The Eldridge Portrait Project a light at 11b project

The Eldridge Portraits Project is a Light at 11B storytelling venture first conceptualized in the fall of 2015.

It is centered on the last resident clients of Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC), together with those with whom they share enduring relationships: their conservators, family members and friends.

This work is dedicated to those last residents, together with all who came before them over the nearly thirteen decades of SDC’s continuous operations, beginning in 1891.

It is also intended as a contribution to the historic record.

After securing necessary permissions for access to SDC, the first Eldridge Portrait was taken of John Pellegrini together with his legal conservator, Michael Hawkins, at the Emparan living unit on January 4, 2017. The last portrait was shot on July 21, 2018, with a resident client named Curtis, together with his mother Carolyn, at Poppe Cottage.

A total of twenty-five Eldridge Portrait sessions were completed.

And soon the last of SDC’s residents will join those who have since moved to community settings.

The Eldridge Portrait Project team includes:

  • Carolyn Allekna Todhunter, project manager, who worked at SDC for 25 years.
  • Christian Gillam Pease, photographer and project producer, Light at 11B, who is also a former SDC employee.
  • Joe Garappolo, photographer and project lighting director, Light at 11B.

All images and content are ©Light at 11b

John Pellegrini and his friend and conservator Michael Hawkins
The Alana Avanzino Family - Janice, Alana, and Skipp
Daniel A. Smith and mother and sister Kathleen Miller and Molly L. Dillon
Andrea Walter and her mother Patricia Walter
The Ford Family - mother and son
Dale Donaldson and his mother and sister Sue Donaldson and Shelita Kirby
Barbara Volken and her brother and sisters Thomas, Diane and Cathy
Sparky Goodman and his brother Bill Goodman
The Ford Family and friend Carol Price
John Pringle and is friend and conservator Jeri Goodman
Nick and his father Richard
The Lawler Family - Veta, Joan, Karen and Jeri
Nathaniel M. Adams
The Gegan Family - Barbara, Michael, Matthew, Lucia and Joanna
The Emde Family - three brothers
The Mason Family
Nick and his mother Kathy and sister Teresa
The Kim Loustalot Family
Buck and his conservator Sue
The Denton Family: Bob and Scott
Patricia Ann Grangoff and her sister Mary Estelle Grangoff
Mother and Son - Carolyn and Curtis
The Pérez Sisters
Richard Wells and his family - Carolyn, Janet, Alison, David and Stephanie
Amber and her mother Karen Moen
Sheldon Giles and his mothers Diane and Anne Giles


Photographers Christian Pease and Joseph Garappolo. Project Manager Carolyn Allekna Todhunter

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