Judy Baca Interview (1983)

From the Califas: Chicano Art and Culture in California Collection:

Judy Baca: “They said what would you think about developing this whole park and channel for recreational use… And so I started to dream again about the idea of how we might be able to take all of those divergent ethnic groups that we have been working with in their various communities and bring them to one site and do a cooperative effort. Because all the things that I think were a problem that I saw in the early [murals] were that the chicanos were painting in the chicano community and blacks were painting in the black community, and if you wanted to make that soujurn into the black community, you could really get imagery that had to do with the black experience. Or the chicano experience.

“And I thought what we really need is a huge wall that would bring us all together, a project that would make it possible for artists from various places to work on this piece together. And for it to be the story of ethnic peoples in California. In the context of one another. Because you really get struck when you see individually all the parts of history in various pieces. But it takes you days to get across the city to see those. What if they were all in one place in which you could feel the weight of the history of all of the various people who essentially built the state and built the county?”

For more on The Great Wall of Los Angeles and the Califas: Chicano Art and Culture Collection, click here.