public and working here in Sacramento. Creating artwork for Sacramento for the public here that speaks to Sacramento is really what I want to be doing. Regardless of whether its in metal or in bronze or in stone, my passion is creating ideas that are going to resonate with people and have them be able to call it their own artwork.
“I want people to say, ‘That artwork belongs to us, or the whole community.’ So, that’s when I feel the work is most successful when people kind of take it as their own. So, that’s my whole kind of philosophy and approach to art.
“I’ve always envisioned creating public artwork for Sacramento. It’s part of the reason I came back to Sacramento after my studies in Berkeley and studies in Italy. I always knew that Sacramento was a city with a lot of potential. It just has a lot going for it and to be able to be here in Sacramento at this particular time is very exciting. The city is growing. I live in midtown in Sacramento and there are so many projects happening from the arena to housing development. The city is really transforming itself with the railroad yards. I can’t imagine myself any place else but here with the type of work that I want to do.”
For additional information about Romo Studios public works of art, workshops or Adan-led trips to Italy, visit the website www.romostudios.com, write to the e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 916-505-5753.