Over the past five years, members of Oakland’s Maxwell Park community have engaged in a series of progressive improvements to the park that bears the neighborhood’s name. A big part of park improvement efforts have included the mosaic tile mural installations, which for four years in a row, included each exterior wall of the park’s public restroom in sequence.
Traditionally, there is a Mosaic Celebration every summer after the completion of the installation, but this year’s ambitious ‘Under the Sea’ design, on an S-shaped retaining wall near the children’s sandbox and play area, took longer than expected. As a result this year’s Mosaic Celebration will occur as a part of the larger September 14 ‘Day in the Park’ Celebration, a neighborhood block party in the park.
“Between 3:00 pm and 3:15, there will be a fifteen minute break in the live music where we will invite all mosaic participants, adult and children, to come up to the stage to be recognized,” said Nancy Karigaca.
Other improvements to the park include the addition of a meadow with native plants, new picnic tables, new lighting, and new trees.
“We are eager to have as many of the child participants as possible recognized by the community, so that they will be encouraged to continue their participation in improving their city,” said Karigaca.
Earlier today, Karigaca met Beverly Shalom at a mosaic-tiled public trashcan near a bus stop on High Street before MacArthur Blvd by the I-580 on-ramp. Shalom repaired damage to the can, which she helped to create while Karigaca kept her company.
“This is one of the first mosaic trashcans,” said Shalom. “Paula Bender helped with the background, and Sheree Moore did the side with the heart.”
The can was damaged when an automobile ran into the can knocking it over two years ago. The repair process involves re-grouting places with missing tiles and replacing the absent pieces with new pieces that are similar in color, shape and size. This was the second attempt to repair it, and Shalom was concerned that the 80 degree weather will complicate the grouting.