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January 24, 2021

Watsonville Brillante extends open call for local artists

Final deadline for entries is Feb. 10

WATSONVILLE—Watsonville Brillante, the ongoing community mosaic project spearheaded by Community Arts Empowerment (CAE), has extended its deadline for art submissions to Feb. 10. Organizers are looking for local artists’ work to be featured on the six-story parking garage on Rodriguez Street, which is attached to the Watsonville Civic Plaza.

The project, which includes four large vertical pieces by Watsonville-born artist Juan Fuentes, has been moving forward during the pandemic. But Executive Director of CAE Kathleen Crocetti says they have not had enough entries for the 184 smaller, horizontal sections. 

“We’ve only received about 10 entries, and we’ve had the call out for a year,” Crocetti said. “This is the third time we’ve extended the deadline. We want people to know they can still submit work.”

CAE aims to represent in the mosaics the various cultural backgrounds of Watsonville’s population: Mexican, Filipino, Slavic, etc. They offer a list of cultures on their website, but anyone can add to it.

There is no age limit to submit—student work will also be considered. Crocetti says they have developed curriculum materials for local art teachers, and are hoping this will encourage their students to get involved.

“We really like to promote student work,” she said. “We’re trying to push to get classes involved.”

The open call is for anyone living in or within a 10-mile radius of Watsonville, including places such as Pajaro, Corralitos and Freedom. Artists can submit a maximum of five pieces. Organizers are looking for designs such as patterns, textiles, tattoo designs or symbols such as crests and seals.

“Whatever drawing is submitted, it will be translated into tiles,” Crocetti said. “So stay simple, limit your color range. We can’t do things like ombré.”

After submissions are in, the organization will invite the community to vote on a group of semifinalists. The public voting will be anonymous. The selections will need to go to the Arts commission for approval before August, when CAE will begin fabricating the tiles and hand out prize money. 

Crocetti hopes Watsonville Brillante will help keep artists inspired when creative spaces, including CAE’s headquarters, remain shuttered during the pandemic. 

“We will hopefully open up once we are down into the red tier,” she said. “We are eager to do art together again. But this is a way you can do it now, too.”For information visit communityartsempowerment.org/local-artists-invitation.

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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