The AAC Presents:


WITHOUT ALARM III: at Behind the Badge: The LAPD Experience Museum and Education Center
site-specific installation of works related to
custody, captivity, containment | curated by Sheila Pinkel | July 19-August 30, 2003 jail cell photo
photo by Kevin Hass

Location: Behind the Badge: The LAPD Experience Museum and Education Center
6045 York Boulevard, LA 90042 (323) 344-9445
July 19-August 30, 2003

Reception: Saturday, July 19, 2-5 pm

Viewing hours: Thursday, noon-9 pm, Friday & Saturday, noon-5 pm

The Arroyo Arts Collective was invited by the Los Angeles Police Historical Society, 6045 York Boulevard, Highland Park, to present an exhibition in this 1925 historic building.

From the Police Historical Society, which manages the site:
“The City meticulously restored and refurbished the facility for use by the Society. This superb, old building, formerly the Highland Park Station (LAPD), is now being used as the multipurpose Community Police Station, training facility for youth programs of law enforcement in a free society, Police Museum and Community Center, as well as the Historical Society headquarters. Thousands of visitors each year will be exposed to learning the challenge and adventure of being a cop, and will also learn something of the inner satisfaction gained from this hands-on field of service to the community in which we live and work.”

The building includes a number of former jail cells, maintained in their original condition, as well as open areas providing wall space, display cases and areas suitable for sculpture.


Artists: Stuart Bender • Dos Cabezas (Oscar Martinez/Linda Arreola) • Joanne Chase-Mattillo • Ione Citrin • Neil Fenn • Natalie Kahn & Victoria Alvarez • Ron Koertge • Joyce Kohl • Gina Kuraner • Patricia Lee • MaryLinda Moss • Joseph W. Oliver • Sheila Pinkel • Mary Ann Ripper • Karen Schwenkmeyer • S. J. Schulman • Miki Seifert & William Franco • Suzanne Siegel • S.O.S. Society of Orgonotic Streaming • Jill Van Hoogenstyn

Stuart Bender

Stuart Bender
Sanctuary 10
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.

Dos Cabezas
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 measures.

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 and photography.

Joanne Chase-Mattillo

Donny G is the update of Mozart’s 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 lothario.

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.

Ione Citrin

Ione Citrin

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 art.

Neil Fenn

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.

Neil Fenn
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.

Ron Koertge

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 young adults.

Joyce Kohl

Joyce Kohl
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, Wrongfully Accused.”

Joyce Kohl
Archaic Cleansing Rituals
(full view)

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 Harare, Zimbabwe.

Gina Kuraner

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 Kuraner’s work is performance-based within specific sites. Action residues reference issues of body and gender within the context of psychological narrative.

Patricia Lee

Patricia Lee
Life’s 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 one back.

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



MaryLinda Moss

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.

MaryLinda Moss
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 Oliver’s 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.

Sheila Pinkel

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 Men’s 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? Don’t 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.

SJ Schulman

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.

SJ Schulman
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.

Karen Schwenkmeyer

Karen Schwenkmeyer
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 son’s education. When a child enters the public school system, the parent must give the state control of their child’s 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 Donne’s poem, Devotions upon Emergent Occasions: No man is an island, entire of itself... any man’s 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 Franco’s 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.”

Suzanne Siegel

Suzanne Siegel

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)

SOS’s 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-
latory system.

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.

top   Home