Past and Present Converge in ‘Reflections’ at Gateway Park

San Mateo is a treasure chest of public art from Bay Meadows to the heart of downtown. Public spaces are a large part of living on the San Francisco Peninsula.  We are fortunate to live in a city and region that values the lifestyle experiences and enrichment of its residents by filling each space with art for all to enjoy. We’re featuring the artist and background of each sculpture to help you get to know the sites you see and the inspiration behind the art. Gateway Park is a perfect spot to “reflect”.


Located in Gateway Park (at the northwest corner of 3rd Avenue & Humboldt Street) you will find Reflections, a textured stainless steel public art piece. Created by famed sculptor, C.J. Rench, the popular piece is impressive in size, scope and meaning. The City of San Mateo has a wonderful description of the public sculpture.

Reflections captures San Mateo’s past and present, the abstract elements within the sculpture, the saw blade, dollar sign, acorn, feather, horse shoe, and the winding creek are easily recognizable, playful in nature, and visually well-balanced. Reflections invites viewers to re-visit in their own imaginations what San Mateo was, is, and will become.


The sculpture embodies the natural resources, industry, commerce, and ambition of its citizens using abstract symbols and design features to convey the message. This large iconic work of art spotlights the history, and arts and culture of San Mateo to create a community-valued sculpture for all the citizens, businesses, and local government to benefit from its visual impact. The colors will be the reflections of the natural surroundings and light of the day, color of the sky, colors of the trees in the backdrop all bouncing off the textured stainless steel surface.

There is a large sign for pedestrians on the sidewalk and a smaller one for those who want to walk right up to the base of the sculpture – which is an invitation to all to experience Reflections from both near and far.

C.J. Rench sits for a portrait in his studio. Hood River, OR, USA, 3 August, 2013 Credit:

The Artist.  No stranger to public art installations, C.J. Rench is professional sculptor who specializes in large-scale abstract designs and fabricating unique works of art, taking special care and artistry in reflecting the values and artistic vision of his customers. More information from the artist’s site:

Rench started as a self-taught industrial engineer and senior project designer in the sporting goods industry, where he was awarded multiple patents for his innovative concepts and designs. He began designing and fabricating metal sculpture full-time in 2004, and since then has installed over 30 large-scale public works throughout the US.

Specializing in metal sculpture, all of the colorful pieces are hand painted with industrial marine epoxy and fabricated from mild steel, stainless steel or aluminum for durability and timeless quality. Incorporating glass, lighting and other design elements that create unique works for clients is a challenging and rewarding part of his work. Most of all, he wants his sculptures to invite, inspire and connect people, regardless of age.

Cover Image credit: City of San Mateo on Instagram

Experience Midurban life. Bay Meadows is a family-friendly neighborhood with lots of open space to enjoy all-year long. Whether it’s growing your own vegetables in an organic community garden, playing a game of pick-up basketball after work, team building over bocce in the beer garden, picnicking with family on warm summer nights or with a run around the park, there’s no shortage of green space to explore. Check out life out and about at Bay Meadows by following us on Instagram.