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April 19, 2021

Local artist seeks new home for community safety mural

In late July of 2019, a large, four-panel mural by Peter Bartczak of Clown Bank Studios was hoisted up onto the side of the old Watsonville City Hall.

The mural depicted a family of ducks, carefully crossing a street in a crosswalk in front of two automobiles. It aimed to send the message to passersby of the importance of traffic and pedestrian safety—still a hot topic in South County.

The piece remained installed at that location for a year and a half, as part of Pajaro Valley Arts’ annual Moveable Murals project. But last week, a new set of murals were installed for the exhibit, and now Bartczak is looking for a new home for his piece.

“I think the message of the piece is still important—maybe even more so,” Bartczak said. “The theme is road safety… this is still a really big problem here. Between so many oblivious pedestrians, and outraged drivers… it’s not a good combo.”

Bartczak hopes to keep the mural downtown, or in another high-traffic area of the city with a lot of visibility. Putting it on the side of a business, he says, would be ideal, but he is also approaching the city of Watsonville.

“I have three options; sell it, throw it out or put it in storage,” he said. “But I really want this to be seen. I hope it will be interesting enough to penetrate people’s consciousness… so they’ll think more about what’s beyond their little world.”

Bartczak said it was a long process to create the 20-by-8 foot mural. He could only do a couple panels at a time in his small studio; when it was installed for Moveable Murals it was the first time he saw the entire piece completed.

“It was a nice surprise, like unwrapping a present,” he said.

Bartczak is hoping to sell the piece, with his current price at $2,500, but says he is also willing to offer a trade.

“Or, if none of those work out, I could donate,” he said.

“Public art is meant to inform and entertain both at the same time,” Bartczak added. “Lessons are often pounded into our heads. But it doesn’t have to be unpleasant to learn a lesson, to increase our awareness.”


Anyone interested can contact Bartczak through email: [email protected] He is also available for future commissions. For information visit clownbankstudio.com/home.

Johanna Miller
Johanna Miller
Reporter Johanna Miller grew up in Watsonville, attending local public schools and Cabrillo College before transferring to Pacific University Oregon to study Literature. She covers arts and culture, business and agriculture.

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