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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 …

At the Muzzio

The Muzzio is the city of  Watsonville’s community mosaic workshop. Here every afternoon members of the community drop in and help beautifying their city with mosaic works. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays Highschool Students are coming after school to spend a few hours winding down from busy school day breaking and setting mosaic pieces with their AirPods in their ears. When I arrived on September 6 a Croatian board was being started using very small tiles to depict the stitches of a needle work with the typical pattern from Croatia. On Wednesdays is women’s day at the Muzzio. The atmosphere is more chatty! Together with Helga and Suzanne, two Germans I am working on the design featuring a Chinese dragon and a Jewish Star symbols for the family of the main private sponsor of the project. How long will it take? On Sunday I met the Mekiz family of Croatian heritage working on their panel. They submitted the design, sponsored the material and installation costs and now came to spend a creative family afternoon together. …

Watsonville city garage and casa Batlló

What is it with casa Batlló in Barcelona/Spain and the city garage of Watsonville/CA? Casa Batllò in Barcelona is advertised as the “House of inspiration”. The façade of casa Batllò is covered in beautiful mosaic. The city garage of Watsonville/CA is a 5 storie park house (as we Germans say) that shall inspire inhabitants of Watsonville to be involved in ,”Creative Place Making” and contemplate and take pride in their immigration history. It’s grayish white facade is in the process of being covered by beautiful mosaics. Antonio Gaudì designed the casa Batlló between 1904-6 in his modernist style playing with form and colors for interior and exterior. The people of Watsonville designed the mosaics for the mosaics of the city garage building… “Our project Watsonville Brillante aims to represent multi-ethnic patterns of particular family units on the 185 horizontal portions of the garage’s exterior and place each family’s representation next to another family’s representation in such a way that their common heritages overlap with a shared visual pattern. Combined, they will represent our community as …