ENCINITAS — Written in the downtown sidewalks of South Coast Highway 101 is an autobiography of sorts — 16 glass and tile mosaics telling the tales and experiences of what life was like growing up in Encinitas for artist Terry Weaver.
At the anniversary celebrating Encinitas’ 25 years of being incorporated within San Diego County, Weaver unveiled his newest creation, a four-foot glass mosaic depicting some of the city’s most iconic and well-known features. He is hopeful that the city can install the mosaic with the help of the public.
Weaver, who now lives Maui, grew up in Encinitas. He is back to commemorate the tenth anniversary since the first of the mosaics went in and to perform yearly maintenance. He’s also filming a documentary on each of the pieces, telling the narrative on how each one came about.
In 2001, Weaver learned of a downtown Encinitas redesign and he was shocked to learn that the city was considering installing metal, sewer grate-like medallions in the sidewalks.
“I couldn’t see downtown Encinitas, with the new sign, and just a bunch of man-hole covers. It just, to me…didn’t make sense.”
Weaver learned only 72 hours before the council was to decide on the matter. “So, what I did, is I went down and I brought in two mosaics…and three drawings…and I rolled them out and I rolled in my two mosaics to show them examples of tile mosaics as opposed to metal.”
The city liked the idea of the mosaics, Weaver said. “I took it seriously; I made 28 drawings where they approved 16 drawings,” he added.
It took six months to create all of the mosaics, living in his art studio in Mt. Helix. He made all of the mosaics on an old $88 tile cutter that he bought from Home Depot.
He began experimenting with various tiles on some of the mosaics. On the “balloon” mosaic, Weaver combined ceramic tile with glass tile and said that under moonlight, the balloons look like they’re moving because of the reflective properties of the tiles.
“It’s my autobiography of my youth here,” he said. “It’s the way I saw the city, like a time capsule at that time. And I tried to bring in some of the past and some things for the future and make it real artistic. This town, without a doubt, it’s the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen.”