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December 5, 2023

Local artist adds mosaic to Watsonville library

WATSONVILLE—A new large mosaic now graces the second floor of the main branch of the Watsonville Public Library.

Created by Watsonville artist Kathleen Crocetti, the 10-by-12 work incorporates elements of the original library logo, the Pajaro Valley and the nearby coast.

“It’s based on an aerial view of the Pajaro Valley,” said Alicia Martinez, principal librarian. “We’re all really pleased with it. So far, everyone’s reaction has been very positive. We were surprised that they put it all in over the weekend—it went in so quickly.”

The mosaic includes the early-day logo for the library when it used to be on nearby Union Street, with a silhouette of a bird beneath the arched letters, WATSONVILLE. The centerpiece of the mural is a large unfolded book with images of agriculture fields of the region and the words, in English and Spanish, “Crossroads to Cultures.” 

That image was originally created by Watsonville artist Heidi Gottfried. 

Martinez said the mural was inspired by a series of circular mosaics embedded in the sidewalks along downtown Main Street, also created by Crocetti. Those mosaics feature various images depicting area history, culture and agriculture.

Crocetti said that once the city adopted a new seal, the previous logo was abandoned, until now. When library personnel recently decided to replace a section of carpet on the second floor with tile, the idea of a mosaic came into play.

Crocetti said the new mosaic was created at the nearby Muzzio Mosaic Art Center, 26 West Front St. A group of library staff and community members took part in the installation.

“The library floor was our first project,” Crocetti said. “Now we’re working on Watsonville Brillante.”

The massive Watsonville Brillante is a five-year, $1.5 million project approved by the City Council that will install a 12,000-square-foot mosaic on the parking structure on Rodriguez Street next to the Civic Plaza. It will go up in 10 installations, one 1,200-square-foot section every six months. 

“We’re looking at getting started once the winter rains move on, in late March or April,” Crocetti said. “Right now we have a team of 23 teens working on the first phase of the project.”

The project is being done by Community Arts and Empowerment, Crocetti’s non-profit organization.

Teens are encouraged to stop by and work on the mosaic Watsonville Brillante Mon., Tues, and Thurs. 3-7:30 p.m. All ages are welcome from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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