Terry Michael Weaver – The Mosiac Mon of Encinitas (Encinitas Magazine Stories of Encinitas CA)

By Kyle Thomas December 2021

20 years ago during September of 2001, the City of Encinitas was transforming, and the $3.5 million Streetscape Project was moving forward. Construction between Encinitas Blvd. and ‘F’ Street had begun. This long-awaited project was headed to a new look for Encinitas.

In the end, in 2004, Encinitas would win The Great American Main Street award, to which artist and architectural designer Terry Michael Weaver is a key part of that story.

A San Dieguito High School class of 1974 graduate, in 1989 Terry found himself drawn to living in Maui, but remained bonded to his Encinitas heritage, spending equal time between the islands and Encinitas.

In 2001, on one of his trips back home to Encinitas, Terry was hanging out with Thomas DeSoto who had recently been appointed as an Encinitas Art Commissioner and Tommy said, “Hey Terry, you know we’re planning to put designs in the sidewalks, so why don’t you make a presentation to the City Council using your art?”

The medallions were to be round and 36” in diameter with 17 pre-determined locations mapped out in the downtown Encinitas sidewalks.

Well, Terry had to fly into action, because in two days the City Council was scheduled to take the final vote on who to award the job to. Accustomed to giving presentations while working under pressure in architectural firms, Terry showed up at the council meeting well prepared with two different life-size drawings, including his now iconic Encinitas Woody as well as a true-to-life mosaic example; a two-and-a-half foot diameter lion that he had made for his parents. 

Terry was the only presenter that evening because the other half-dozen proposals had already been heard in previous meetings. Asked by a council member if Terry could design and make each of his mosaic designs unique to the city, Terry said, “Yes, I love the concept.”

The council took their vote and Terry’s mosaic medallions were unanimously voted into existence.

Terry’s next task was to now design 17 images to be presented to the Arts Commission for review.

Terry recalls, “At mayor Christy Guerin’s request, a sub-art council was appointed, led by Carolyn Cope, to review and approve the new designs as they were completed. 28 designs were submitted and three months later the final 17 were approved,” and the contract for the Design, Fabrication, and Installation of the Mosaic Tile Medallions for the Streetscape Project was signed on September 6, 2001. 

Each mosaic required as many as 1,500 pieces on average. Each of the hand-crafted tiles were meticulously cut with a diamond saw blade. “Collecting the tiles to be used for 17 mosaics was a project in itself,” exclaims Terry. Working franticly, to keep up with the schedule for completion, and with all the other simultaneous construction. Working 16-hours-a-day, Terry completed and installed the mosaics requested in seven months. Upon completion, Terry exclaims it was “Serenity in the beginning and insanity by the end!” 

In 2014, Terry proudly recalls being told by Peder Norby, the coordinator of the Mainstreet 101 association, that Encinitas had won the Main Street award. There were maybe 208 cities that had applied, and in the end, it was the beauty of the unique mosaics in the sidewalks that swayed the Judges.

Terry continues to lovingly maintain and repair these mosaics.

Three years later Terry is commissioned by Bob Nanninga & Keith Shillington to create three more public sidewalk mosaics at the E Street Café, at 130 W E Street, (the 1926 Gowland building), which is a historical landmark and by default protects Terry’s mosaics.

Encinitas’ 25th Silver Anniversary

 “When I was awarded the Streetscape Medallion project,” Terry recounts, “It included a 17th approved design, the Encinitas City Seal. The City, unfortunately, decided to back off on the 17th mosaic. I always felt that the City Seal needed to be made to complete the agreement with the city.” So, in 2009 Terry put himself on task to make this piece, and over a period of 1-1/2 years, and 7 trips between Maui and his parent’s garage, he crafted a 4-foot round Mosaic of the City Seal, but the artwork didn’t have a home.

And so there it sat for another year in his parents’ garage until Peder Norby advised that Terry bring it to the Encinitas’ 25th celebration of incorporation at the Heritage Museum. 

It was then dedicated as the Silver Anniversary City Seal. 

The City Seal Goes for a Walk

And then yet, for another year, the City Seal sat homeless in Terry’s art studio. 

Then one day in frustration, Terry put it on a rolling easel and rolled into the Daley Double Saloon to show to Tab, the bartender. Terry then continues his journey heading south along 101 ending up at the Encinitas 101 offices, where he ran into the Executive Director, Dody Crawford.

 “When we saw the mosaic,” Dody exclaimed, “Holy moly! We have to include it!” 

Encinitas 101 purchased the mosaic to be affixed to the welcome to Encinitas Sign across from Swamis, at the railroad underpass.

Art Evokes Emotion

When I asked Terry, why mosaics? How did this begin? Terry recounts, In 1976, I was in Mexico City and while cruising the city I came upon grandiose mosaics at the base of the high-rise buildings, and I was amazed! They ran the entire block. Upon my return to Encinitas, I gave mosaics a try and I guess I liked it. Since that time I have made over 150

Check out Terry’s newest piece, completed in October 2021; the Encinitas Fire Department seal.  

Visit Terry at themosaicmon.com | mosaicmon@gmail.com

Aerial view above Terry Weaver’s home in Lahaina Maui, Hawaii
Terry Weaver’s treehouse home in Lahaina, Maui
Cover of Encinitas Magazine for December 2021

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