Mosaic Tile House, A Hidden Gem.


Who loves hidden gems? Yessss, I love your enthusiasm.  Nothing is more exciting when you find something new to do in your hometown –  whatever it may be a hiking, museum, bar, etc.

I live in Los Angeles, and I have to admit I’m one of those who sometimes wonder“what is there to do in Los Angeles?”  Some who aren’t from Los Angeles would gasp and say, “oh c’mon, there got to be a lot to do in Los Angeles!”  I’m not going to lie, but it is because I became bored with Los Angeles.“Been there, done that” thinkingGoing to the same places several time no longer fill me with excitement as the first time. Hey, I’m human here. However, I know that I still need to appreciate what LA have to offer after learning from my experiences from other countries. So, what to do?

research. 

While researching hidden gems in Los Angeles, one of the list I came across was this: Mosaic Tile House in Venice.

See something really colorful?

Mosaic Tile House is very well hidden right in the neighborhood in Venice Beach where many may not notice. I learned that it isn’t a museum but an actual home.

Two lovely married artists, Cheri Pann & Gonzalo Duran have been transforming the house for past two decades into beautiful artistic masterpiece. The reason why I use present term is because they are still working on it together.  They both first began installing mosaic tiles in the bathroom which gradually evolved their home inside and out.

 

Since it is their home, they provide tours through appointments only. I knew that it is most unlikely that they will provide an American Sign Language interpreter; therefore, when I arrived, I explained to them that I’m Deaf. With the best they could, they accommodate with me by repeating and using visual examples, such as showing me a piece of tile and gesturing how they install it. I was unable to understand everything they were saying, but I got the general idea how much work they both have put into their creativity and energy into this unique house.

They sometimes go to different yard sales and collect random stuff for their art. Gonzales explained that sometimes people donate or drop off random stuff for them to support and encourage them to continue their magnificent work.

I have to warn you. Watch when you try to get close to the wall to pose for a picture, because this can happen to you:

DSC_0735

 

Because something on the wall poke right on my arse.

Everything that they did was just absolutely brilliant and fascinating. I mean, 20 years and still counting! Cheri and Gonzales were both really lovely and beautiful couple, and I can feel so much passion and determination from these two! At the end of tour, Cheri gave me a hug and I can feel all the warmth and joy from her. She got that positive vibe.

I’m happy to discover this little gem in Los Angeles, and I recommend stopping by there just for an hour or two!

It’s always fun when you discover a hidden gem in your backyard 😉

Appointments ONLY:

mosaictilehouse@mac.com

Open: 

Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays 12 – 5PM

Cost:

$12, they accept credit/debit

address: 

1116 Palms Blvd Venice CA 90291

(between Lincoln Blvd & Penmar Ave)

Tips for Deaf and Hard of Hearings:

Remember that this isn’t a museum, it is located at the married couple’s house. Therefore, it is most likely that they will be unable to provide interpreters. You can try ask though! If they are unable to then, make sure:

  • When emailing them for an appointment, explain to them that you are Deaf/HH and what you’ll like them to do to accommodate with you. Gestures? Transcripts? Visual aids?
  • Although it’s not really the best option, you can try to search for interpreters who are in Interpreter training programs at local schools. They would love to build their resume! Schools: Mount San Antonio College, Pierce College, California State University of Northridge, etc.
  • Or you can also try find someone to go with you who know American Sign Language.
  • Check out their website here to get the idea about the artists and their extraordinary work

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26 thoughts on “Mosaic Tile House, A Hidden Gem.

  • markdeafmcguire

    Great collection of photos. Sorry to see it was a pain in the arse. 🙂

    Aye, sometimes it’s not always feasible to get an ASL interpreter. I am currently trying to convince a walking tour to provide one for me when I visit New Orleans. (I wonder who provided inspiration for that? 😀 ) They do have scripts I can read and follow which will be a fall back option. However, they are a business which means they do have to comply with the ADA law.

    But in this case with the couple, it is a unique situation regarding appointment only tours.

    I’m glad you found something to do in L.A. It can be tough to overcome the “Been there, done that” attitude. Living here in PA at the moment where I grew up visiting my relatives meant I have done a lot of things already. Especially when my parents were born and raised in PA and done the same things too. It was a challenge to find new things to do whenever my parents visit and we want to do things for the day. There are times when I succeed in finding new things.

    It’s always the new things that makes us look at old things differently.

    I’m trying to recall anything in the greater LA area that I can recommend but I have a feeling you already seen them all. (My aunt/uncle used to live all over LA from Riverside to Venice Beach to Thousand Oaks to Sherman Oaks to Beverly Hills to Burbank.) They have passed on but it was my uncle who knew the cool places to take me to where I could rub elbows with the “stars” like local diners, etc… The only thing I don’t miss about LA is the sprawling traffic.

    Maybe you can do a feature on the DeafWest building and what they do, why it’s worth attending a performance there, where to eat nearby, things to do during the day before the show?

    • deafinitelywanderlust

      Hi Mark!

      Always great to hear from you!

      That’s awesome that you found an inspiration! You got this!! Exactly, businesses need to comply with the ADA laws, although it can be difficult with many businesses out there. Reading scripts is better than nothing, but it is still difficult, and a fall back option, like you said. I agree with that. It was difficult for Lilo and I when we were doing a walking tour at Whitney Plantation and other places. ASL interpreters are the best option for us.

      As for LA, it is indeed difficult to overcome that attitude but I”m doing my best as I can, always trying to find something new 🙂 Since you’re in PA, it would be lovely to meet you if Lilo and I ever stop by there 🙂 When you come to LA, do let us know too! Yes, I also certainly don’t like the sprawling traffic either! It’s crazy here! haha, even though I live in LA, who knows? I’m sure there are some places we haven’t been to! So feel free to recommend us 🙂

      DeafWest – what a great idea! I haven’t been there though! Well, actually, I had once when I was in high school. I believe a play called, “Big River”? I can’t remember but that was an interesting play. Unfortunately I haven’t seen Spring Awakening. Have you seen that?

      Thank you for your time to read and leave a comment! 🙂

      • markdeafmcguire

        It’s always a pleasure to follow both of you on your adventures.

        Aye, I have been traveling since I was a wee baby so it’s in my DNA to explore everything that’s out there. That’s why I’m trying to settle into an accessible tourism niche for the deaf and hard of hearing, with an emphasis on ASL, well, sign language since global travel is really the bigger market here. Part of the challenge is the regulations involved from all sides, government, media, etc…

        I am actually in the process of shutting down my business here in PA and relocating to Florida but until then, if you are in the area, even DC is only 2 hours away, let me know. I was thinking about returning to LA for a visit but wanted to time it with ASL events so I can enjoy the experience more. Do you know of any site or social accounts that do the best in terms of promoting local ASL events?

        As for Spring Awakening, I’m sorry to say I haven’t had the chance to check it out. That’s the challenge with having a business that requires being available 24/7 which is why I’m changing course so I can adjust my schedule to attend ASL events, meet, travel, etc…

        Other ideas you might be interested in is showcasing places in LA that’s deaf-friendly, relating to travel, tourism, such as maybe Long Beach Aquarium, maybe they have CC videos, arrange for ASL interpreters for tours? I haven’t been to Long Beach in years and only went with my uncle which is all I remember about it. Heck, the pier with all those rides (Malibu?) is another idea.

        You got my email so feel free to contact me if you need more ideas. You can easily rock this blog with tons of stuff about LA, heck, California while you prep for your next adventure out of the country.

  • Jenna

    Wow, what a cool spot! I always love finding unexpected places like this. Definitely understand what you mean about not getting excited about the attractions near home–going to the same spots over and over gets old, so it’s great to find little gems like this. Looks like a beautiful house–I love that it is their home but yet they still give hours. They have done a great job at creating a beautiful home–I love all the colors! Would be great to check it out sometime!!

    • deafinitelywanderlust

      I first didn’t expected there would be a tour, but it’s actually turned out for the best to explore more about their home 🙂

  • Jennifer Melroy

    So much color. I am really impressed by all the hard work that went into this house. I would love to take a tour of this place some day. I could spend all day looking at the different tiles.

  • Veronika

    HI, this house really looks like from Murano or Burrano:)) I visited them both and follwed the glass tradition. Cool that you can see a piece of that in Los Angeles, too. Thanks for the practical, it makes this monument easy to visit.

  • Anna @ shenANNAgans

    Wow, this is absolutely amazing. What a treat to see all that beautiful colour and one giant piece of artwork too. When I was a kid, I asked my mom if we could decorate our house in mosaic, she laughed. I really must show her, our house could of been a place to visit. 🙂

    • deafinitelywanderlust

      haha, thank you for sharing your memory with us! It would be pretty cool to decorate a house, even if it’s just in a small area, like a backyard 😉

    • deafinitelywanderlust

      Colorful things always catch my eyes, and I hope to see that in Venice! I haven’t been there yet, and surely one day!