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