The AAC Presents:
Photo by Kevin Hass The BID Show: Site Specific Exhibition Along York Blvd. between Avenues 50 & 52 | May 8-June 5, 2004, Highland Park



–BID: Business Improvisation District–

Art in the unique setting of small, family run businesses along York Boulevard in Highland Park. Pairing artists with merchants, the show is a playful twist on Business Improvement Districts which typically eliminate small stores in the name of gentrification. In celebrating small business, BID artists have created unique works that complement their unusual settings. Look for the BID logo in windows of participating merchants.

Right: Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa at BID opening enjoys Nicolas Rosen & friends’ music. Photo by Gurdon Miller.

SPECIAL BONUS: Consuming Passions

In conjunction with the BID Show, the Arroyo Arts Collective presents Consuming Passions, an open members’ show which addresses the intersection of art and commerce at Collective@Avenue 50 Gallery 135 N. Avenue 50, May 8 - June 6. Find more information here.



Some of the BID participating artists: (from left to right) Natalie Kahn Aguilar, Victoria Taylor Alvarez, Mary Ann Ripper, Benjamin Page, Rita Almanza, Kireilyn Barber, Ione Citrin, Kathleen Cativiela, Joanne Chase-Mattillo, Elaine Bradford, Willie Franco, Helen Lessick and Aaron Almanza.


Natalie Kahn Aguilar and Victoria Taylor Alvarez at Botanica Madre de Agua, 5009 1/2 York
Duncan and Anne-Marie Allen-Gilbert at M.A.N. Insurance, 5000 York
Aaron Almanza at Elsa’s Bakery, 5102 York
Rita Almanza in walkway between Lupita’s 98+ and Cosmos Records, 5050 York
Sharon Arias at Glamour House of Beauty, 5007 York
Kireilyn Barber at Bingo’s Pet Grooming, 5102 York
Elsa’s Bakery, 5105 York
Elaine Bradford at Guaranteed Vacuum, 5045 York
Kathleen Cativiela at Le Last Touch Salon, 1268 Avenue 50
Salon Caliente, 5123 York
Cony’s Barber shop, 5114 York
Joanne Chase-Mattillo at Highland Park Music Company, 5033 York
Salon Caliente, 5123 York
Ione Citrin at Sweet Stink Tobacco, 5121 York
Karen Emmett at Highland Park Animal Hospital, 5210 York
Nicholas Fedak II at Verdugo Pet Shop, 5022 York
William Franco and Miki Seifert at Lupita’s 98+, 5048 York
Rebeca Guerrero at El Chapin Market, 5003 York
Victoria Hibbs at Guaranteed Vacuum, 5045 York
Mary-Linn Hughes at Lupita’s 98+, 5048 York
Helen Lessick at Do It Best Hardware, 5040 York
Benjamin Page at Pets With Fez, 5123 1/2 York
Mary Ann Ripper performance along York Blvd.
Karen Schwenkmeyer at Total Dry Cleaners, 5039 York
Kat Skraba at Elter Nutrition, 1270 Avenue 50
Tamara Sussman at Zeppelin music, 5030 York
Jane Tsong and Robert Powers on sidewalk in front of Ceasar’s video, 5119 York



:: South Side of York Boulevard ::

Le Last Touch Hair Salon, 1268 N. Avenue 50
Artist: Kathleen Cativiela
Barber Brooms are customized brooms that reflect the owners’ personal vision and sense of style. Customized barber brooms are also at other locations on York.
Kathleen Cativiela is from Detroit, Michigan. She is currently studying at Art Center College of Design’s MFA Program.

Left: Efren Perez, owner of Le Last Touch Salon, with Kathleen Cativiela's Barber Broom.

Kat Skraba's installation in window of Elter Nutrition.

Elter Nutrition Center, 1270 North Avenue 50
Artist: Kat Skraba
One hundred glass canning jars hold beautiful, glossy, translucent, or crystalline objects in clear liquids. Each jar holds a remedy, acts as a worry vessel, a holder for illness. These jars find a relationship to the function of the store and investigate the idea that physical and emotional health and wellness is within our own hands.
Kat Skraba combines interests in costuming, drawing, and sculpture to create tableaux that are a mixture of visual language. Drawing from historical events, they act as psychological protests and prayers that address the uncanniness and uncomfortableness of our lived experiences.

M.A.N. Insurance Agency, 5000 York
Artists: Duncan and Anne Marie Allen Gilbert
What Does It Cost To Look Like A Million Dollars? comments on the excess of high fashion by creating a dress made out of $1,000,00 worth of shredded ten and twenty dollar bills.
Anne Marie Allen designs clothing, accessories and costumes for her label, established companies, and New York theaters. She is currently on faculty at FIDM. Duncan Allen-Gilbert is a British born site-specific artist who has shown across Europe and is now collaborating with Anne Marie.

Left: Yolanda Nogueira, owner of M.A.N. Insurance with Anne-Marie and Duncan Allen-Gilbert's Million Dollar Dress.


Verdugo Pet Shop, 5022 York
Artist: Nicholas Fedak II
In this untitled installation, haunting images of the past collide with shop windows of the present to create a dynamic juxtaposition of art and commerce.
Nicholas Fedak II has been an active photographic/time-based installation artist since his first solo exhibition in 1984. Since then his work has been shown widely, including exhibitions at the Bridge Gallery and Clay Doyle Gallery in Los Angeles and the Pence Gallery in Santa Monica. His work deals with memory and the elusive, evanescent past.

Right: Artist Nicholas Fedak II with installation at Verdugo Pet Shop.



Zeppelin Music, 5030 York
Artist: Tamara Sussman
Through the installation of vinyl lettering on the surface of the store, a narrative is created, inspired by and commenting on the nature of business.
Tamara Sussman, born in Buffalo, New York, graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1999 and is currently completing her MFA studies at Art Center College of Design.

Left: Tamara Sussman's narrative on Zeppelin Music's facade



Do-It Best Hardware, 5040 York
Artist: Helen Lessick
Human Design Center includes figurative torsos made with plumbers’ tape, bolts and common hardware. In addition to the installation there is also a workshop to make torsos from Do-It Best materials.
Helen Lessick is a visual and conceptual artist with extensive experience in site-related installation. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows at the Tacoma Art Museum, Bellevue Art Museum and Sierra Nevada Museum of Art. She currently resides in Silver Lake.

Right: Helen and Jim at Do It Best Hardware.




Willie Franco and Miki Seifert in front of their video in Lupita's 98+. Also, Mary-Linn Hughes' alternative wedding albums shared the window.

Lupita’s 98+ Party Store, 5048 York
Artist: Miki Seifert and William Franco
The 98+ Bride addresses how even our most transformative experiences quickly pass away to become merely old photographs or images on a videotape.
William Franco, a filmmaker, installation artist, and Butoh dancer, has been making videos and films for over 15 years. His work has been shown in film festivals, museums, and on television, including Chicago Latino Film/Video Festival, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and on ARTE in Germany and France.
Miki Seifert is an accomplished dancer and video installation artist. Trained in modern dance at the Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey Studios in New York, she also studied ballet, jazz, contact improvisation, and Butoh. Her videos and installations have been shown at the Latino Museum of Art, History and Culture, London Institute of Contemporary Arts, Phoenix Art Museum, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Lupita’s 98+ Party Store, 5048 York
Artist: Mary-Linn Hughes
Celebrating and commemorating the joy of recently married same-sex couples, Nuestra Boda, creates two satin wedding albums that reflect on current events. Drawings created from photos of newlyweds that have appeared in local papers will appear in place of traditional embroidered figures of the bride and groom. The new figures challenge stereotypes of brides and grooms in terms of age, body size, and gender. Mary-Linn Hughes creates visual narratives reflecting a spectrum from global politics to intimate life experiences, often blending the two. Although she has an extensive exhibition and publication record, her art has been taking a nap since the arrival of her daughter three years ago.

5050 York
Artist: Rita Almanza
Created out of the walkway between Lupita’s 98 + and Cosmos Records, Mothers for Peace is an altar made to draw attention to the sorrow suffered by mothers due to the loss of their children to acts of violence.
Rita Almanza uses art as a practice for keeping her family together. In her work she gives life new life to recycled materials that, in turn, provide new stories for her work.

Right: Rita Almanza's altar dedicated to Mothers for Peace in walkway space next to Cosmos Records.




Elsa’s Bakery, 5102 York
Artist: Aaron Almanza
Our Tasty Lady of Highland Park features small, non-edible, handmade cakes that place religious images from the community on top of the deserts to combine religious arts with edible arts.
Aaron is a recent graduate of Cal State University, Sacramento with a degree in Art History and World Culture. With the knowledge gained in his studies, he hopes to expand the understanding of art that can be found in the everyday world.

Left: Rosario Flores of Elsa’s Bakery with Aaron Almanza’s fake cake and Kirielyn Barber’s photos.

Elsa’s Bakery, 5102 York
Artist: Kireilyn Barber
Colorful photos of items from the bakery are presented to accentuate the unique character of each item. They occupy the upper third of the walls of the bakery’s interior.
Kireilyn Barber, a native Angelino spent many childhood years in the vicinity of Highland Park and Eagle Rock. She was educated at Cal State University, Fullerton and Cal State University, Los Angeles. Currently an adjunct Instructor at Pasadena City College, she received an individual artist grant from the city of Pasadena Cultural Affair Division in 2002-2003.

Cony’s Barber Shop 5114 York
Artist: Kathleen Cativiela
Customized Barber Broom
See bio from 1268 N. Avenue 50.







Dr. Gertsner of Highland Park Animal Hospital with Karen Emmett's dog nose photos.

Highland Park Animal Hospital, 5210 York
Artist: Karen Emmett
This light-hearted, photo series isolates and fragments parts of the canine anatomy. These images provide an up-close and personal look at what constitutes man’s best friend.
Karen Emmett is an artist working in photography and mixed media. Her work is motivated by observations of human behavior. Originally from Massachusetts and now residing in Los Angeles, she is a nationally exhibited artist and an instructor of photography at Glendale Community College, Cerritos College, and Chaffey College.



Points of Interest on York Boulevard

York Blvd.This corner of our city, Highland Park, has been called Los Angeles’ first suburb. York Boulevard, connecting Highland Park to Eagle Rock, Glendale and South Pasadena, is one of the two major commercial corridors in the community. Business Improvisation District (BID) highlights local merchants, some of whom have been in business for more than thirty years along this two block stretch from Avenue 50 to 52 nicknamed York Village.

Sparkletts Water Headquarters, York and Avenue 45. This Moorish building recalls an oasis in the desert. Sparkletts was established here because of the natural springs in the area.

Galco’s Old World Grocery and Soda Pop Stop, 5702 York Boulevard. A mecca for soda lovers featuring hundreds of nostalgic favorites. 323.255.7115

Behind the Badge: The LAPD Experience Museum and Education Center, 6045 York Boulevard. Housed in the historic former Northeast Police Station, the museum gives free tours to the public on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 323.344.9445

Judson Stained Glass Studios and Gallery, 200 S. Avenue 66 (1/2 block south of York). This turn of the century building housed Los Angeles’ first art school, the original USC School of Art and Architecture until the late 1920s, and continues as a working stained glass studio and gallery to this day. Gallery hours are Monday–Friday, 10 to 3. Tours can be booked by calling 800.445.8376.

York Bridge, spanning the Arroyo and the Freeway, the gracefully arched bridge was built in 1912 as the first concrete span over the Arroyo.

:: North Side of York Boulevard ::

El Chapin Market and Bakery, 5003 York
Artist: Rebeca Guerrero
In Chair-ing, new work is created out of old furniture by using a collection of fruit stickers accumulated over 5 years to redesign a chair’s appearance.
Rebeca Guerrero began her career as an artist as a fashion designer who transitioned to fine arts in the mid 1990s. Currently she finds herself producing work in many mediums, including installation.

Left: Alma and Rebeca at El Chapin.




Glamour House of Beauty, 5007 York
Artist: Sharon Arias
Women’s apparel cut from translucent panels encasing mixed media, make up the work Trickling Down. These items of clothing will be available for alteration during the opening or may be made to order by the artist (
Sharon Arias, a native Canadian, teaches at Fresno City Community College and Cal State University, Fresno from which she received her MA in 2002.

Natalie, Mario, Victoria at the Botanica.

Botanica Madre de Agua, 5009 1/2 York
Artists: Natalie Kahn Aguilar and Victoria Taylor Alvarez
Milagros is a work honoring the unique contributions that Botanica Madre de Agua makes to the community. Objects in the front of the store bring good fortune; shelves are labeled with poetic notations.
Natalie Kahn Aguilar and Victoria Taylor Alvarez are both graduates of Cal State, Los Angeles. Both have interests in spirituality, human issues and women studies, which in turn informs their work.

Highland Park Music Co., 5033 York
Artist: Joanne Chase-Mattillo
Grand Guitar takes music to big scale. In this work the artist creates an 8' art guitar painting mounted in the interior of Highland Park Music Co.
Joanne Chase-Mattillo has been working primarily in photography for the last 13 years. Her work centers around the landscapes of Hollywood and Los Angeles. In 2000 she earned a MFA from Cal State University, Los Angeles.

Left: Joanne Chase-Mattillo's 8' guitar at Highland Park Music Company



Total Dry Cleaners, 5039 York
Artist: Karen Schwenkmeyer
Maternal Matters documents the artists’ son’s development through the messes that he leaves. This work acts as a visual link from the messes made in the private space of the home to the public space of Total Dry Cleaners, revealing the hidden domestic labor of mothering.
Karen Schwenkmeyer is a photographer and multimedia artist whose work has been exhibited nationally. A founding member of M.A.M.A. (Mother Artists Making Art), her work explores the maternal experience within contemporary American culture. She teaches at College of the Canyons and Cerritos College.

Right: Karen Schwenkmeyer's photos of her son's messes at Total Dry Cleaners.


Guaranteed Vacuum Cleaners, 5045 York
Artist: Victoria Hibbs
Spared Parts salvages old parts from vacuums in disrepair to create new work. Using the broken items saved for her by Guaranteed Vacuum Cleaners, Victoria Hibbs has created assemblages exhibited in the nooks and crannies of the shop.
Victoria Hibbs is an installation artist who uses trash and traditional art materials to make her work. Originally from Pasadena, she moved to New York in 1972, completed a BFA at the NYU School of the Arts, and then remained in New York creating and teaching ceramics until 1992.

Left: Victoria Hibbs with her vacuum parts sculpture at Guaranteed Vacuum.


Guaranteed Vacuum Cleaners, 5045 York
Artist: Elaine Branford
Focusing on concepts of domesticity, Vacuum Sweater is a sculptural work in which a sweater has been created for one of the many vacuums at the store, absurdly comforting this common household object.
Elaine Bradford is a Los Angeles based sculptor who works with a variety of media including fabric, yarn and assorted household items. Her recent work has involved hand-making sweaters for trees in the outdoor landscape. Elaine received a BFA from the University of Texas, at Austin in 2000 and a MFA from CalArts in 2003.

Right: Elaine Bradford with her knitted vacuum sweater.



Bingo’s Dog Grooming, 5105 York
Artist: Kireilyn Barber
This untitled, black and white, documentary-style photo series captures candid images of happy canine customers depicting their unique personalities and physical appearances.
See bio from 5102 York.

Left: Richard of Bingo's Pet Grooming with Kireilyn Barber's photo of one of his dog customers.


Ceaser’s Video, 5119 York
Artist: Jane Tsong and Robert Powers
In Comfy Chair for the Business Improv District, a comfy swivel chair is grafted onto a tree stump remnant outside of Ceaser’s Video. This work brings comfort to the sidewalk along York Boulevard.
Robert Powers and Jane Tsong have worked together on the Comfy City Chairs and on the Hahamongna Watershed Tree Grove Harps, shown recently through NewTown. They would like to thank Danielle Rudeen, Fred Brandt and the gardeners at the Huntington Botanical Gardens for helping to procure the log from which the chair
is carved.

Left: Jane Tsong and Robert Powers' chair on sidewalk.



Ione and Jimmy at Sweet Stink.

Sweet Stink, 5121 York
Artist: Ione Citrin
What does “stink” look like? In Sweet Stink fun form is given to the idea with the creation of a large sweet expressioned skunk, aptly named Sweetie Stinko, made from found objects and paper mache.
Ione Citrin, after many successful years in the performing arts, now focuses her creativity and passion for communication on the creation of art. Ione’s watercolors, mixed media paintings, and sculptures have received numerous awards and been featured in several important publications.

Salon Caliente, 5123 York
Artist: Joanne Chase-Mattillo
In Mirror Image, 10 reflective 8"x10" prints are the focus. Each image, using the colors of the salon, depicts an aspect or item that is part of the styling process.
See bio from 5033 York

Right: Joanne Chase-Mattillo (center) with her work and Salon Caliente owners, Raquel and Elizabeth.


Salon Caliente, 5123 York
Artist: Kathleen Cativiela
Customized Barber Broom
See bio 1268 N. Avenue 50

Babajan, Nanette, Ben in Pets with Fez.

Pets with Fez Weaving, 5123 1/2 York
Artist: Benjamin Page
How Are You, My Darling?, exposes the dependent qualities of humanity, and reveals the unseen geometric connections that we share as social creatures. Each color of yarn represents a thought or statement that intertwines one person with another and creates an architectural web of human interaction.
Benjamin Page is a designer in the areas of architecture, interior, graphic and environmental design. Finding inspiration in the overlapping zones of architecture and sculpture, his architecturally themed work has been exhibited in Los Angeles area galleries and shows, including work as part of the permanent collection of the Chinese-American Museum. Prior to his architecture training, Mr. Page studied Art at Pasadena City College and later graduated from Woodbury University.

Mary Ann in Lupitas 98+

Along York Boulevard Sidewalk
Artist: Mary Ann Ripper
Performances take place May 8. Hello, how are you? illustrates human erosion in the retail market. Grocery baggers often utter the words “paper or plastic” without a hello. Busy ice cream scoopers inquire with rote, “cups or cones?” In contrast, Service with a Smile offers the customer a service completely free of charge with only their ultimate care. This free shoe shining makes the connection between provider and customer that is sorely lacking today. Service repeats June 5, 2 to 4 p.m.
Mary Ann Ripper is a Los Angeles based artist working in mixed media, installation, and performance. She is motivated to reveal what we might not see in ourselves or in others. Mary Ann believes everyone should own a big whoopi cushion and read the comics daily.


Photos of artists and merchants by: Kevin Hass, Joanne Chase-Mattillo, Gurdon Miller, and Suzanne Siegel.

The Collective would like to thank:

every artist who submitted work to Business Improvisation District. We are also grateful to all the participating merchants listed in the brochure and these additional businesses for their support: The Dragon Restaurant, Variedades y Regalos 2000, Isabel's Clothing, Ron Bragg Realty, Roma Discount, J & E Financial, Kassandra Party Supplies, Vintage Tattoo and MM Sports.

Thanks also to:
Liz Larner, well known sculptor, installation artist and local resident, Exhibit Juror
Suzanne Siegel, Project Director
Linda Hoag, Project Coordinator
Astra Price, Brochure Coordinator, Publicity, Technical Wizardry
Laurie Arroyo and Heather Hoggan, AAC Board Presidents
Tai-Ling Wong for facilitating merchant involvement
Deborah Thomas for publicity.
Cidne Hart for the brochure, invitation, call for entries and logo design.
Kevin Hass for street photography
Irene Fertik for artist/merchant photography.
Jan Lin, Associate Professor of Sociology, Occidental College
Nicolas Rosen and Friends, musicians
The Arroyo Arts Collective Board and member volunteers.

BID – Business Improvisation District is a project of the Arroyo Arts Collective. BID is made possible by a generous grant from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, The Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council ( and the office of Councilmember Antonio Villaraigoisa. The Arroyo Arts Collective is a grassroots organization representing all the arts in the Northeast area. Our mission is to link the cultural community with the community at large by presenting free events.

Arroyo Arts Collective
P. O. Box 50835
Los Angeles, CA 90050-0835