How did a mural of Sausalito, sold to a Woodside resident 38 years ago, end up near a Costco parking lot? That's what Ron Wagner, whose father prominent San Francisco-born ceramic artist Guillermo Wagner Granizo created the 7-by-9-foot work, is wondering.
In mid-October, Menlo Park resident Marjorie Schulz found 52 of the 63 tiles of the work during a shopping outing near the store, located on Middlefield and Woodside roads in Redwood City, on the curb in front of the store Plant Tomorrow. When she and her husband, Chris Fuller, finished shopping at Costco and Outdoor Supply Hardware about an hour and half later, they were still there so she loaded the "beautiful tiles" into her car.
After doing some detective work, laying the tiles out in her backyard and discovering they might all fit together, she discovered the artist's website and contacted his son. Wagner said he'd like to know where the 11 missing tiles are. He assumes they broke and ended up in the dumpster.
"I'm curious how it got there," he said. "It was just so surreal to me. It felt like this is a twilight zone story; why would this be abandoned on a street corner? Why was it not still in the barn? How did this lady have the presence of mind to do the research?"
Schulz said that part of the reason she was really interested in the tiles is that she does mosaic work with old tiles herself.
Wagner said the mural was sold at an auction at the Sausalito Art Festival in 1984 to a Woodside resident. The Almanac, the Pulse's sister publication, contacted the festival organizers to see if they have a record of who the mural was sold to, but Louis Briones, executive director of the festival, said they don't have records that date back that far.
Wagner, who lives in Hillsborough, said with the amount of time that's passed he doesn't remember the address of the carpeted horse barn near the Interstate Highway 280 Farm Hill Road exit in Woodside, where they installed the mural. He said it was a man who wanted to decorate the barn, and he's not sure if the person is still alive.
So far, he hasn't been able to find the owner of the work, but hopes to reunite them with the mural.
Wagner Granizo's other works
Guillermo Wagner Granizo, who passed away in 1995, created a number of murals that incorporate the Bay Area. His Monterey mosaic, which is about 11 feet by 45 feet, is mounted to the outside of the Monterey Convention Center.
He created a Panorama of San Francisco in 1980.
His mural of the Spanish ship "San Carlos" is in the garden of Mission Dolores, and he also has murals in El Faro Restaurant in San Francisco. For more on the artist, go here.