Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Judith Baca

Judith Baca is an artist and an activist. This southern Californian has combined her art and social activism to create murals that have become major landmarks or have been exhibited around the world. 

In 1976 she started the "Social and Public Art Resource Center" in Venice, California.  There she launched her public art projects. Baca is well known for "The Great Wall of Los Angeles."  It traces the ethnic and cultural history of the city.  The mural is about 2500 feet.  It took Baca eight years to finish the project, but she brought together more than 400 young people from different ethnic backgrounds to get the mural done. 

Baca has created more than 250 murals in Los Angeles and in that time organized over 1,000 young people from different LA neighborhoods to help her with the projects.  Her main goal has been to give everyone a voice through public art. 

Baca is also an author and a professor of Chicano Studies at UCLA.  She has also received numerous awards for her art and social activism.  In 1996, Baca created the UCLA/SPARC Cesar Chavez Digital/Mural Lab.  It is a research, teaching, and production facility. 

Here's a video of when Judith Baca and a team of volunteers returned to restore "The Great Wall of Los Angeles." 

More resources on Judith Baca: 

The National Women's History Project
UCLA Cesar Chavez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies

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