One of these days, I will realize that I should never ever leave my camera at home.
Even while serving jury duty.
I walked around downtown Long Beach at lunch time (potential jurors get very long lunches) and found wonderful mosaics in the sidewalk along 1st Street between Long Beach Blvd. and Pacific, and along Long Beach Blvd. between Ocean and 3rd Street. The stretch along Long Beach Blvd. is the Transit Mall, from what I understand.
And maybe there's more . . . I didn't walk every block downtown by any means.
I saw crabs, jelly fish, snails, barnacles (right), anemones, and all sorts of sea creatures--and some land creatures too, like gulls.
Looking for information on the mosaics, I found this explanation of how they were made, along with the artist's name, at LandscapeOnline.com:
Shoreline-themed mosaic art by Robin Brailsford showcases coastal plants and animals. The sidewalk mosaic designs are keyed to the lettered bus shelters, e.g., the barnacle at Shelter B, and the crab at Shelter C. Brailsford, along with Lee and Ron Shaw, is a co-inventor of “LithoMosaic.” Her artistic tiles are white-glued to paper, then set on hardibacker board with thinset. The art is then set by the mason into a monolithic concrete pour à la Lithocrete technique.
Artist Robin Brailsford invented and patented the LithoMosaic process, by the way.Her website shows pictures of an installation in San Diego. (other options at the website don't seem to be working, though...)
Since I didn't have my camera, I'm using LandscapeOnline's pictures--I hope they don't mind. I suspect their pictures may actually have come from the city of Long Beach or whatever PR firm is used by them. Because these pictures look exceptionally professional., don't they?
Some of the money to fund this came from the Long Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, a function now taken over by the city itself. The rest came from cooperative efforts between the city's Public Works Dept., the Metropolitan Transit Authority (a lot of this art is at the southern terminus of the Blue Line), and federal funding through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
The project that brought us the mosaics also created new shelters and bus stops,like the one at left.
The article at Landscape Online discusses some of the particular challenges of the Transit Gallery project, like basement areas, lighting, and uneven curb heights and sidewalk slopes.
The mosaics are actually coded to match the letter of each shelter/stop--so, anemones at Shelter A, the Barnacle at Shelter B, and Crabs at Shelter C.
There are eight canopied shelters, built by Birdair, but I'm not sure how many have mosaics.
This Facebook photo page is the motherlode of pictures showing the construction and artwork along the sidewalks. It's called "Ah, ha! Shoreline Stroll." It shows that the mosaics include lizards, pelicans, and bees.
Giant bees! If you're squeamish, these will give you nightmares.
More pictures--really beautiful shots that show the mosaics in the concrete--are here at Shaw & Sons Concrete website, who collaborated with Brailsford on the project.
Brailsford is now working on the Irwindale Station of the Gold Line--you can see an video of her talking about the history of that community here, on YouTube. Her artwork will be both built into the pavement, and set into a trellis overhead.