Sourced: How those mosaic bollards came to be

Kim Weisberg’s post on Friday, about the mosaic bollards on Ashby and Fulton, prompted a wealth of responses. Among them, the person behind the mosaic bollard transformation herself, Lisa Bullwinkel, who got in touch via the Comments section. Here’s what she has to say:

How lovely to be appreciated! I think a lot of us in town do a whole lot of wonderful things and no one ever says thanks, so this is great!

I work at home out of that little blue house [ed: shown on the right in the photograph above] and spend a lot of time doing business on the phone looking out my front window. The barricades were always full of graffiti and we were constantly painting them. I’ve done other public art projects while I was the Executive Director of the Solano Avenue Association, including the art banners on Solano and a tile project in Peralta Park. Why not do one in my own front yard?

I asked my husband, Tim Volz, who is a tile contractor, if I got the neighborhood to save their broken plates and shards, if he would give us the expertise and materials to make an art project out of the barricades. For four Sundays in 2008 I set up tables in the street and we made templates out of cardboard for the ‘legs’ of the barricades. People could work on the tables on the cardboard and design their art, then they could adhere it to the leg of the barricade and then grout it. We had a 5-year old and an 80-year old — the whole neighborhood came out to play. And guess what? No more graffiti!


Now we have 28 original pieces of art that include a neuron, a clown, fish and a hidden message. Come by and check it out.

By the way, Sally Hindeman of Youth Spirit Artworks liked the project so much that she contacted me and picked my brain to carry it on with some kids in south Berkeley. If anyone else wants to do their barricades, I’m happy to tell them how!