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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.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 BECKY agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-03 06:25 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love the mosaics, the tile work, the murals. They enrich our town so much, and are so enjoyable to look at. You sharing them so generously is very appreciated. (Now if anyone is so inclined as to give addresses to them all, that would be appreciated too.)

 

 COMMENT 237928 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-03 07:14 PM

I'm crazy about the mosaics, etc.. I do know where some of them are, but I'll have to take some walks to locate the others.

 

 HATTIE agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-03 11:09 PM

ditto becky's comment! muchas, muchas gracias. :-)

 

 COMMENT 237962 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-04 07:10 AM

i love mosaics!
and i share your sentiment, the mosaic on victoria has been a favorite of mine for years. these pictures were fabulous. what a treasure trove of art we have lurking in the nooks and crannies of s.b.
thank you for taking the time and effort to expose us to them.

 

 COMMENT 237992 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-04 08:51 AM

Wonderful! Thank you.

 

 COMMENT 237993 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-04 08:52 AM

What a fabulous collection.... where is the peacock mural/mosaic located? Thanks for sharing these great souvenirs with us.

 

 COMMENT 238006 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-04 10:15 AM

What EYES you have. Makes me realize I need to slow down, look around me and make discoveries. Absolutely fabulous!

 

 COMMENT 238010 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-04 10:49 AM

Loved them all! But where is that Mosaic staircase?

 

 AQUAHOLIC agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-04 11:16 AM

These are just wonderful...thank you for posting. I also adore mosaics and tile work, so great that we have an abundance here in SB. Your quest has uncovered some real gems, some I've seen, many I've not. I too would love to know the locales of these.

Funny, out of the whole bunch, I find the plaque that reads: "Jack to his friends, 1926" very intriguing... more on this??

 

 COMMENT 238067 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-04 04:20 PM

Urban Hiker here - we are trying to reconstruct where the mosaics, murals and other works of art featured in this article are located...we're pretty sure we can tell you where most of them are, or at least get you close enough so that a brief hike of your own will lead to their discovery. We'll try to give locations of otherwise unknown stuff in future articles too...stand by and we'll post what we know as soon as we get the list together. We're really glad you appreciate seeing these things as much as we do...who knows, we may have to write a part II piece sometime in the future.

 

 COMMENT 238088 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-04 06:59 PM

Urban Hikers here - Some of these works have been shown in previous Urban Hike articles, and if so, we noted which articles so you can read more about them or see additional related photos. We aren’t certain of the exact locations that some of these photos were taken, but we think we’ve narrowed them down pretty well. If we’re not positive, we put a “?” after the stated location. Good luck and happy hiking to those of you who go ISO...

Photo 1 - 925 mosaic - We think this is on the Westside, possibly near Upper Valerio?
Photo 2 - “X” - In front of The Pub on 224 Helena Street Photo 3 - “Joy” - Somewhere in the vicinity of Fellowship and Kenmore Roads?
Photo 4 - Tiled sidewalk - Somewhere in the vicinity of Fellowship and Kenmore Roads?
Photo 5 - “1003 with horseshoes” - near the Chase Restaurant 1012 State St. Photo 6 - “Stones imbedded in the sidewalk” - First Congregational Church - corner of State and Padre
Photos 7 & 8 - “Pinecone tile work” - Upper East - Padre between Garden and Laguna Streets?
Photo 9 - “Mosaic boulder” - On Garden Street near Mission Street
Photo 10 - “Alligator and 1028” - somewhere near the intersection of Foothill and Ontare?
Photo 11 - “Mosaic turtle” - Just off Coast Village on either Middle Rd. or Butterfly Ln.?
Photo 12 - “Sunflower boulder” - intersection of Mountain Drive and Mission Cyn.
Photo 13 - “Sun Mosaic boulder” - Mesa School Lane near the Wilcox?
Photo 14- “Mid- Century mosaic” - 112 E. Victoria St. Photo 15 - “Mosaic map of the Islands” - Hendry’s /Arroyo Burro
Photo 16 - “Mosaic showing coastline and plane” - new terminal at SB Airport
Photo 17 - “Birds at birdbath mosaic” - Eastside Dental Clinic - 923 N. Milpas St.
Photo 18 - “Saint mosaic” - Delores School - 100 block E. Micheltorena Street
Photo 19 - “Mosaic mailbox” - upper Ontare?
Photo 20 - ”1873 mosaic” - Las Canoas, near Skofield Park?
Photos 21 & 22- “WPA mosaic” - in the SB Museum on Helena Street near Cabrillo Blvd.
Photo 23 - “Tiled stairs” - Las Alturas near Loma Media?
Photo 24 - “ Tiled stairs” - West of State - near Las Rosas Lane?
Photo 25 - “Tiled staircase with escalator next to it” - SB Airport
Photo 26- “ Ambassador Sulfur Baths stairs” - On Natoma near Burton Circle - Old Ambassador Hotel
Photo 27 - “Galleon tile mural” - Street in Spain - El Paseo
Photo 28 - “Tile work with Buddha” - Ontare near Santa Teresita?
Photo 29 - “Italian scene tile mural” - Helena Street at old Italian Pottery store
Photo 30 - “George Washington Smith Award tile” - Downtown somewhere near Nordstrom - Canon Perdido?
Photo 31 - “Copper Coffee Pot tile mural” - At Aldo’s Restaurant 1029 State Photo 32 - “Tile mural with Henry Kirke White Poetry” - 3003 Samarkand Dr - Our Samarkand UH article tells a little about this home
Photos - 33 & 34 - “Colorful birds t... [ more ]

 

 COMMENT 238091 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-04 07:17 PM

Love it!!! Thank you so much! What a fun and worthwhile pursuit. Coffee table book?

 

 COMMENT 238260 agree helpful negative off topic

2011-12-05 12:51 PM

Hi Urban Hiker- I work in the Mullen & Henzell building at 112 East Victoria and have loved that mural since before I was hired here over 17 years ago. To clarify, the mural is signed "EA" in the lower left corner. I have inquired about the mural to many but no one here seems to know who "EA" is. As far as we know it was commissioned when the building was constructed in the late 40s early 50s but that's it. Since we are not the original occupants we don't have the original blueprints. There is an off chance that the mural is referenced in the original building plans but, if anyone has looked at plans from that era, many details were not required to be included as they are now. I hope someone out there may know more and will be willing to share with all of us who love that mural.

Thanks!

 

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