All posts filed under: Community mosaics

Of checkers, flowers and hummingbirds

Yesterday afternoon at the Muzzio mosaic workshop the bell rang. It always rings when one of the 4×8” (1x2m) mosaic boards is finished. Everyone stood in awe around the table. The mosaic depicts symbols of 3 cultures: a brown and black checkered and a green thiestel head for  Scotland, blue pastell colored flowers on a white background standing for Sweden and a sparkling humming bird representing the Amah Mutsun culture which were the Indian population that lived here around Watsonville for thousands of years before the Spanish came. The population of Watsonville is characterized by many waves of immigrants that came to work in the agricultural industry since centuries. People from all over the world were drawn to California to make a better living through manual labour on the fields. Now the population of  Watsonville is 85% Mexican. From a small exhibition about the history of immigration and agriculture at the Watsonville public library I took this quote:   This is a 5 year community art project to decorate the city garage entirely with mosaics featuring …

This little town of mine let it shine

…. this verse slightly altered from a song I once sang with my choir comes to my mind being around Kathleen Crocetti and her mosaic projects in Watsonville. Her dream is to make Watsonville the Barcelona of California together with the young community of the 50.000 inhabitants of a small agriculture town situated in the fertile back garden of Monterey Bay/California. A lot of nutrition is produced and exported here on large farms with immigrants hands. Strawberries, lettuce, artichokes, apples you name it have been tended to since over 100 years by many groups of immigrant workers. Some stayed. At the moment 85% of Watsonville’s population is of Mexican heritage. Still the average income here is a quarter less than that of near by Santa Cruz/CA. The difference in between pitoresque coast dwellings like Monterey or Carmel and Watsonville is striking on first sight. In the coast cities individual wealth designs beautiful cost homes and inviting shop fronts and brings in enough tax money to make sturdy wooden public walkways with views of the beautiful …