Between the Sun and the Moon
by Steven Rieman
This 7' by 45' bas-relief cast stone artwork adorns the northwest outside wall of the San Dimas California City Hall. This public art project was created to recognize and illuminate the little-known history of the region’s first inhabitants: Native Americans who call themselves the Tongva (also know as Gabrielino Indians) - a peace-loving people who settled here more than 7,000 years before the arrival of the first Europeans, and continue to this day to be part of our society.
The sculpture shows a representation of the face and flowing hair of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island (the most remote of California’s Channel Islands), positioned between symbols of the sun and moon, and references her period of isolation on the island.
The twelve individual panels along the bottom of the mural tell the story of the Tongva people, a Native American people who inhabited the area in and around Los Angeles California, before the arrival of Europeans. The name Tongva means people of the earth in their own language.
The twelve vignettes along the bottom of the mural picture a year’s time as told by the sun’s positions. Four of the twelve panels represent the summer and winter solstices, and the spring and autumnal equinoxes, recognized by the Tongva as significant dates on which the sun’s positions demark the seasons. The remaining eight panels narrate the daily activities and rituals with which the Tongva people celebrated their life cycle.
The Lone Woman’s hair flows into the bottom narrative panels creating a visual bridge that links the ends of the mural to each other, metaphorically completing life’s cycle.
Between the Sun and the Moon was dedicated in memory of Richard Snyder. Richard’s mother, Esther Snyder, provided a major contribution and was a member of the Festival of Arts Board of Directors for many years.
From the Tongva Cindy Alvitre, leader of the Ti’at Society, and Jimi Castillo, who was the unofficial Spiritual Leader were very helpful in bringing this public art project to fruition. And, there was also support from the San Gabriel band of Tongva.
Finally, with extraordinary support and guidance from the Festival’s public art committee, committee chairman Ken Sheffer orchestrated this public art project from inception to dedication for the San Dimas Festival of Arts.
INSERT PIC Steven L. Rieman
About the Artist
Steven Rieman asks questions about the balance between advancing technology and the preservation of the natural environment. He finds himself caught up in the incredible possibilities of a high tech world, while recognizing that to ignore the real possibility of destroying the natural world along the way will make all the technological advances meaningless and without value.
In his search for the means to communicate his feelings, Steven combines methods, materials and ideas that express various contrasts and relationships. The goal is to create a delicate balance between competing influences with the promise of an unstable condition with only the slightest changes. Steven is a graduate of Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.