Back in December 2019, during a routine visit to check on the status of the lifeguard tower murals, artist Colleen Gnos noticed that one of the panels on tower no. 2 was missing. She reported to the Avila Beach Community Foundation, the agency that initiated and arranged for the project’s funding. 

The theft occurred at a time of the year when the towers are not manned, so no one was able to pinpoint when the panel was stolen. 

The Foundation then reached out to the Port San Luis Harbor District, as well as Arts Obispo of SLO County, both of which were project partners, to seek information about the existence of any insurance that might cover the loss. 

During the process, the 2020 pandemic struck. Communications with Arts Obispo were interrupted, as was the process to file a claim. After several months the Foundation learned that the Arts Obispo insurance carrier would indeed cover the loss. 

Once this was known, artist Colleen Gnos was commissioned to create and install the replacement panel when her schedule permitted. Due to extenuating circumstances, it wasn’t until January of this year that she was able to begin work on the panel. 

After several months the Foundation is excited to share that the project is finally completed, and the new panel was installed on March 5.