The Trail

A Johnny Cash Trail Art Update from Artist Adan Romo

6/30/2022 | By Johnny Cash Trail| Art Trail

Johnny Cash Trail artist Adan Romo gives an update -- and a peek inside of the process -- of the first public art piece for Folsom's unique tribute to the legacy of Johnny Cash in Folsom, CA.

When Will the Art Come to the Johnny Cash Trail?

The City of Folsom celebrated the completion of the nearly 3-mile-long Johnny Cash Trail in 2017. The Class I paved trail connects the Folsom Historic District to the Folsom Lake Crossing trail, taking cyclists and pedestrians past Folsom Prison and offers beautiful views of Folsom Lake, the American River, and Folsom’s natural flora and fauna.

Folsom's community has embraced the trail for its scenic and physical benefits. However, the anticipation for the art experience to come to the trail is rising.

The Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience will bring larger-than-life public art sculptures celebrating the life, music, and legacy of Johnny Cash to Folsom. The project's master plan includes a self-guided mobile app art tour for an immersive experience.

In 2021, after a year of COVID-19 shutdowns and disruptions, the City of Folsom announced that production would officially begin on the first art piece for the trail: Cash's Pick.

Johnny Cash Trail Artist Adan Romo on Cash’s Pick

Cash's Pick is one of seven sculptures awarded to Adan Romo of Romo Studios, LLC. Romo beat out artists from around the globe with his artistic vision for the Johnny Cash Trail. When Romo first visited the site that would become the trail, inspiration struck in the form of a guitar pick.

Just as all of Cash's music began with a guitar pick, so would the art experience.

According to Romo, bringing the 7-foot-tall guitar pick to life is no easy feat.

Romo's pick sculpture is a massive undertaking that relied as heavily on engineering and computer rendering as it did on artistic talent and clay sculpting. Cash's Pick is 7 feet tall, 6 feet wide, and weighs over 700 pounds of bronze and metal balanced on one single delicate point.

Cash's Pick is a dance between art, engineering, and technology.

Romo began with a bit of clay work and then turned to computer engineering to get the right curves, angles, and proportions. Then he sent 3D printed pieces to the metal fabricator. Every measurement matters -- the slightest variance in thickness or curvature would mean disrupting the entire sculpture.

While creating the artwork itself, Romo also set to work designing the landscape elements for Cash's Pick site.

While this type of public artwork would typically take anywhere from 12-18 months to complete, the lasting impact of COVID-19 slowed the project's production progress.

COVID-19 shut down the metal foundry for months during the global pandemic. Supply chain problems also impacted the production schedule; the metal foundry experienced many of the same supply chain issues as construction and manufacturing industries across the globe.

Cash's Pick is Under Construction

While waiting for the first art piece to come to the trail feels like forever, Romo assures us that Cash's Pick is indeed moving forward through the fabrication process. There will be a total of two Cash's Pick sculptures placed along the trail: one marking the trail's beginning, the other, the end. Whichever direction you choose to embark along the Johnny Cash Trail, your journey will always begin with Cash's Pick.

Help bring the art experience to the Johnny Cash Trail. The Art Experience is for the benefit of the public, and public support helps bring this incredible art experience to life. Learn how you can donate to the Johnny Cash Trail and bring the next piece of art to the community. Support the trail.