[Smithsonian Magazine] Using 3D Imaging To Preserve Chicana Artist Judy Baca’s Mural “Uprising of the Mujeres”

A behind-the-scenes look at how 3D imaging helps a mural conservator preserve Judy Baca’s “Uprising of the Mujeres”

Wendy Rose, October 14, 2022

In the fall of 2021, I joined the conservators in SAAM’s Lunder Conservation Center to work on an incredible mural painting, Uprising of the Mujeres, by the Chicana artist Judith F. Baca. Baca is one of the most accomplished muralists and narrative artists of our time. She typically creates her murals through direct interaction with the surrounding communities, drawing on their stories to create a site-specific mural. But this mural, being portable, is different. The work challenges the misogyny she encountered as a woman artist, the militarization of the police in Los Angeles, and unfair labor practices for Latinx workers in California, by depicting a powerful Indigenous woman leading agricultural workers in an uprising against their political exploitation.

Feeling that the piece could be incendiary (it is a critical depiction of politicians and the police in Los Angeles), Baca intentionally painted Uprising of the Mujeres on six separate panels of Masonite, a dense fiberboard, so that it could be shown in different contexts and preserved from erasure by graffiti and government officials. Four of the panels were loaded on the backs of trucks and driven around LA, parking in front of locations such as Bank of America and the California State Office of Unemployment, a scene which was captured in the documentary Mur Murs by filmmaker Agnès Varda. Baca says in the film that the juxtaposition of the mural next to a bank and the unemployment office demonstrates, “the separation between the world of work and the world of money.”


Read the full article here