Source: North County Times, San Diego, USA
26 April 2011
pilgrims, visitors came to run their hands across the intricate
stained-glass mosaic of the Virgin Mary riding a surfboard that
some unknown artists glued to the side of a concrete bridge support
on Encinitas Boulevard.
The mural was quietly installed just before Easter under the trestle
bridge, between Vulcan Avenue and Coast Highway 101. City officials
say no one has claimed responsibility for the work.
The mosaic is more than pretty. Posted on public property, its
presence forces the North County Transit District, the government
agency that owns the bridge, to make a call: Should the work stay
or should it go? Alex Wiggins, a spokesman for the district, said
that nothing has been decided.
"We really need to sit down and work out what some of the
concerns are," Wiggins said. "Hopefully, in the next couple
of days, we'll send out a statement."
The mural has the potential to push several buttons ---- it inserts
a religious theme on public property and it depicts a sacred image,
Our Lady of Guadalupe, in an unconventional pose.
To Catholics, Our Lady of Guadalupe is an icon of the Virgin Mary
who they believe appeared miraculously in Guadalupe, Mexico. She
is also the patron saint of the Americas.
The San Diego Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church did not respond
to a request for comment Tuesday.
Visitors seem mostly fascinated by the artists' workmanship.
UPDATE 29 APRIL 2011
source: The Coast News
Residents ask for public art reprieve
by Wehtahnah Tucker
Coast News Group
Witnesses say that artists dressed as construction workers installed
a 10-foot square mosaic art piece depicting Our Lady of Guadalupe
as a surfer under a railroad bridge on Encinitas Boulevard. Down
the left side of the mosaic are the words “Save The Ocean.”
A few residents urged City Council on April 27 to grant amnesty
to a surfing Madonna mosaic secretly installed under a railroad
trestle along one of the town’s busiest roadways. The speakers
requested that the piece of art be left alone to adorn the city’s
While the council is not allowed to address speakers’ questions
during the session, city officials have said that the mural must
be removed and wondered how much damage will be done to the existing
structure in the process.
"It fits the definition of graffiti,” said Richard Phillips,
assistant city manager. "The city’s anti-graffiti ordinance
is broad enough to include more than just someone spray-painting
a wall. Rather, it is written to cover everything from advertising
stickers to messages scratched into surfaces," he added.
Several people asked the council to let it remain in place for
at least 90 days and urged the city to grant amnesty to the mosaic’s
creators if they step forward and admit that they made it. City
officials said they were considering whether to file a complaint
with law enforcement and seek removal costs from the artist or artists.
"As vandals go, we are dealing with a highly evolved species
here,” Leucadia resident Kathleen Lees said. She said she
considered the mosaic to be lovely and beautifully installed.
Mike Clark, an Encinitas resident, offered to assist the city with
preserving the “first-rate” art. He told city officials
that if they would allow the mosaic to go through the city's regular
public art review process in the next 90 days, he personally would
put up Plexiglass to protect it.
The city and the North County Transit District, which is the government
agency that owns the bridge, have determined that the mosaic is
within an area that the city controls.
Phillips emphasized that the city has a standard public art review
process in which the city’s Arts Commission vets proposals.
But some residents did not know the origin of the art and were unconcerned
about its lack of confirmation by the city. “I think that
anyone who spent this much time and energy and made such a beautiful
piece of art for everyone to enjoy should be thanked, not demonized,”
said Paul Francis, an Escondido resident who came to Encinitas specifically
to view the mural. “I think the city should let this one go
(and keep it in place).”
Officials are meeting with the city attorney early next week to
determine how best to proceed.
UPDATE 6 JUNE 2011
The mystery artist who created the much-loved surfing Madonna mosaic
in Encinitas came forward after weeks of silence and accepted responsibility
for his rogue public art piece. He is longtime Leucadia resident
Mark Patterson, 58.
UPDATE 23 JUNE 2011
The mosaic dubbed the "Surfing Madonna," which had been
an object of curiosity and controversy in the seaside suburb of
Encinitas in northern San Diego County, was removed Wednesday night
under an agreement between the artist and city officials.
Under the agreement, the mosaic is to be relocated off public property.
The artist, Mark Patterson, paid the cost of the removal, as well
as a $500 fine and other expenses attached to the mysterious appearance
and now removal of the mosaic on the bridge overpass near Moonlight
Source: Los Angeles Times
UPDATE 2 JULY 2012
The Surfing Madonna mosaic has finally found a home on the wall of a courtyard near the corner of North Coast Highway and Jasper Street, between a coffeehouse and a surf shop.
Source: Union-Tribune, San Diego