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  • CRA/LA’S commitment to public art began over 40 years ago.
  • Over 200 art projects in 21 redevelopment project areas have been completed to date.
  • California Plaza developers met their art requirement by building a $23 million facility for the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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 \\Commonspot\internet-site\images\bullet1 Art Projects

Juliana Martinez
Jewels of the Earth

Project Area:  Reseda/Canoga Park
Project:  Hart Village
Project Location:  6941 Owensmouth Avenue
Project Type:  CRA/LA Initiated


"Jewels of the Earth" is a mosaic mural comprised of 4,008 hand-made and individually embossed terra cotta tiles.  Martinez enlisted the help of children residing at the Hart Village complex, a 47-unit affordable housing development in Canoga Park, to emboss the larger tiles for the mural.  Martinez believes the community’s contribution to "Jewels of the Earth" was a central part of the project.  The artist’s interactive process for the mural played a significant role in community building and creating a sense of ownership for the mural. 

The mural depicts Martinez’s interpretation of the beautiful elements featured in the four seasons.  At the center of the mural is a luminous multi-colored sun, which embodies the community of Hart Village.  The different colors in the sun’s face reflect the worries, stress, happiness, and tranquility that everyone experiences in life.  Despite these range of emotions experienced by all, Martinez believes that like the sun, everyone will rise again and continue to shine on.  Similarly, the four seasons encircling the sun emphasize that there is no beginning or end, but an ongoing journey each year.  It is the artist’s hope that the viewers see something different in the mural each and every time they pass by.

For other projects, please see:

"Jewels of the Earth" mosaic mural
"Jewels of the Earth" detail

Artist Profile

Juliana Martinez is a Los Angeles artist, art educator and community activist.  She works in collaboration with her husband, artist and architect Nagy Girgis.  Martinez has been featured in the prestigious Gibson GuitarTown project and represented the United States as a gallery artist for the Inauguration of President Fox in Mexico.