The Arroyo Arts Collective
is an eleven year old organization of artists in the Northeast Highlands
of Los Angeles. Throughout its history, The Collective has sponsored
numerous community cultural events, including installation work in the
former Los Angeles jail, poetry posters along Figueroa Avenue, and murals
on parking lot walls in the neighborhood.
On April 29 and 30, 2000,
The Collective sponsored an exhibit of site-specific installations along
the banks of the Los Angeles River, on a two and one-half mile stretch
between Riverside Drive near Figueroa and Fletcher Drive. Nearly fifty
artists created works which addressed personal, poetic, mythic, cultural,
environmental, or social concerns about the river. River Visions was
part of an ongoing series of river events presented by Occidental College
and The Friends of the Los Angeles River.
Visitors to the event
included the neighborhood community, art appreciators, families, bicyclists,
dog walkers, and residents from all over Los Angeles. They were intrigued
with both the artwork and its setting. many commented that they were
unaware that persons could walk along the riverbank. Some chose to converse
with the artists present about the rivers history from the time
of the Tong-va, the first Angelenos, to the current restoration efforts
of FOLAR. Most were struck by the beauty of the river itself, and of
the many pocket parks being developed along the banks.
This current exhibit at
The River Center is intended to document that event. The Collective
hopes that the exhibit will serve both as a historical record and as
a catalyst for further river-related artwork and community involvement.