"Paletas Santa Monica": A Unique Artist Collaboration Where Santa Monicans Share Their Vision for Public Art Over a Popsicle

July 25, 2017 2:17 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Paletas Santa Monica // El Sabor a la Comunidad-Taste of the Community will be on the streets in all five zip codes of Santa Monica from July 29- August 29, 2017. Do you know about public art in Santa Monica? Do you know where it exists? Do you relate to it in a personal way; is it relevant to you? How does it affect your experience of the city? 

The City of Santa Monica presents Paletas Santa Monica, an artist-led community outreach project by Mario Mesquita, to engage residents throughout Santa Monica in conversations about the future of public art in the city. Mario and his team of local artists and educators will travel throughout Santa Monica’s neighborhoods on two custom pedal-powered Paletero Carts. They will stop at predetermined locations to gather input on residents’ awareness of existing public art and what and where they would like to see public art. In exchange, each participant will be treated to a delicious ice-cold, hand-crafted popsicle.

Paletas Santa Monica // El Sabor a la Comunidad-Taste of the Community will directly engage Santa Monica’s intrinsically creative and diverse population that may not have the time or the inclination to attend a community forum, which are simultaneously being held on July 29 and August 2.  The opinions gathered will inform recommendations in the Public Art Master Plan, which is projected for completion in the spring of 2018.

For more information and a full schedule of venues (coming soon) on the project, visit www.paletas-samo.ca. Please also check out #ArtSaMo and #PaletasSaMo to follow the action.

About the Artist

Mario Mesquita is an artist who specializes in engaging people and communities in debate, collaboration, and social interaction. He is a founding member of Michelada Think Tank, a group of socially conscious artists, educators, and activists of color hosting conversations with other people of color (PoC) and allies who are interested in creative ways of making change happen. Mario’s aim is to question, explore, and collapse dividing lines. His education and professional experience, from community-based researcher to higher education advocate, have influenced the way he uses art as a tool for education and an agent of social change.  As an educator, his practice encourages reciprocal dialogue and mutual learning. Mario currently is based in San Diego where he works as Education Manager at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

About the Public Art Master Plan

The City of Santa Monica is currently undertaking a year-long public art master planning process with consultants Gail M. Goldman Associates and Elwood & Associates. The Public Art Master Plan will provide a clear vision for the future of public art in Santa Monica for the next decade. The plan will outline goals for the selection and placement of public art, programming opportunities, strategic partnerships, and funding opportunities. It will include policy and procedure recommendations as well as direction for ongoing program development and management.


Media Contact

Constance Farrell
Communications & Public Information Manager