kathleen crocetti watsonville plaza sculptures
Watsonville artist Kathleen Crocetti (second from right) confers with Marcia Hashimoto (right), Kenny Kusumoto and others recently while refining plans for a new art installation in Watsonville Plaza. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

Plans are underway to install four larger-than-life sculptures in downtown Watsonville as part of an overall redesign of Watsonville Plaza. 

While the historical gazebo/bandstand, designed by famed architect William Weeks, will still maintain its spot in the plaza center, ideas are being discussed to retrofit the bandstand to once again function as a performance stage, and to accommodate live performances and larger community gatherings.

The new sculptures, designed by Watsonville artist Kathleen Crocetti—with input from the community—will complement the classic design of the plaza and its radial paths that lead to the center.

kathleen crocetti watsonville plaza sculptures
This small model shows an early concept for one of the plaza sculptures. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

“I’m grateful to all the community members who came out to my meetings, their input significantly changed the direction I was going in with the sculptures, ensuring that they are accurate and respectful of each culture,” Crocetti said. 

The four sculptures will represent Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino, Mexican and Central American, European and Indigenous people. 

Final designs need to go before the Parks and Community Services Commission for approval in late January.

“I feel Incredibly honored to be offered this opportunity and very happy we are able to support three artist interns in the development of the work: Paul De Worken, Melissa West and Suzanne Duckler, all of Watsonville,” Crocetti said.

“We’re looking at retrofitting the internal structure of the bandstand,” said Nick Calubaquib, director of Watsonville Parks and Community Services Department. “This is to allow for future performances with better space. The work is part of the Plaza Revitalization Project that will start up at the end of 2024. It calls for some underground electrical work to further enhance events like the holiday lighting as well as new picnic tables and benches. It’ll be really nice.” 

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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.


  1. Plant new trees and shrubs that will have beautiful fall color to look at. I think it’ll attract people to it and at the same time they’ll spend money in the local small business. This should also be done around all the walking trails around the slough so more families will have somewhere nice to walk with their kids.
    Consider planting a botanical garden or having an arboretum like UCDavis has. The trail could use some clearing and beautification.

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  2. We would like to be represented also as we were the ones who made the Pajaro valley grow, we are Italians and Croatians. We are the farmers who are the backbone of this city. If you choose to represent “some” nationalities, you must represent “all of us who built this city in the first place.”

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    • This is the beauty of our community. Our “diverse contribution” from citizens in the arts, education and religious backgrounds certainly are represented by young and senior citizens. Our beautiful plaza can use more beautification representing our horticulture riches of flowers, trees etc and giving credit also to our farmworkers.

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