By Susan Motander
The memorial to Mayor Bob Bartlett at Station Square Gold Line Metro Station has been included in a juried exhibit of mosaic art. According to information supplied by the Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA), the show actually celebrates work done internationally and this year features work from not just the United States, but also Canada, Australia, and Brazil.
The mosaic mural was created by Hacienda Heights artist Carole Choucair Oueijan who created the tribute to Monrovia’s former mayor. It includes several panels depicting different aspects of the Mayor’s impact and influences. The artist herself wrote a brief explanation of her concept:
“This memorial to Robert ‘Bob’ Bartlett welcomes travelers like you, people who benefit from the fruits of his long-lasting labors, to the Monrovia Gold Line Station. These panels pay homage to Bob’s ambition for the city’s growth while humbly maintaining Monrovia’s rich cultural history. Reflecting his earnest compassion for everyone at every place in his community, his memorial turns to face all directions at this station.
“The sculptural mosaic rises from the earth across the plaza at the Monrovia Gold Line station, welcoming and bidding farewell to the travelers who benefit from the fruits of his long-lasting labors each and every day…echoing the intersection between Monrovia’s old and new.
“The CorTen steel panels pay homage to Bob’s ambition for the city’s growth while humbly maintaining its rich cultural history. The angled panels are oriented for viewing from every angle along the station, reflecting Bob’s earnest interest for everyone, everywhere in his community. Secured to the panels are five separate mosaics, each commemorating significant chapters in the Bob Bartlett story:
- The Mayor: sits in the center, in the heart of the city.
- Old Town Monrovia: The entrance, the preservation, and revitalization of Old Monrovia.
- Equity: The equality and inclusiveness he represented.
- The Bus: The Major role in the development of the Foothill Transit.
- All-America City: Monrovia’s selection as an All-America City under his leadership.’
“All mosaics were made with Italian and Mexican smalti glass, combined with other tiles. They were made with the Byzantine indirect technique which will make them forever pieces. These colorful mosaics will never fade, while the Corten steel which supports them only ages more beautifully with time. Mayor Bob Bartlett was the first African American to serve on the Monrovia City Council in 1974.”