Watsonville Mural with artist Kathleen Crocetti
(Photos by Crystal Birns.)
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Watsonville Brillante: A vision of mosaic art celebrating Watsonville’s migrants, comes to life

Presented by Santa Cruz County Bank

Celebrating Watsonville’s multi-ethnic history, the mosaic installation titled Watsonville Brillante, graces Watsonville’s downtown Civic Parking Garage. This ambitious project is being assembled piece by piece by community members, under the guidance of artist Kathleen Crocetti.

Watsonville Brillante is an ambitious mosaic project that will cover the exterior of the Civic Parking Garage in downtown Watsonville with 12,500 square feet of mosaic tiles. This colorful installation celebrates the city’s multi-ethnic history. The vision for each of the 185 horizontal sections is to represent the many cultures that have migrated to Watsonville, through symbols and patterns that illustrate the thread connecting everyone in the Watsonville community. ⠀

Kids at the Muzzio Mosaic Arts Center
At the Muzzio Mosaic Arts Center, artists of all ages learn how to cut tile and use the tools needed to create 185 large mosaic panels covering 12,500 square feet.
(Photos by by Crystal Birns.)

The structure’s four large vertical spaces will be images by artist Juan Fuentes, a former Watsonville resident, whose work is included in the Smithsonian exhibit of Chicano Art. These cornerstone works will show the diverse backgrounds, similar stories, and the work undertaken by newly arriving immigrants. The first pieces that have been installed are “Mayan Warrior–Strawberry Picker,” and “Universal Man–Apple Picker.”⠀

Kathleen Crocetti and artist Juan Fuentes assemble the mosaic
Kathleen Crocetti instructs artist Juan Fuentes in the art of mosaic making; Right: Another artist assembles contrasting grey and black tiles for the large Civic Parking Garage mosaic panels.
(Photos by by Crystal Birns.)

At the “Muzzio Mosaic Arts Center” Kathleen and her team teach people how to make mosaics, cut tile, and use the tools needed for the project. Students who participate receive community service hours and snacks. The new Mobile Mosaic Unit is making appearances at farmers’ markets, with plans to travel to outdoor events as safety allows. ⠀

The Mobile Mosaic Unit attracts young artists at local farmers’ markets.
The Mobile Mosaic Unit attracts young artists at local farmers’ markets.
(Photo by Nick Morris.)

In 2020, during a year that provided many challenges, Santa Cruz County Bank pledged enthusiastic support for this project that fosters community connections and empowers youth through the creation of public art.

“The sponsorship Santa Cruz County Bank provided has been so important for this project. It allowed us to expand and to hire a bilingual outreach communicator, something we absolutely needed. It also allowed us to run our youth camp four nights a week last summer, and to make our Mobile Mosaic Unit a reality.“

— Kathleen Crocetti, Artist & Executive Director, Community Arts & Empowerment, Un Watsonville Brillante⠀

Santa Cruz County Bank is thrilled to support the Watsonville Brillante project, the community building at its core, and the artistic celebration of the vibrant and diverse past and present of Watsonville.⠀

More on Santa Cruz County Bank

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