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more articles like this
URBAN HIKE

Mosaics, Murals and More
updated: Dec 03, 2011, 9:30 AM

By the Urban Hikers, Stacey Wright & Peter Hartmann

We've walked over 95% of the city streets in Santa Barbara, discovering new things and photographing all along the way. Today we'll share some of our city's wonderful mosaics, murals, tile work and more. Some will surely be familiar; others may be works of art you've never seen before. Whether you love them or not, they make up the fabric of our town.

These are some of the works of art we've found set in sidewalks. Each has brought us joy, so we find photo # 3 particularly apropos.

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We're fortunate to have a number of Dan Chrynko's exquisite creations around town, as well as other boulder art that appears to be the work of other artists. Disclaimer: We saw the turtle on a hike that took us just outside the City Limits, off Coast Village Road. Consequently, including it in this collection is a bending of the "rules"...but it's just too delightful not to include.

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We usually try not to play favorites, but in the case of local mosaic murals we must confess that there is one we love best. It's a mid-century beauty in the 100 block of E. Victoria Street on the wall of a local law firm. It appears to be unsigned and not dated and we'd sure love to hear the story behind it if anyone knows it.

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And then there are mosaics people use outside their homes for functional purposes.

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We found this historic mosaic during our hike of the Funk Zone, and although it's no longer public art, we thought it was worth including in our "collection". If you want to see this WPA creation, stop into the Santa Barbara Museum at the end of Helena Street near Cabrillo Blvd. We'd love to see it returned to a public place, but unfortunately it could never go back to the old union hall - it's now the location of Chapala One, the disastrous condo project Bill Levy dreamed up.

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Amazing tile work abounds in Santa Barbara. Here are examples of tiled staircases you might not ever have seen.

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And examples of a variety of tiled creations.

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And while we're not sure how to describe this work (and we realize it doesn't contain any tiles), it's just so fun and funky that we decided to throw it in. It's located on the Mesa.

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Last, but not least, a few painted murals that add to our unique community.

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As always we encourage you to go out and explore the city, meet your neighbors, keep your eyes, ears and minds open to all that you encounter, and above all, expect the unexpected.

 

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