As a visual artist, Judith Baca is best known for her large-scale public murals. Her art involves extensive community organizing and participation, addressing multi-cultural audiences. In the internationally known GREAT WALL OF LOS ANGELES mural in the Tujunga Wash Flood Control Channel, Baca designed a work which incorporated 40 ethnic scholars, 450 multi-cultural neighborhood youth, 40 assisting artists and over 100 support staff to paint a half mile long mural on the ethnic history of California. Painted over five summers, this exciting work describes decade by decade the contributions and struggles of California's diverse peoples from prehistoric times to the 1950's. Unique among murals in its conceptual approach, the GREAT WALL also provided an educational program of training in inter-racial relations for the project's participants and for the people in the surrounding community.
Recently completed works include an interactive digital mural for the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, a social justice high school located in downtown Los Angeles, the Cesar Chavez Memorial at San Jose State University, the Robert F. Kennedy Monument at the Ambassador Hotel site (the site of Kennedy’s assassination), which is now the LAUSD K-12 RFK Community Schools, the Central American Resource and Education Center (CARECEN), Central American Resource and Education Center (CARECEN), the Durango Latino Education Coalition, the Venice Boardwalk, the Denver International Airport, the University of Southern California, the Baldwin Park Metrolink station, international exhibition entitled “Art of the Other Mexico” and an interior mural for the Southern California Gas Company's new downtown Los Angeles headquarters. Baca continues to work on the WORLD WALL: A VISION OF THE FUTURE WITHOUT FEAR, seven 10 foot by 30 foot portable mural panels on canvas. This 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 artists from different countries will be added to complete this visual tribute to the “Global Village.” Completed panels include artists' work from Finland, Russia, a joint effort from Palestine and Israel and Mexico; currently the Canadian artist team is completing their contribution to the traveling mural.
Baca's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, published in numerous periodicals, journals, and books, and documented in several films. She has received awards and recognition for her work from community groups such as the California Community Foundation, the Liberty Hill Foundation, the AFL/CIO, the California State Assembly, the United States Senate and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Baca was the recipient of the 2010 National Award in Public Art presented by Americans for the Arts and the Public Art Network; the 2012 Mario F. Vasquez Leadership Award from AFLCIO (Los Angeles County Federation of Labor), recognized for exceptional leadership skills that encourage future generations of Latino labor activists; the 2012 Outstanding Latino/a Award from the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education; the 2003 Education Award from the National Hispanic Heritage Awards and a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is a founding faculty member of the new California State University- Monterey Bay, where she helped to develop a Visual and Public Art Institute. After 13 years at UC Irvine in Studio Arts, she now serves a Senior Professor in the UCLA Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana & Chicano Studies and the UCLA World Arts and Cultures Department. To advance the field of muralism, in 1996 Baca created the UCLA/SPARC Cesar Chavez Digital/Mural Lab, a research, teaching and production facility based at SPARC.
M.A., California State University, Northridge