CSUN Distinguished Alumni Awards 2015: Congratulations Judy Baca!

Judy Baca, who graduated from what was then San Fernando Valley State College in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in art, is a world-renowned muralist who took her passion for color, Los Angeles and its youth and turned her paints into a movement.

She is the artistic director of the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) Cesar Chavez Digital Mural Lab at UCLA. One of her best-known works is “The Great Wall of Los Angeles,” which lines a flood-control channel in the East San Fernando Valley. Baca supervised the creation of the mural, the world’s longest at 2,274 feet, by more than 400 at-risk youth and their families. The California Endowment recently awarded SPARC a grant to preserve and restore the mural, originally painted in 1976.

In her early 20s, Baca founded the Citywide Mural Program. As she painted her first murals in the barrios of Los Angeles in the 1970s, Baca became known as “the mural lady.” She soon won worldwide attention and acclaim for painting the city’s urban freeways for the 1984 Summer Olympics. Her work, “Las Tres Marias,” is included in the Smithsonian Institution’s permanent collection.

In 2010, she completed the Cesar Chavez Memorial at San Jose State University and the Robert F. Kennedy monument at what is now Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools — formerly the Ambassador Hotel, the site of Kennedy’s assassination in 1968.


Archival Footage Courtesy of: Judy Baca and SPARC

Filmed by: Richard Chambers, Pamela Villagonzalo, Jonathan Wong
Edited by: Jonathan Wong
Music by: The Music Bed (licensed with permission)
Produced by: CSUN University Advancement Marketing & Communications

© 2015 California State University, Northridge