The Monumental Impact of a Judy Baca Mural in Los Angeles
A Mellon grant will allow SPARC to extend “The Great Wall” to a full mile in length, bringing the content of the mural up to the present day. the present day.
Article by Rachel Heidenry
May 2, 2021
In 1976, Judy Baca began working on “The Great Wall of Los Angeles,” a monumental mural depicting the story of Los Angeles through the lens of interracial harmony. Spreading over 2,700 feet of wall space in the Tujunga Wash of the San Fernando Valley, “The Great Wall” spans pre-historic California to the 1950s, showing a range of historical events, including the Zoot Suit Riots, the fight against the covenant laws in South Central LA, and the internment of Japanese-Americans. Collaboratively created with local artists, community members, and more than 400 youth during the summers between 1976 and 1983, “The Great Wall” and its nonprofit arm, the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), inspired hundreds of mural projects and educational initiatives across the region. No other organization has had a bigger impact on community mural painting in Southern California — particularly as it relates to Chicanx and Latinx communities — than SPARC.