site: 119 North 8th Street
Santa Paula Library

completed: 2000









 click any area of mural for detail

Our First Inhabitants: The Chumash Indians
The artist, Ann Thiermann, researched this mural by hiking to the historic site of the Chumash village, Sisa, in the foothills above Santa Paula and listening to local Chumash culture bearers. The artist created a dialogue between a grandmother of today (shown on left) and her granddaughter sharing the story of the life of the Chumash, from their experience during the Mission period back thousands of years to life in the village of Sisa along the Santa Paula Creek. The artist says, "I painted the stucco wall in earth browns, and all the earth elements then painted themselves; first rocks, then sycamores, oaks, the creek and Fall grasses. The figures emerge from these earth elements and reflect the harmony and integration with nature that the Chumash lived out." When the library is open, you may borrow a detailed description of life in this Chumash village.




Ann E.Thiermann, muralist

Ann Elizabeth Thiermann, a classically trained artist with an extensive background in both landscape and figurative painting, has designed over 50 murals for natural history museums, art museums, libraries and educational institutions. Ann holds both a BA in art from UCSC and an MFA in painting and drawing from Cal State University, Long Beach.

Her work caught the eye of Joyce Carlson, Chairperson of The Murals of Santa Paula, who viewed one of her murals in the Museum of Natural History in Santa Cruz, California depicting life among the Ohlone Indians in the Santa Cruz area. She was asked to submit a proposal for a mural about life in a Chumash Indian village historically located along the Santa Paula Creek.

Thiermann carefully researched all aspects of life among the Chumash Indians in this area and hiked into the hills above Santa Paula to the site of a former Chumash village. She received confirmation for all the details in her mural from a professor of anthropology and Julie Tumamait, a local Chumash culture bearer.

The mural is used as a teaching tool for school children who learn about the first inhabitants of Santa Paula and are intrigued by learning about their way of life and the many animals and birds depicted in the mural.

Visit the artist's website at







visit murals  |  who we are  |  share  |  home  |

Santa Paula Murals Project, Copyright 2004
all rights reserved, website material and mural photos

Tel: 805.525.2824 

All photographs used in this website taken by Larry Holt, copyright 2004
This website created by SketchPad