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Putting the Pieces Together to Save the Surfing Madonna

Committee is starting fundraising efforts this week to preserve the Surfing Madonna after its removal.

The Surfing Madonna needs a savior. And it may be here as early as this week.

The fate of the mosaic under the Encinitas Boulevard train overpass is waiting on City Hall for now—testing the mosaic for its  won't take place until early June—and supporters worry about damage from vandalism in the meantime. (Small chunks of the glass pebbles in the “Save the Ocean” part of the mosaic are currently missing.)

Dody Crawford, executive director of the , asked the City Council at its May 25 meeting to consider a request to put a temporary, protective cover over the mosaic, which would have been paid for by a Cardiff resident and installed by Encinitas Glass. But because of Brown Act open-meeting laws, the council couldn’t muster the necessary votes to put the item on that night’s agenda.

But while the Madonna is stranded in bureaucratic limbo, community organizations are gearing up to help preserve her and find her a new home. DEMA, Leucadia 101, Leucadia Town Council and Highway 101 coordinator Peder Norby are among those who have formed a committee to raise funds for the mosaic. The group’s name and website should be online this week, Crawford says, and people will be able to make tax-deductible donations. The group doesn’t have a target fundraising goal yet, as there are so many variables still up in the air.

“We don’t have a location (for the mosaic) yet; everyone wants it,” Crawford says. “Most people I’ve talked to would like to see it stay where it is, but I understand why the council made its decision. We want to make sure the new location is appropriate to the piece, that it’s totally visible to the community, and that it’s as close as possible to its current location.”

Crawford says she’s had many inquiries about contributions to the effort, and a couple of donations have already been made. KPRI has pledged its assistance in the fundraising drive as well, and Ron Bub, owner of Encinitas Glass, says he is happy to donate all labor costs if a protective covering ever needs to be installed.

“People want to preserve the mosaic, even if it has to be moved,” Crawford says.

Until the money is raised and decisions are made, the Madonna mosaic does have one guardian angel watching over her. A chunk of blue tile that was pictured missing in a May 25 story in The San Diego Union-Tribune was replaced two days later.

Better Homes and Gardens

Condos decorated by , Grounded, and the Community Resource Center Thirft Store are a highlight of the first Encinitas 101 Home & Patio Expo, which takes place June 11-12 at Pacific Station. The event, presented by the Downtown Encinitas Mainstreet Association, also includes displays from other businesses, live music and refreshments from Whole Foods Market. The expo is free and takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 760-943-1950, encinitas101.com.

Transit Authority

Learn more about SANDAG’s $196 billion 2050 Regional Transportation Plan—and offer your opinions—at a public workshop and hearing June 7. The draft of the plan encompasses such items as express lanes, land use, biking and walking, and more. The workshop, which takes place from 4 to 6 p.m., offers attendees the chance to view displays and ask questions; it will be followed by the public hearing. The session takes place at the , 1140 Oakcrest Park Dr. Envision2050sd.com.

surfing madonna May 30, 2011 at 03:06 PM
LIKE the Surfing Madonna on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SurfingMadonna and stay up to date on news, commentary and public opinion. #SurfingMadonnaWasHere
Jim Kydd May 30, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Why leave up graffiti? It's shlock. It's ugly. It's DUMB. Like your obvious fake news coverage.
Mike Andreen May 30, 2011 at 05:58 PM
Serendipity: is when, "...One finds something that one was not expecting to find." And while one was 'expecting' to have a 'great summer' in the City of Encinitas, one might not have foreseen the gifting of 'Our Lady of Encinitas' or the 'Surfing Madonna', but regardless, she 'now' exists, is exalted and valued. Let's get together and raise the money necessary to 'save' this work worth saving. Encinitas is the Swami's point chakras, world-class gardens, nationally renown Moonlight Beach, world-class surfing, artists, athletes, healers, musicians; Encinitas is a 'State of Being' and the 'Surfing Madonna' story her 'drawing-power' to Encinitas, has taken flight as a 'global icon', strengthened by the local folk 'recognizing' and valuing an art piece that both manifests and reflects their inner lives, projected outside onto a railroad bridge, their fervent prayers for themselves and their children in the mythic visual conquistador vocabulary of the Californio Mission System mixed-in with indio/island tribe surf imagery. A Virgin surfing 'Mother Nature' that mixes our collective good wishes with conscious action; riding the waves to a destination. An art piece left behind that lives on, now that it has floated away on the cultural tide of the world wide web, like Moses in the bull rushes or Huck and Jim on the Mississippi. 'Sister Goldenhair', long may she surf! NEW ENCINITAS will help fund-raise to move her.

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