digital print, 2003
Sanctuary 10 is a digital print from the series
Sanctuary, comprised of isolated male figures appearing behind
bars or curtains.
Stuart Bender has created installations, single-channel, multi-channel,
and live-performance music/video works which have been exhibited
internationally since 1985. Recent prints, taking their cue from
the poster and billboard-studded L.A. landscape, offer a reflective,
playful or sardonic twist on the instant visual hits
we are immersed in.
Oscar Martinez/Linda Arreola
Homeland Security is a handcrafted grass/straw hut, wrapped
and completely covered in plastic and duct tape as per instructions
from the national office of Homeland Security. The hut represents
our primal need for shelter and Mother Earth. It is bound and
suffocating under the constraints of tragicomic homeland security
Our commitment is to create installations and public works that
will enrich the fabric of our city, as well as the fabric of the
individual through thought-provoking concepts involving spiritual,
psychological, political and social themes. The team Dos Cabezas
(Two Heads) is symbolic of the dualities found in Mexican-American
heritage and the male-female dynamic. The artists have been working
and exhibiting in the L.A. area for over ten years, both individually
as well as collaboratively, in painting, sculpture, installation
Donny G is the update of Mozarts Don Giovanni.
The modern day Donny G cannot repent to save his soul. He is imprisoned
by lust and a corrupt soul. Donny G's cell is covered with the
letters and photos of those who loved and hated this neighborhood
I have been working obsessively with photography since 1991.
I experiment with the manipulative qualities of photography. The
viewer is taken to a world by the photographic image, to a world
that may not exist in physical form.
M'Lady is a feminist statement of 20th century female
enslavement. Her black torso has been decorated with the trappings
of enslavement and her body is opened to show two more armless,
headless women enslaved within her, as well as a female hand holding
her womb within the final diminutive torso. Notice the padlock
is quite small and flimsy. Notice how small the actual door is.
Even if she were able to break the padlock, how will she ever
get through that little door? Her body is flapped open to show
the smaller women inside her. The flap opens in front of her,
and on it are many dollar bills, a symbol of her captivity. But,
is she entirely defenseless? Can you help her break out of her
cage? What are her options?
Showing nationally since 1998, after decades of world travel
and a successful career in the performing arts, Ione now focuses
her creativity and passion for communication on the creation of
Just Above My Head simulates a cell filled with water.
All items in the cell are wrapped in blue translucent plastic
paper and the floor is covered. Standing on a platform within
the cell, viewers who are tall enough can poke their heads through
an opening in the ceiling of the blue-walled room
within the cell. This environment is meant to elicit varied and
contradictory reactions. From the exterior, the translucent blue
cube created by the plastic is an object of beauty,
especially with the light from the exterior windows behind it.
At the same time, allusions to drowning and claustrophobia may
be evoked, which are heightened after entering the cell. Peering
out through the opening in the plastic ceiling while standing
on the platformmay offer some releif, but some viewers not tall
enough may experience a gentle frustration at not being able to
attain their freedom through the opening. Standing
on the platform may also be evocative of stepping up to the gallows,
adding to this conundrum of reactions to beauty, fear and horror.
Just Above My Head
Neil Fenn has been working as an artist in Los Angeles for over
20 years. His work has been shown in many galleries locally and
nationally. The City of Los Angeles has commissioned him to do
a permanent environmental art installation for Van Ness Park in
South Los Angeles, to be completed in 2004.
Natalie Kahn & Victoria Alvarez
Our installation is intended to convey the emotional pain and
despair of the former inmates of the cell. The mesh figures are
like thought forms that manifest this energy in time and space.
The piece illustrates the point that when the human has left the
cell only the inhumanity of his confinement remains.
Natalie Kahn & Victoria Alvarez
Victoria: Art making is an important part of my life along
with issues of social justice. The mixed media work I do discusses
the outer reality of human life while the installations Natalie
and I create address the inner self.
Natalie: Since graduate school my artwork has shifted
from a concern with outer body form to an exploration of the energy
matrix of the perceivable universe. The installations Victoria
and I create explore universal themes.
Annunciation at Pico and Sixth
My partner and I pull over this possible
DUI and run her plates. It's just routine,
but something about the way she looks
in all that hopped-up light reminds me
of what my art teacher said that time
I went to city college:
In bad paintings nothing fazes Mary,
Not the wattage, not the angel, nada.
But in good ones, she's like this,
blonde-half blind, a little scared,
pretty sure she hasn't done anything
to deserve all this.
Ron Koertge is a poet as well as the author of many novels for
Archaic Cleansing Rituals
mixed media installation, 2001 (detail)
Archaic Cleansing Rituals is an installation that deals
with the Death Penalty in the United States since it was reinstated
in 1977. An old-fashioned cloth towel dispenser unfurls the states,
dates and names of all who have been executed since the death
penalty was reinstated in 1977 (starting with Gary Gilmore). At
first, there was only one name every couple of years. Gradually
the number escalated; when Bush was governor there were over forty
executions in Texas alone. There are now over 800 names. Concentric
rings in an old-fashioned sink has words describing the death
penalty in the United States: These radiate from the center, which
states: United States Executions include: Racial Bias, Economic
Bias, Juvenile Offenders, Emotionally Disturbed, Mentally Impaired,
Archaic Cleansing Rituals
Joyce Kohl, born in Oakland, California, now lives in Altadena
and is a Professor of Fine Art at California State University,
Bakersfield. Her work includes public art, assemblage sculpture
and social commentary, including a recent ceramic AIDS Wall in
For Gunshot Wounds, Gina Kuraner took rubbings and traced
the gunshot holes and shattered windows of the bullet-riddled
getaway car and police vehicle from the North Hollywood Bank of
America robbery. When violence erupts in our community and lives
are lost, we are reminded of the edge we walk in life with death.
Lifting the remains of the crime onto translucent, skin-like paper
transforms brutality into something abstract and beautiful.
Using biodegradable materials, Gina Kuraners work is performance-based
within specific sites. Action residues reference issues of body
and gender within the context of psychological narrative.
Lifes Imaginary Reach for Freedom
Life's Imaginary Reach for Freedom conveys our misguided
ideas of what freedom is. Trapped in a small corner, imaginary
hands reach out from the floor. History holds the subject, faces
of conflict come from the darkness of the floor, ideas holding
Patricia Lee has worked in the entertainment industry in addition
to exhibiting her artwork. She studied at Art Center as well as
Otis Art Institute.
All photos by Kevin Hass
Suspended uses the cocoon form as a metaphor signifying
the incredible ability we have for transformation in extreme situations.
We see a figure hanging in a jail cell but, instead of the hopelessness
suggested by that image, this inverted encased figure of cheesecloth
and beeswax represents the ideal of potential change.
beeswax and cheesecloth lifesized, 2003
An alumna of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, MaryLinda
Moss's sculptures and installations are inspired by natural forms.
Shapes, textures and elements found in various natural environments
are later transformed using sculptural materials like beeswax,
wool, wire, threads, paper, silk, iron, & bronze.
Joseph W. Oliver
Joseph Olivers drawing, Protect and Serve, shows
a police officer handing a child an ice cream cone.
Joe Oliver has participated in community art exhibits and has
taken art classes at the Armory Center for the Arts, the Center
for the Study of Political Graphics, and other venues.
The Arroyo Arts Collective invited
Sheila Pinkel, who has produced activist work for 30 years, to
exhibit part of her photo-essay about the prison industrial authority,
and to act as juror for this show. Read about her work »here.
Mary Ann Ripper
Mary Ann Ripper
Dead Man’s Shoes
ongoing installation, dimensions variable
Warm and Forgotten are two installations of discarded
shoes gathered from street corners and freeways, gutters and fields,
and parking lots and alleys. The shoes come from the collection
Dead Mens Shoes and are symbolic of abandonment, isolation,
separation, and loss. Each shoe is tagged with a date and location
where it was found. The shoes in Warm squeeze under a radiator
as if seeking all the warmth they can feel, away from the cold
and rigid conditions that surround them. Self-preservation kicks
in during the most dire circumstances. What do we do and how do
we act under adverse circumstances? What does it mean to survive?
To whom or to what do we turn? Where do we go when we need to
feel warm? Forgotten is installed in a water utility closet and
raises questions regarding physical and psychological captivity.
Do we know who is in there or who comes out? Dont we care
anymore? What does it feel like to be noticed? Forgotten?
Mary Ann Ripper
Dead Man’s Shoes
Mary Ann Ripper, a Los Angeles based artist working primarily
with mixed media assemblage, loves to go barefoot in the mud and
eat spicy foods. She is motivated to reveal what we might not
want to see in ourselves or become aware of in other people.
Barriers is a photo essay that examines the barriers we encounter
each day in our free lives. Chains, padlocks, fences
and bars all restrict access and create barriers within our society.
color photo, from Barriers series, 2003
SJ Schulman is a self-taught artist whose passion has evolved
from sketching to watercolor to photography. Following years of
self-directed work, she enrolled in a formal program in 2001,
and was awarded 3rd place in the first show entered.
An Education in Freedom
An Education in Freedom examines democracy within public
education-the institution where the concept of liberty is taught
to children. At this time when freedom is eroding into consumerism
— into the prospect of selecting from many brands and flavors
of breakfast cereal and not much more-I have found myself in the
frustrating position of being left out of decisions involving
my sons education. When a child enters the public school
system, the parent must give the state control of their childs
learning. Each morning I watch my son enter the institutional
door of his kindergarten class through a chain link fence because
I am not allowed into the schoolyard. Images in this installation
represent local public elementary schools within the LAUSD seen
from the parent's perspective-the outside of the school.
Karen Schwenkmeyer is a photographer and multi-media artist whose
work has been exhibited nationally. A founding member of M.A.M.A.
(Mother Artists Making Art), her work explores maternal experience
within contemporary American culture.
Miki Seifert & William Franco
Miki Seifert & William Franco
For Whom the Bell Tolls
For Whom the Bell Tolls, a public altar, asks the viewer
to contemplate the public policy of capital punishment by selecting
the name of someone executed in the state of California and the
name(s) of his victim(s) and ring a bell for two minutes. The
altar, simple and spare, arranged on the sheet metal cot in a
prison cell, pays homage to John Donnes poem, Devotions
upon Emergent Occasions: No man is an island, entire of itself...
any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls
for thee. Seifert and Francos previous altars have addressed
the war on terrorism and the bombing of Afghanistan. Our
lives have been an exploration, searching for ways to best express
whatever is demanding to come out and be heard. Miki has
been a dancer, a poet, a producer, a visual artist, a circus performer,
and a competitive gymnast. Willie has been a filmmaker, a sound
mixer, a visual artist, a Butoh dancer, and a cabinetmaker. We
fill our art with our humanity, believing that art should illuminate
our world and touch our souls.
Distress is about the pleas that police dispatchers receive.
It is a visual metaphor of those cries for help. This piece
is dedicated to my sister-in-law who worked as a police dispatcher
for the Santa Ana Police Department for fifteen years. When she
began work for the department, she operated a switchboard similar
to the one in the Police Museum. While always efficient and professional,
she was consistently caring, compassionate and concerned in responding
to the distress of callers.
Suzanne Siegel is a visual artist who lives in Highland Park.
Much of her work is assemblage and is influenced by personal experience
and poetic ideas.
SOS (Society for Orgonotic Streaming)
SOSs strategy consists of aesthetic juxtaposition between
relatively free-flowing energy and the squared-up institution
of law enforcement by creating an on-site not-for-profit, non-judgmental
(open-minded) atmosphere of nonprofessional sensual pleasure,
playfulness, and trust. Using hands-on approaches such as massage,
hand and feet washing and grooming as well as conversation, games,
experimental therapeutic devices, and healthy snacks within the
law enforcement institution itself, SOS sought to examine the
possibility of temporarily demilitarizing the law enforcement
body by introducing fluxes of non-paranoiac divergence directly
into its circu-
In the Summer of 2002, The Society for Orgonotic Streaming, a
group of artists, offered treatments to LAPD officers. Services
were available through appointment or at a mobile plain air therapeutic
center. They arranged visits at the Revolver Club at the Police
Academy, at the Principal Court in downtown Los Angeles and at
a restaurant where LAPD officers took their breaks.
Jill Van Hoogenstyn
A hand-made book highlights the contrast between freedom and
containment. Using black and white photographs, the book illustrates
the dark, desperate side of being in prison and, in striking contrast,
images of freedom where individuals are able to make choices and
create a life that is satisfying and meaningful.
Jill Van Hoogenstyn was raised on the East coast and lived in
Maine and Germany before moving to L.A. She has mainly concentrated
on photographing people in their environments and city urban scenes.