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The community project is led by artist Kathleen Crocetti, with collaborative partner Maha Taitano, and the City of Capitola as part of the Capitola Wharf Enhancement Project. Funding for the initiative was generously contributed by donors supporting the project. The artwork will be incorporated into the updated entranceway of the Capitola Wharf and an additional public art piece.
Kathleen is a well-known artist in Santa Cruz County having completed over 2 dozen large-scale community-generated public mosaics within the County showcasing the creativity of over 300 contributing artists in the process. Kathleen is also the founder and CEO of the non-profit arts organization Community Arts & Empowerment whose mission is to make public art for, by, and with the community. Their ongoing 12,500 square-foot mosaic project titled “Watsonville Brillante” has gained international attention, winning “Best in Show” in 2023 in the annual mosaic art competition by the Society of American Mosaic Artists.
Maha Taitano is one of Kathleens’ collaborative partners, chosen for her unique voice, integrity, eye for detail, and passion for her craft. Maha is an artist of color who mines her unique cultural heritages to address complex issues of gender, race, and oppression in America. Maha was born in Baghdad, just before the rise of the Iraq-Iran war. With her Chamoru mom and Iranqi father, she fled to Beirut, Lebanon, only to be forced to flee again due to the 1980 Lebanon War. Maha’s unique perspective as a Pacific Islander/Arab person of color has informed her long-standing investigation of systemic oppression of individuals and communities of color.
This dynamic duo completed the beautiful mosaic “Dancing Waters” on the Front St. Garage in Santa Cruz with the help of the Santa Cruz community in 2023. We are lucky to have these thoughtful, articulate artists residing in our County and are honored to have their combined visions and skills to enhance the Capitola Wharf.
Follow the Capitola Wharf Enhancement Project (CWEP) on Instagram @capitolawharfenhancement