"All the Saints of the City of the Angels", 2000-2008
Seeking the Soul of LA on Its Streets Named for Saints
In the spring of 2000 I was thumbing through the index of the Thomas Guide (A book of Los Angeles street maps that, in those hard-to-recall days before GPS, Waze and Google Maps, one referred to for orientation on city streets), when I was struck by how many streets there are named for saints - in this city named for a saint (Our Lady of the Angels).
Bolstered by a series of grants from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department and the California Council for the Humanities, I researched the histories of all these 103 streets, together with the stories and legends of the saints whose names they bear, to where their tales might intersect - and what their moments and points of convergence might say about our multicultural heritage.
The result of my years of research, in over one hundred paintings and dozens of stories, poems, and songs, were exhibited for nearly a year at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, and collected in an award-winning book that I wrote and illustrated.