Watsonville Brillante: A vision of mosaic art celebrating Watsonville’s migrants, comes to life
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. ⠀
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.”⠀
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. ⠀
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.⠀
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