Kona Kai Resort & Spa, San Diego, CA, USA, 2018
A paving artwork for the boardwalk adjacent to the Kona Kai Resort, on San Diego’s Shelter Island, is inspired by the waterfront setting, colors of the surrounding area, and myths about sea creatures who are said to both protect and shelter humans while also tempting and luring them to shore, not unlike the function of an island resort. “Kona Kai” translates from Hawaiian into the English, “Lady of the Sea.” The artwork loosely interprets the “lady” as a mermaid and pairs her with the legend of Kamoahoali’li, a guardian and protector of the Hawaiian islands who takes the form of a shark.
A stainless steel inlay portrays water currents, waves, winds, swells, eddies and ripples in an abstract line pattern inspired by traditional line drawings of Japan and Pan-Asian culture. Loosely woven into the “water lines” are outlines of a mermaid and a shark fin. A background of Lithocrete paving with colored glass cullet fades from sand to teal to aquamarine and finally into deep ultramarine at its center.
The artwork was commissioned by Noble House Hotels. The metal work was fabricated by Atomic Fabrications and the paving and metal was installed by T.B. Penick & Sons.