By Nic Cha Kim Valley Village
LOS ANGELES — If you’re a fan of California history, you may consider taking a walk down the Tujunga Greenbelt along Coldwater Canyon in Valley Village.
“The Great Wall of Los Angeles” is a mural designed by artist Judy Baca with the help of over 400 community youths and artists. Now a National Historic Site, it’s an artwork that reads like a history book.
“The Great Wall is a narrative work,” said Baca. “It’s a work after the tradition of Los Tres Grandes, the great Mexican muralists of the 20th Century. And that’s where I trained. And the notion was that we can bring the story back to the people.”
Officially called “The History of California,” the mural depicts imagery from prehistoric times all the way to the 1950s. Started in 1974, the Army Corps of Engineers needed a beautification project to help ease tensions created by a flood control channel that physically divided the community.
Baca, therefore, collected historical stories often left out of history books and worked on accurately depicting indigenous, women and communities of color.