By Marlena Chavira-Medford
They say it takes a village to raise a child. And as Solana Beach artist Christie Beniston knows, sometimes it takes a village to complete a work of art. That’s because she recently completed a series of giant mosaics inside the new Rady Children’s Hospital — a tremendous feat that she said wouldn’t have been possible without the help of her fellow Solana Beach neighbors.
“I heavily relied on my Solana Beach mom-connection for this project,” she joked. “I had a rotating crew of about 10 people at a time who would help me. A lot of them were neighborhood teenagers who I’d taught art to back when I used to do art camps when my own kids were still small.”
Having her community rally around her for this project was especially gratifying, she said.
“The first time I got into my car and saw the mosaic in my rearview mirror I was overcome with this remarkably satisfying and humbling feeling. I saw it and I thought to myself, ‘We all made this.’ I absolutely couldn’t have done it without the help I received from everyone.”
Her wall-sized murals span several stories, and the theme changes with each level from under the sea, to beach, to sky, to outer space. Beniston said she’s especially proud to have her work displayed in a place she admires so very much.
“The people at Rady Children’s Hospital do outstanding work and I’m incredibly honored to have been involved. I’m incredibly proud to have my work in a place where people are saving lives and doing such important work. I also know that art has healing power, it can immediately distress. If my work can be some sort of distraction for someone, even for just a few minutes, I’ll feel that I’m helping in some way.”
After more than 25 years as a professional artist, Beniston’s work has dotted galleries and museums across the country, but she’s perhaps best known locally for her mosaic at Solana Beach Library, which was completed last spring. To view Beniston’s work or learn more about her, visit