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“The Ring” by Brenda Louie

Wearing a ring has many different meanings that can cross culture, history, religion, gender, and relationships. Wearing a ring can signify marriage, professional status, or just be an accessory. In China, a ring worn on the right pinky finger means the wearer is a good follower and understands the wishes and ideas of others. Wearing a ring on your thumb in some cultures means you are assertive and bold, but in another culture it might be a symbol of inner conflict.

In this case, “The Ring” is meant to be a visual signifier for universal love and peace. Created by a powerful machine, a piece of stainless steel forms “The Ring”. This process is in contrast with the delicate mosaic work made by hand. The firmness of the steel is in contrast with the elegance of the blue and gold glass tiles. The combination of the two are meant to signify permanency and the beauty of human dignity.

“The Ring” also has a personal connection to the Sacramento community. It is marked on the back with “Cheers Russ,” in a similar way in which rings might be etched with a wedding date, a name, or expression of love. “Cheers Russ” was created using the signature of Russ Solomon, one of Sacramento’s most beloved arts supporters and the founder of Tower Records. It was a great honor to have this sculpture installed in Solomon Park and for it to be a symbol of Russ Solomon’s generosity.


Brenda Louie is a China-born American painter as well as a mixed media installation artist. She has been an art studio faculty member at California State University, Sacramento since 1996.

Louie immigrated to the United States in 1972. After earning her undergraduate degree in economics, she returned to school to study art, receiving her M.A. in painting from California State University, Sacramento in 1991 and her M.F.A. in painting, drawing and art installation from Stanford University in 1993.

Her art fuses Western and Eastern visual cultures beginning with Chinese calligraphic practice and American Abstract Expressionism. As her work evolved, it increasingly engaged her Chinese Diaspora experiences in art that recalls, for example, memories of the social and political turmoil that was the backdrop of her youth.

Louie’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and her paintings have been collected by many private and public institutions as well as museums in the United States and abroad such as the Crocker Art Museum; University of California at Davis; California State University, Sacramento; Farhat Art Museum in Beirut, Lebanon; Zhejiang Museum in Hangzhou; Hangzhou Opera House; China Academy of Arts in Hangzhou, P.R. China; and Ningbo University in Ningbo, P.R.China.