Illuminate LA’s Collective Memory Installation Exhibits ‘El Sombrero de Miguel Lopez’ By Juan Escobedo

The piece will be exhibited from March 11-18 as part of the Illuminate LA initiative

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture recently launched the Collective Memory Installation as part of its Illuminate LA initiative. Actor, director, and photographer, Juan Escobedo, was selected to exhibit his work titled, El Sombrero de Miguel Lopez, which pays homage to his late grandfather.


“Miguel Lopez, my grandfather, was from Jalisco, Mexico. He came to the USA when visitors paid 50 cents to cross the border. I didn’t know he was part of the Bracero Program until years later. As far as I can remember, Miguel Lopez always wore a sombrero for riding horses or doing farm work. Along with his horses and cattle, the sombrero was an extension of who he was and the land he cared for,” said Escobedo. “I’m honored to have been selected among so many great artists to show my work at this exhibit, and to be able to share a piece of my family history makes it that much more special.”

Juan Escobedo | Courtesy photo

Juan Escobedo is an award-winning actor, director, and photographer. His short film Marisol, was Oscar qualified and the script was inducted into the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Margaret Herrick Library. The Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) started publishing Escobedo’s photography in 2012 as part of the City of Los Angeles Heritage Month Celebrations. His most notable work, Trash and Tears, is a series of photographs depicting models posing, surrounded by trash throughout the city. In an attempt to explore the issues of hoarding, mental health, poverty, and drug addiction, Escobedo manages to humanize homelessness by capturing its realness through his artistic lens. 

The Collective Memory Installation is a digital exhibition of artworks reflecting on the collective history of Los Angeles County, presented by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture in partnership with Grand Park powered by The Music Center. The installation features artworks by one hundred Los Angeles artists across a wide array of artistic mediums to share diverse community experiences and perspectives, highlight underrepresented histories, and celebrate the dynamic culture of the region.

The piece will be exhibited at Grand Park from March 11th through March 18th and may currently be viewed online at

The Collective Memory Installation will be on view at Grand Park, overlooking the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain, Saturday, February 25 through Saturday, March 18. The artworks, curated by cultural organizer Anuradha Vikram, will be presented by theme on a weekly basis. The five themes include Our CitiesRootsEarthly SpiritsKinship, and OfrendaEl Sombrero de Miguel Lopez will exhibit during the week of the Ofrenda theme, which includes works by artists who reflect on their ancestors, rites of passage, sacred spaces, and pay tribute.

Illuminate LA is a new Department of Arts and Culture initiative that sheds light on the collective and complex history and memory of LA County by exploring the County’s Civic Art Collection and public artworks across the region. With panel discussions, events, and artist engagements, Illuminate LA will uplift promising practices and examples of civic art in Los Angeles and beyond that support greater cultural equity and inclusion, and expand opportunities for diverse artists underrepresented in public art.

The Collective Memory Installation is free to attend and open to all ages. For more information, visit

For more information about Juan Escobedo, visit

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