juan fuentes kathleen crocetti watsonville brillante
San Francisco artist Juan R. Fuentes and Watsonville artist Kathleen Crocetti talk about the ongoing mosaic project, Watsonville Brillante, Sunday in front of one of the downtown project's many mosaic murals. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

WATSONVILLE—Around 240 people attended an art reception and walk Sunday in downtown Watsonville to view the works of San Francisco artist Juan R. Fuentes. 

The tour stemmed off a reception at PV Arts in the Porter Building, where the current exhibit features more than 50 works in woodcut, linocut, screenprint and posters by Fuentes that span the 1970s to the present. The Art Walk followed the reception and was headed up by Fuentes and Watsonville artist Kathleen Crocetti.

The tour started beneath the first mural that went up at Watsonville Brillante by Fuentes titled “Mayan Warrior,” featuring a farmworker picking strawberries.

Fuentes helped the crowd understand what went into the giant work on the Rodriguez Street parking structure and how stunned he was by its magnitude when he first saw it in person. Crocetti then explained, step by step, how the mosaics are created at the nearby Muzzio Mosaic Art Center by teams of volunteers and then mounted on the parking structure by a crew from Rinaldi Tile & Marble.

Valéria Miranda, executive director at PV Arts, said the Fuentes show falls beneath a larger umbrella unfolding in Watsonville that she hopes will foster an ongoing collaboration of art, artists and their venues in the Pajaro Valley.

“We are working to bridge the efforts and events of places like PV Arts, Judy Gittelsohn’s Studio Judy G, the new Watsonville Center for the Arts, Muzzio Mosaic Art Center and hopefully more,” Miranda said. 

The exhibit, by the Watsonville High graduate, “Resilience: Works of Strength and Dignity 2023,” runs through the end of May.

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. 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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