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September 25, 2023

PHOTO: Mosaic grows on downtown Watsonville parking garage

The latest addition to the exterior walls of the six-story Civic Plaza parking garage on Rodriguez Street has been completed. The new installation features 30 colorful panels depicting early immigrants to the Pajaro Valley, including Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Irish, African American and others. A dozen panels also feature mixed cultural heritage imagery. The work, headed up by Watsonville artist Kathleen Crocetti, is the sixth phase of a 10-phase project. Crocetti said organizers are still searching for suggestions from the community about other cultural stories to fuse into future panels. For information, visit communityartsempowerment.org/be-represented.

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.


  1. After retiring, I’ve lived the last two decades in Watsonville. I was born, attended school, worked and lived in diverse parts of the country, but have never felt the need to advertise, proclaim or celebrate any cultural identity other than American. Please tell me how this mosaic project contributes to unifying the citizens of Watsonville by focusing on diverse foreign cultures. It seems we have to accept that American culture will continue to steadily disappear with the growing, unrestricted influx of immigrants into the country. It’s hard to believe that the current trends will result in the unification of our citizenry. I hope for the best for my descendants.

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  2. what an ignorant statement! go back to living in your pickle jar. the mosaics represent the MULTICULTURAL identity of Watsonville. we do not live in a western European white male dominated culture anymore, and you don’t understand why. OUR NATION IS LIKE A TOSSED SALAD , OR A BOUQUET OF GARDEN FLOWERS. we are not homogenous ; we celebrate our uniqueness and diversity. I am proud to be a long time member of the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz County. I am proud to be an out, gay Latino trustee for our community college which will have a new name next year.
    We are all part of it. including you. you just choose to IGNORE people who are not just like you, or view them as either inferior to you or portraying them as insignificant.
    you live in 1923, not 2023.
    The rest of us DO NOT.
    The mosaics are a new, beautiful part of downtown, helping to ERASE the sterility and institutional nature of the parking garage. I am so proud of them !

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