Environ. Horticulture, Pears, Cherries, and Viticulture
University of California
Environ. Horticulture, Pears, Cherries, and Viticulture

Huge New Strawberry Themed Mosaic in Watsonville

If you live in Watsonville, have you seen this?  This is on the side of the parking garage next to Courthouse and library on the south side of Main Street.

It extends the full five levels of the parking garage.  It's not difficult to feel the immensity of the thing, and in turn I think it's meant to communicate the immensity of labor involved in picking all of the strawberries.  It's some serious tilework there too - I'm doing some of my own at home and just thinking about doing this one at about 50x the size and complexity dazzles.

Beyond the idea of size though, not being too familiar with the history of pre-Colombian Mexico, I can't say I can interpret the Aztec pictogram and then I'm a bit thrown by the strand of barbed wire separating this from the rest of the mosaic below. One thing that does strike deeply to even the casual observer is the blank look on the face of the worker - no pupils drawn into the eyes and the mouth in a frown.  Not feeling a lot of joy here, and to me it's the look of resignation.


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Posted on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 11:44 AM


Hi Mark,  
I did a little googling. The artist is Juan R. Fuentes. The piece is titled "Strawberry Picker" but the original artwork on Fuentes's website is titled "Mayan Warrior".

Posted by David Miller on January 27, 2021 at 7:36 AM

Thank you David, I checked it out. He's a pretty prolific and celebrated artist!

Posted by Mark Bolda on January 27, 2021 at 9:05 AM

Hi all,  
And isn't that the UFW logo in the palm of the warrior.

Posted by Rebecca Maud Bozarth on January 27, 2021 at 11:21 AM

I think so yes. Obviously, why it would be in the hand of an apparently fallen Mesoamerican warrior of several hundred years ago is a discussion that would be interesting for sure, but certainly one I am not going to pursue here!

Posted by Mark Bolda on January 27, 2021 at 12:07 PM

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