Monday, August 11, 2014

Mosaic Monday, Vacation Edition

This week, we're going to Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County, just 15 miles south of San Francisco.

Here's a closeup of  the above, so you can see the craftsmanship.

I can't pretend to know anything about the city of Half Moon Bay beyond what a one-day tourist would see. Half Moon Bay has a charming Main Street lined with galleries, bistros, and boutiques.

That's where I found this 10-foot tall mosaic, created by Sue Prichard, an artist from Montara.

She taught middle school in South San Francisco for years, but by 2001 Prichard had taken early retirement and was focusing on art.

And biography-wise, that's all I can say about her. Couldn't find a website or FB page.

Sue Prichard is also the artist who installed smaller mosaics about a block away, at Main and Kelly, in a small park named Mac Dutra, after a late civic leader. I think it's more accurately a plaza, but it is referred to as a park in most places.

According to a story in the local newspaper, Prichard organized the making and installing of dozens of mosaic tiles in 2001, using funds from grants, including a $4,000 grant from the Peninsula Community Foundation that got the work started.

As she worked, Prichard invited onlookers to help glue in pieces of the mosaic and then sign a guestbook. Eventually, local families and individuals were creating flowers, while Prichard concentrated on making the vines that would link them all together--a nice metaphor for a community art project. Folks branched out, making ladybugs and birds as well.

In the picture at left, you can see a giraffe and the cow that jumped over the moon on the right.

Here's a paragraph from a 2001 newspaper article written by Mark Simon for SF Gate:

Look closely and you'll find a rainbow, a kitten with a green stripe, butterflies, a Brazilian bird and a lizard with an orange tongue made by a young boy who was visiting Half Moon Bay for chemotherapy treatments. There's a bird made by a girl in a wheelchair, a Kachina doll, turtles, snakes, a dark blue octopus and a Wheaten terrier that Prichard named Merlin. There's a turtle with a dime and an abalone shell in its back, a shark, a huge green crocodile with a purple eye, ladybug marbles, a squirrel, two glass dragonflies, a caterpillar, another cat named Goldberry and a half moon.

I think some of those objects--the Goldberry cat. a shark, and a glass dragonfly--may be on the low curb behind the planter, on the right. There's a pony on the  left, next to a ladybug.

The effort took about two years to pull off. That's a picture of Prichard above, in the park, from the paper, and she feels the city has allowed the park to deteriorate.

Which must be true, since the city dissolved its Parks & Rec Dept. three years ago. Rusting picnic benches were pulled out last year. How could things not go downhill from there?

Plans to renovate Mac Dutra Park (which is very small) are worrying the artist. Art has gone missing before, and she is concerned that this may happen again. The article does not say where the $200,000 for renovations will come from.

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