ENCINITAS, Calif. - Dozens on Wednesday attended an official dedication ceremony in Leucadia for the Surfing Madonna mosaic's latest home.
The mosaic was put up on a wall shared by Café Ipe and Surfy Surfy in Leucadia in June.
Newly sworn-in Encinitas Mayor Teresa Barth was one of several elected officials who showed up to the dedication on Wednesday.
"Everybody wanted it back up, and this is actually a blessing in disguise," she said. "Perhaps we could look at it that way."
It was not long ago when Mark Patterson left his job at Microsoft to follow his artistic hand and traveled to Italy for vacation. While there, Patterson attended mosaic school, where he was taught how to turn his simple sketch into an incredibly unique version of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
"It took me nine months to finish it because I didn't know what I was doing," he said.
Patterson – a humble man – built his mosaic for an inconspicuous spot underneath a train bridge in Encinitas. However, one simple mistake turned his plans to remain anonymous into anything but.
"I made the mistake of leaving part of my name on one of the backer boards and the rest was history," said Patterson. "One thing I never anticipated was the public response and how that spilled into the traffic lanes where people came down in droves. It was just not a safe location."
So, the mosaic was removed.
Now, thanks to Café Ipe and Surfy Surfy's owners, it has a new home that is generating new business.
"I mean, we're super stoked," said the owner of Café Ipe. "It's been great for business."