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Michael Himovitz


Michael Himovitz

The city park in the southwest neighborhood of McKinley Village is named for Michael Himovitz, an extraordinary civic leader who made pioneering and lasting contributions to the Sacramento arts scene and the local arts community. As the Sacramento Bee stated in 1994, Michael “was a preacher with one sermon: Sacramento art was the great undiscovered secret of the city. His enthusiasm and zeal was such that he built his gallery into Sacramento’s most successful art enterprise, and in the process helped raised the profile of the city’s artists to international stature.”

Michael was born in Los Angeles, California and came to Sacramento in 1977, opening a branch office of his family’s home construction business. With a passion for art, his office soon doubled as an art gallery featuring young Sacramento artists. In 1985, he closed his business and opened the Himovitz Salomon Gallery, and later the Himovitz Gallery, in downtown Sacramento.

Michael played a pivotal role in sustaining and building the arts scene in Sacramento. He helped create Second Saturday, which has grown over the years into Sacramento’s signature arts event. He sponsored a series of exchange exhibitions with galleries in France, Japan, and Belgium, bringing international artists to Sacramento, and providing an opportunity for Sacramento artists to have their work shown abroad.

He guided and promoted the careers of the local artists he represented, earning their respect and appreciation and strengthening the local arts community. When he passed, local artist Julia Couzens, whose work will be displayed in McKinley Village, said “His belief in the quality of art being made in the Sacramento Valley was demonstrated by his tireless efforts to educate the public and his championing of local talent in the larger art world…” He also supported others who opened galleries – as The Bee noted months after this passing, “He supported his competitors because he supported Sacramento.”

In May of 1994, the Crocker Art Museum honored Michael with a special exhibition documenting his pioneering work as an influential gallery owner who helped define cutting edge, contemporary art in the Sacramento community.

Beyond his work in the art world, Michael was committed to the prevention and cure of AIDS, helping to organize events in support of the cause.