WATSONVILLE—The second round of voting for the next large installation of “Watsonville Brillante” has opened.
A project from accomplished local artist Kathleen Crocetti, “Watsonville Brillante” is a 12,000-square-foot tile mosaic that will cover the outside of the six-story Watsonville Civic Plaza parking garage at the corner of Rodriguez and Second streets.
Those looking to cast their vote can visit communityartsempowerment.org/juan-fuentes-vote and choose their top three images from a selection of eight works from nationally-renowned artist Juan Fuentes, a 1969 Watsonville High School graduate. People can also vote in the Watsonville Public Library or at the Watsonville Farmers’ Market every Friday.
The voting will close on March 1.
Last year, more than 500 people voted during Phase 1. “Strawberry Picker,” a black and white work from Fuentes that depicts a Latinx fieldworker shadowed by an indigenous ancestor, was the runaway winner. It also received unanimous approval from the Watsonville Parks & Recreation Commission in early August.
Since its approval, dozens of community members have lent a hand creating the 1,200-square-foot piece at the Muzzio Park Community Center, just down the street from its eventual home. Crocetti said the image is ahead of schedule and will be placed once the city pressure washes the exterior of the garage.
“We’ve had a lot more young people show up at the center over the first two months than we first thought, and they’ve been great,” Crocetti said.
The next four top vote-getters from Phase 1 are included in Phase 2 along with four new works from Fuentes, who specializes in woodblock prints that depict the growth and history of the Chicano/Latinx movement. Fuentes for years worked as an artist and cultural activist in San Francisco and owns his own printmaking studio, Pajaro Editions.
“He’s super proud and honored to be part of this and we’re super excited to be using his images,” Crocetti said.
Crocetti also said a call for local artists to contribute work to “Watsonville Brillante” recently opened. Along with the large, single mosaic images on the garage’s tall vertical walls, the $1.5 million project will also fill in the 184 smaller horizontal sections of the structure with work from local artists.
The bilingual call for art application is available at communityartsempowerment.org and will be available until June 8. It is open to Watsonville residents or people living within a 10-mile radius of the city’s limits.
Artists selected will receive $100 for their first drawing and $50 for every subsequent work.
“These horizontal spots are where we want to showcase and celebrate Watsonville’s local artists,” Crocetti said. “We want as much input from them as possible.”