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City taking comments on proposed mosaic

ENCINITAS — Encinitas officials will vote in two weeks on whether to accept the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project’s massive mosaic proposed for the city’s new Marine Safety Center.

The City Council is expected to take the proposed donation up at its Sept. 28 meeting.  The nonprofit, which spawned from the original guerrilla art piece that received international attention, announced in August it was commissioning the $20,000 mural, that will depict the various fish and marine wildlife below the surface of the ocean. Several artists are collaborating on the piece: renowned ocean artist Scott Walt, illustrator Peggy Sue Florio Zepeda, glass producer/finisher Bob Zepeda, and Mark Patterson, who created the original “Surfing Madonna” mosaic in 2011.

In the announcement, they said the 8-by-15-foot stained glass artwork would be placed on the new lifeguard tower, which is expected to be completed by Memorial Day next year.

But the City Council is the ultimate arbiter of art being placed on public property, rights of way and facilities, including the tower.

The city is inviting residents to give public comment about the artwork design, proposed donation to the city and the proposed location. Comment cards, along with a color rendering of the design and samples of the glass mosaic, are available at the Encinitas Library and City Hall through Sept. 24.

The Surfing Madonna Oceans Project has been at the forefront of raising awareness of the plight of the ocean, largely funded through proceeds from a popular eponymous 5K/10K race. The new mural is being paid for from race proceeds.

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