One of America’s leading visual artists, Dr. Judith F. Baca, has created public art for four decades. Powerful in size and subject matter, Baca’s murals bring art to where people live and work. In 1974, Baca founded the City of Los Angeles’ first mural program, which produced over 400 murals, employed thousands of local
participants, and evolved into an arts organization – the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC). She continues to serve as SPARC’s artistic director while also employing digital technology in SPARC’s digital mural lab to promote social justice and participatory public arts projects.
Beginning with the awareness that the land has memory, Baca creates art shaped by an interactive relationship of history, people, and place. Her public artworks focus on revealing and reconciling diverse peoples’ struggles for their rights and affirming the community’s connections to place. Together with the people who live there, they co-create monumental public art places that become “sites of public memory.”
In 2012, the Los Angeles Unified School District named a school the Judith F. Baca Arts Academy, located in Watts, her birthplace. She is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, the United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant awarded for the expansion of the Great Wall.