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A World of Art

Biographical Sketch: Judy Baca


Judy Baca
As a visual artist, Judy Baca is best known for her large-scale murals, which involve extensive community organization and participation and address multicultural audiences. In the internationally known Great Wall of Los Angeles in the Tujunga Wash Flood Control Channel, Baca designed a work which incorporated 40 ethnic scholars, over 400 multicultural neighborhood youth, 40 assisting artists, and over 100 support staff to paint a half-mile long pictorial representation of the ethnic history of California. Along with many other mural projects, Baca has employed her community organizing techniques to make the World Wall: A Vision of the Future without Fear, seven dual-sided 10 x 30 foot portable mural panels on canvas. The 210-foot mural in seven parts addresses contemporary issues of global importance: war, peace, cooperation, interdependence, and spiritual growth. As the World Wall tours the world, additional panels by artist from seven countries will be added to complete this visual tribute to the "Global Village."

As an arts activist, Baca founded the first City of Los Angeles mural program in 1974, which produced over 250 murals and hired over 2,000 participants in its ten years of operation. In 1976, she founded the Social and Public Arts Resource Center (SPARC) in Venice, California, where she still serves as Artistic Director. In 1988, at the request of then Mayor Tom Bradley, she developed another Los Angeles Mural program based on the model of the Great Wall. Entitled Great Walls Unlimited: Neighborhood Pride, it operated under contract with the City's Cultural Affairs Department and has produced 73 murals in almost every ethnic community in Los Angeles.

She is a founding faculty member of the new California state University, Monterey Bay, and serves as a senior faculty member at UCLA's Cesar Chavez Institute. She lives and works in Venice, California.

 

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