Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Photos: The Otherworldly Colors Of Venice's Mosaic Tile House

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

The tech sector, what with its gyms and smoothie bars, is spreading its influence on Venice. The shift has not been welcomed by all residents; some see it as an affront to the city's history of carefree bohemianism, its predilection for the offbeat and the subversive. The neighborhood was, afterall, the de facto home to The Doors—L.A.'s reps in the field of psychedelia.

The "Mosaic Tile House" on Palms Boulevard is a landmark that attests to Venice's taste for the strange and colorful. The home is covered in mosaic tiles, as if a wave of bright shards had swept over the house, leaving it drenched in a kaleidoscope of colors. The abode belongs to artists Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran, who also happen to be married.

Pann bought the home in 1994, and soon after decided to make tiles that would go in the bathroom, reports Reuters. "It was so much fun doing it, we just kept on going," Duran told Reuters.

They have a system going, too. Pann is largely in charge of making (by hand) the tiles and the stained glass, while Duran is mostly responsible for forming shapes with them, as well as setting them in. Also, Duran is charged with breaking the tiles into shards after they've been produced (Pann would rather not be the one wreaking havoc).

Support for LAist comes from

And it's not just tiles that are being laid in cement. As noted at the L.A. Times, there are broken plates, teacups, figurines, and others. "It's turned out to be an homage to putting everything possible into cement," said Pann. As the couple told Cottages in the Sun: Bungalows of Venice, their neighbors are also in on the project; they bring broken pottery, teapots, and other ceramics. It's a sort of artistic recycling center. "Our project has grown because of our community," said Pann. "Their enthusiasm has inspired us to do more.

Eagle-eyed visitors (yes, tours of the home are available) will notice one piece of homage in the space; the arching structures over the hot tub in the backyard take a nod at the Watts Towers.

As Venice lies on the precipice for (even more) change, will the home withstand the test of time? Pann told Curbed LA that she's thinking about seeking landmark status, adding, "It needs to stay in the public."

Pann, trained in painting, grew up in the Boyle Heights area. Duran, who studied illustration, is a Mexico native who spent much of his formative years in East L.A. They're both in their 70s.

The Mosaic Tile House is at 1116 Palms Blvd, Venice. Tours (which are $15 per person) are available by appointment—they're offered only for the weekend. If you're interested, you can contact the owners at mosaictilehouse@mac.com.