City Sketch: Taylor Gutermute


Taylor Gutermute learned the value of art education early on, by her father’s side. A political cartoonist with an inventive spirit, he took her to museums and initiated home projects, with his young daughter handing him the proper tools.
     “That’s why I feel the arts are so important for young people in the schools,” says Gutermute, who keeps a studio in the Art Foundry Building on R Street for her metal sculptures, string-and-paper monotypes and other works. “They’re not going to all be artists, but we need
children who understand what the creative spirit is, who can respect the work of others and know how to look at art.”
     Gutermute has long intertwined the role of artist and educator. She taught in Bay Area public schools, ran an art school and small gallery in Carmichael, and became an arts administrator for the San Juan Unified School District and, later, the California Department of Education. (She was known then as Patty Taylor, changing to a mix of her married and maiden names when she moved to New York City in her early 50s for art school.)
     Her medium of choice has changed over the years, from ceramics to concrete to metals. Gutermute has worked with wire mesh and plastic bags, sheet metal and car paints. Several of her works are on public display, including a series on ecosystems for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and a gateway piece installed on Del Paso Boulevard depicting the area’s history.
     “I’m not afraid to try new things. Just think if everybody was that way,” says Gutermute, whose work also is shown at Solomon Dubnick Gallery. “That’s how we are going to keep our mark and our greatness, through innovation.” To learn more, go to