Downtown artwork receives international recognition

This circular mosaic is one of 16 such installations on downtown sidewalks as part of the "Celebrating the Diversity of Labor" project. (File photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — Watsonville artist Kathleen Crocetti’s "Celebrating the Diversity of Labor" project was recently awarded the 2019 Best Community Project in the 18th Annual Mosaic Arts International Juried Exhibition.

Crocetti’s project will be represented at the Nashville Public Library Art Gallery in Tennessee along with 18 other installations from artists around the world. The exhibit, which includes another set of works at the Parthenon Museum in Nashville, runs through May 19.

"Celebrating the Dignity of Labor" is a series of 16 mosaic medallions, embedded in the sidewalks along three intersections on Main Street in downtown Watsonville. It was completed in 2017.

Each tiled medallion, placed in sequential order, represents a wave of immigrants Watsonville has seen over the years, and the work they were involved in, such as mustard growing for the Chinese and wheat for the Danish.

The design for the mosaics came from a series of community meetings Crocetti held early in 2017, where she gathered input on how each group should be represented. Community members were later invited to help put together the mosaics.

The Mosaic Arts International exhibit is a juried exhibit of contemporary architectural and in-situ mosaics from the Society of American Mosaic Artists’ international membership. The Architectural & Site-Specific segment, where Crocetti’s work is featured, was juried by Kim Emerson, founder of the San Diego Mosaic School.

The Nashville Public Library Art Gallery portion of the exhibition features the works of 19 artists from the United States, Canada, Australia and Brazil.

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