Donors of Placer Community Foundation (PCF) have shown enduring devotion for the arts through the decades by contributing over $1.1 million in support of arts, cultures and humanities. These gifts are made possible by forward-thinking donors who created personalized funds in their lifetime or through their estate plans with the Community Foundation.
This year the Mary Ann Flemmer Arts and Environment Fund at PCF is supporting a unique public art project at the new Mercy Housing Complex in North Auburn. This new community is providing beautiful, affordable homes to 79 Auburn families.
Through an extensive selection process local artist and metalworker Norm Tucker was selected to create a sculpture, which will serve as the housing site’s landmark to be enjoyed by residents and the greater public. Now in production, his 18-foot tall “Three Feathers” sculpture will represent the Miwok, Nisenan and Maidu tribes. Feathers signify trust, honor, wisdom, power and freedom. These virtues will reflect the dignity, and pride of housing within a compassionate community.
“I’m grateful I have the opportunity to really stretch my creativeness,” states Norm. “I like knowing that this sculpture will be a visible beacon for the residents—that this is their home.”
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Artists Norm Tucker and Stan Padilla have been selected to create permanent installations to be enjoyed both by residents and the surrounding community.
One year ago, Mercy Housing California (MHC) and Placer County broke ground at the future site of Mercy North Auburn, a new community that will soon provide beautiful, affordable homes to 79 Auburn families with mixed incomes. Today, MHC and the Placer Community Foundation (PCF) announced the names of two talented Auburn artists who will create a sculpture and an indoor-outdoor community space art piece that will connect this new community to Auburn’s rich history and culture.
“As this partnership project demonstrates, affordable housing is just the beginning of what makes a healthy community thrive,” said Doug Shoemaker, President of Mercy Housing California. “Mercy Housing California is proud to partner with the Placer Community Foundation and champions of the arts in Auburn to create original artwork honoring Auburn’s unique heritage and the Miwok, Nisenan, and Maidu Indians who call this land home. The 79 new affordable residences at Mercy North Auburn will enhance the beautiful natural landscape contributed to us by Placer County and, together with the generous support of the California Department of Housing and Community Development and the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, we are addressing the region’s extreme shortage of affordable family housing.”
“This housing marks a big win for PCF’s advocacy for affordable housing within DeWitt’s new government center dating back to 2016,” said PCF Chief Executive Officer Veronica Blake. “PCF believes anyone’s aspiration for a high quality of life for themselves and their family must begin with adequate, safe housing. These art projects are a celebration of the many that made construction of these units possible. The end result will be a community of residents who can take pride in the heritage and cultures that founded the ground in which they now call home. We feel so fortunate to have donors at PCF that support our vision for access to affordable housing and to our donor Mary Ann Flemmer whose fund at PCF is providing the resources for the landmark sculpture.”
“The quality, affordable homes Mercy North Auburn will offer are an important contribution to our community and our reimagined Placer County Government Center campus,” said Placer County Board of Supervisors Chair Robert Weygandt. “These art pieces are a fitting complement and we’re thrilled with their selection. We congratulate and thank the artists, Mercy Housing California, Placer Community Foundation and their funding donor, Mary Ann Flemmer, for contributing them to our community.”
MHC will fund the community space art project, while the sculpture project will be funded by the Mary Ann Flemmer Arts and Environment Fund at Placer Community Foundation. Artist and metalworker Norm Tucker will create the sculpture, which will serve as a new local landmark to be enjoyed by residents and the greater public. His “Three Feathers” sculpture represents the Miwok, Nisenan and Maidu tribes. Feathers signify trust, honor, wisdom, power and freedom. These virtues will reflect the dignity, and pride of housing within a compassionate community.
The community room piece will be created by muralist Stan Padilla. This work will incorporate the vision and values of Auburn’s Native American communities and will be co-created with Mercy North Auburn residents. His painted, bas-relief, multi-paneled wall mural for the Community Room is positive acknowledgement and affirmation of the Miwok, Nisenan and Maidu people as the first culture upon the land on which the housing project sits. The Community Involvement project on the adjacent patio includes handmade clay tile mosaics impressed with the local plants, acorns, leaves, textures, and animal footprints.
Mercy North Auburn’s three-story apartment buildings and detached two-story townhouses will be available to families with a wide range of incomes, ranging from 30% to 60% of Area Median Income. The community is transit-accessible and in close proximity to high-quality schools, shopping options, and medical providers. Construction will be completed in October 2021.
About Mercy Housing California
Mercy Housing California (MHC) is the largest regional office of Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), a leading national affordable housing nonprofit. MHC’s mission is to create stable, vibrant, and healthy communities by developing, financing, and operating affordable, program-enriched housing for families, seniors, and people with special needs who lack the economic resources to access quality, safe housing opportunities, serving lower-income families, seniors, and people who have experienced homelessness. With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, MHC has developed over 10,000 affordable homes across California. To learn more about MHC, please visit www.mercyhousing.org/california.
About Placer Community Foundation
Placer Community Foundation (PCF) grows local giving to strengthen our community by connecting donors who care with causes that matter. Known for sound financial management and knowledge of the nonprofit sector, the Community Foundation continually monitors the region to better understand the nature of local needs, so that it can invest in areas such as arts and culture, education, health and human services, animals and the environment. Visit placercf.org for more information.