Today's mosaic--you can just see it, next to the parking entry driveway--is on the corner of Arroyo Parkway and Del Mar in Pasadena.
Had I known then what I know now (then meaning the moment on Sunday afternoon when I was stopped at a light, thankful that I had my camera with me even though my stomach was growling) I would have cut across traffic and flipped a U turn worthy of Vin Diesel to get back to that corner.
Why? Well, although the building is clearly a fancy apartment house, the street-level business is a shop called "Flour & Tea."
Flour & Tea, it turns out, makes some specialty bakery items. I was hungry and wondered where I could stop, park for free or cheap, and get something to eat. Had I known that the shop in this photo makes a Nutella Cake with "two slathers of Nutella between layers of chocolate cake," nothing could have stopped me from indulging.
Especially since I wound up with a rather nasty tuna sandwich from a Fresh & Easy instead, possibly the worst tuna sandwich I've ever had. (How can you ruin a tuna sandwich? I mean, seriously? Well, they did. I can only say that I was thankful the pickle overwhelmed the fish. . . and that I didn't get sick.)
You can see the Flour & Tea window in this closer view of the mosaic, which faces Del Mar. I hope that the planter box is temporary because it doesn't seem to belong there.
Oops--just saw a photo from 2009. The planter has always been there, apparently.
Facing Arroyo Parkway, there is another mosaic, this one in yellow (below left). Very 50s.
The mosaics are part of The Dalton, a condominium project erected in 2009. Bob Champion was the developer, and he hired Bob Zoell to design the mosaics.
One of the perks of these condos is that they were built with gallery walls, ready to receive private art collections. Floor to ceiling windows too. The Pasadena Star News wrote about the features here.
Bob Zoell has done mosaic tile pillars for the Wilshire/Vermont Station, Metro Red Line. Here is Zoell's Metro biography:
Bob Zoell’s artwork has been featured in the New Yorker magazine and he has authored and illustrated many children’s books. He has been included in exhibitions throughout the world including the Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona and the Center Georges Pompidou, Paris. His artwork is included in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
His webiste--BobZoell.com--is a trip. He's done covers for the New Yorker magazine, and in the 80s did artwork on street and bridge underpasses in LA.. He's also done work for the San Francisco Airport and created the Bubble glass wall at the Castaic Sports Complex Aquatic Center. Most of his art is geometric, not mosaic. I learned there are three mosaic murals at the Dalton, so clearly I've missed one. And I do need to taste that Nutella Cake , , ,
One more thought:
In 2010, I mentioned some old mosaic panels in an old strip of shops off Western Avenue in San Pedro, including a very old barber shop. This is the picture from that post.
That strip of shops is now, technically, Rancho Palos Verdes, no longer San Pedro. Still, can you see the similarities between Zoell's work and this--which, for all I know, was his inspiration?
Maybe the unknown artist who designed the panels did the same for many other shops in suburbs and cities throughout the Southland.
Is it possible that little Bobby Zoell got his hair cut in San Pedroin the 1950s? Just wondering.