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Arroyo Arts Collective

Bringing the Past To Light: New Art from Old Images

Making use of images taken from old photographs, artists working in installation, performance,music, video and other new media create an innovative mix of past, present and future visions of the Arroyo, calling to mind the bohemian sensibility of Lummis’s circle and inventing scenarios of Arroyo life yet to be.

From Here to There Proposal

From Here To There, digital sketch of multimedia project for "Bringing the Past To Light."

Susan Lutz

Susan Lutz, Stereoscopic view of "Former site of the Pacific Electric Railway with succulents, South Pasadena, CA" with reverse commentary (viewable on enlargement).

May 17 through June 14, 2009
at the Charles F. Lummis Home, El Alisal, 200 E. Avenue 43, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Normal hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 12-4 pm

Museums of the Arroyo Day, May 17 10 am-4 pm
Lummis Day, June 7 10:30 am-4 pm
Poetry reading at 10:30 kicks off Lummis Day
Also see


Artists will be placing sound, video and outdoor projection, installation and mixed media projects throughout the house and garden; performers are staging puppet shows, music and a reenactment as part of Museums of the Arroyo Day, May 17. Participating artists and performers include Edith Abeyta, Stephanie Allespach, Dara Brady and Erika Cobain, Carol Colin and Ted Waltz, Chelsea Dean and Janice Gomez, Jacqueline Dreager, Natalie Egnatchik and Edwin Fang, Nicholas Fedak II, From Here to There, Santina Giordano, Cidne Hart and Kevin Hass, Heather Lowe, Susan Lutz, Daniel Marlos, Gurdon Miller, Karen Neubert, John O’Brien and Cielo Pessione, Toti O’Brien, Benjamin Page, Beth Peterson, Suzanne Lummis and Rachel J. Siegel, Deborah Thomas, Nan Wollman, Zelda Zinn and others.

May 17, Museums of the Arroyo Day

Local singer songwriter Santina Giordano layers the wax cylinder recordings made by Charles F. Lummis of Native American songs with an original composition that invokes a reaching into the past married with the present via new technology and a voice that seeks to connect with Lummis and his passions. 12 pm

Carol Colin and Ted Waltz’s puppet performance Postcards From a Happy Vagabond is an illustrated travelogue inspired by the adventurous journey that brought Lummis to Los Angeles. 12:30 pm

Puppet performance — “At Least 40 Million Wild Blossoms” in which the spirit of Charles Lummis appears in El Alisal to revisit moments from his life in the place through photos, shadows, moving dioramas and music from the songbook compiled by Charles Lummis. Beth Peterson, Jonathan Alvarez and Linda Anne Hoag, puppeteers; Severin Behnen, music. 2 pm

Gurdon Miller re-enacts a family photo “Alice and Verda when we camped in the Arroya” with participating artists L T Mustardseed and Seraphina Whitman. The performance/installation recreates cousins Alice Shields and Verda Ludy’s activities at their 1910 Arroyo campsite. A video of the re-enactment performance is also playing inside the house. Throughout the day in the garden.


Lummis Home under construction

El Alisal under construction.

At the dawn of the twentieth century, Charles Fletcher Lummis – photographer, journalist, preservationist, anthropologist – invited artists, poets and musicians to his handmade home, El Alisal, to re-envision life in Los Angeles. In addition to being a journalist, a poet, the founder of the Southwest Museum, Los Angeles’ first librarian, and a champion of Native American rights, Lummis was an avid photographer. Recalling his relentless drive to capture images of the West photographically, “Bringing the Past To Light” creatively recaptures Lummis’s visual exploration of the Southwest and his immediate surroundings through the creative vision of contemporary artists and performers.

Present Lummis Home

Present-day El Alisal.
Photo by Cidne Hart/Kevin Hass

El Alisal, located at 200 E. Avenue 43 in Highland Park, is open from noon until 4 pm, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Performances, poetry readings and additional events taking place at El Alisal have also been scheduled in conjunction with Museums of the Arroyo Day (10 am - 4 pm, May 17) and Lummis Day (10:30 am - 7 pm, June 7). On Museums of the Arroyo Day, six museums along the Arroyo will feature free admission and shuttle service between museums. (See or call 213 740-TOUR for more information.) Lummis Day, the Fourth Annual Festival of Northeast Los Angeles, begins with a poetry reading at El Alisal and continues with a day of performances and activities at Sycamore Grove Park. (See for details.)


For further information contact or call 626 794-3627.



View our gallery of work from the show

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Benjamin Page Proposal

Benjamin Page, mock-up sketch for his installation project, "The Electric Fruit."