Names for docks in River Crossing public art project announced

Post Date:10/17/2019 1:32 PM

The cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento are proud to announce that two names have been selected for an art project that renames two important spots along the Sacramento waterfront.

The project by British artist Joshua Sofaer is called “River Crossing: I want to communicate with you” and asked residents this summer to nominate people they would like to have commemorated.

Over 650 nominations were received and a panel of judges selected two names: Etenesh Zeleke for a dock under construction in West Sacramento, and Isabel S. Naranjo for the new name of a dock in Old Sacramento.

  • Isabel S. Naranjo was nominated by her granddaughter and was driven to deliver supplies, food and clothing to migrant farmworkers and their families. A farmworker herself, she helped establish childcare centers and secure funding for meals, recreation and education. Judges selected Naranjo due to her strong commitment to her family and her community.
  • Etenesh Zeleke, whose first name translates to “you are my sister,” was an immigrant from Ethopia. She was nominated by her granddaughter who described her as being a “stream of hope” with many references to creating a community in West Sacramento near the river. Judges were inspired by her unique story of modern immigration, her love for her family and her connection to the river.

River Crossing-Etenesh-winner Name the Docks

“Etenesh Zeleke’s name and story carry forward a message about the rich intergenerational history of immigrants that helped build West Sacramento,” said Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. “The West Sacramento nominations overall revealed how strongly our residents value and hold connections with their neighbors, friends and family as an important City legacy.”    

The names were chosen by a panel of judges which included news reporter Leticia Ordaz, restauranteur Jess Milbourn, art commissioner Maya Wallace, music teacher Felicia Weatherly and poet/activist Yeshahyah Yisrael. Along with the selected two names for the docks, a total of 33 nominees, their photos, and the submitted stories are available on the project website:

 West Sacramento Dock-rendering-flags and people

As a final part to the art project, glowing lightboxes will spell the names of Naranjo and Zeleke in colorful maritime signals at their respective locations along the Sacramento river. The installation will occur in early 2020.


 Related: West Sac Docks (ABC-10)



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