"...Fifty-eight-year-old Mark Patterson is a gray-haired, soft-spoken man who just doesn’t quite fit the guerrilla artist profile. In an interview with a local TV news channel, Patterson revealed that everything about the project, including the message and location, first came to him as a vision in 2005. By 2010 Patterson (who is not Catholic) was unable to resist the calling. So he left his job at Microsoft, entered a mosaic art school in Italy, and spent the next nine months completing the Surfing Madonna–not knowing if it would last a day once installed.
Patterson views the piece as his gift to the community. “This is a message that the community needed to hear,” Patterson said. “The life of our planet is at stake.”