End of Beyond Mexican Class Spring 2016

Professor Judy Baca and her students in the UCLA@SPARC Digital/Mural Lab Beyond the Mexican Mural Class on Thursday, June 2, 2016. SPARC showered the students with love and food. Wanting them to know they always have a community here at SPARC. Baca provided the students a safe place to share what they were all feeling after Wednesday’s occurrence on the UCLA campus. Witnessing and feeling the effects of violence first hand shook these students to their core. Vulnerability and Strength intermingled with Hope was the triumph affirmation. And doing art went a long way to help the healing process.

Emancipation Workshop in Progress at Judy Baca arts Academy

Judy Baca and the Students of Beyond Mexican Mural Class conduct emancipation Project


Ayotzinapa Opening Exhibition Night

Digital Mural Lab Showcase Exhibition for the Chicana/o Studies 8 Year Review Committee

View photographs of the showcase exhibition put on for the Chicana/o Studies 8 year review committee that recently visited the lab. Past work includes The Denver International Airport Mural “La Memoria de Nuestra Tierra”, The Desaparecidos UCLA Graduate/Undergraduate Exhibition, sketches from the future extension of the Great Wall of LA, the Witnesses to LA project, and much more.




Successful Chicana/o Studies Eight Year Review Committee Visits the Digital Mural Lab

Chicana/o Studies Eight Year Review Committee Visits the Digital Mural Lab for a Closing Reception.


Watts: Riots/Rebellion 50th Anniversary Commemorative Mural Project


“There has been a long history of social, racial, economic and political injustices for African American communities in Los Angeles. Fifty years ago, in the neighborhood of Watts—on August 11, 1965—these injustices erupted into the six-day Watts Riots/Rebellion. The Riots/Rebellion served as a crucial turning point in LA’s Civil Rights Movement and is now recognized as one of the most severe civil unrests in the history of the City.


The Office of Councilman Joe Buscaino and the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) seek to commission a new mural within the neighborhood of Watts, in the 15th Council District, to commemorate the Watts Riots/Rebellion of 1965. The mural will serve as a visual reminder of community resilience and the vision for an improved quality of life in Watts.” – Taken from The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Request for Qualifications


Artist Judy Baca, and her team at the UCLA @ SPARC Digital/Mural Lab have been awarded the opportunity to create a new mural commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Watts Riots/Rebellion. Baca, along with the Digital Mural Lab’s system administrator, Farhad Akhmetov, Ph.d candidate/multimedia artist Carlos Rogel, Ph.d. candidate Kaelyn Rodriguez, first African-American woman muralist in LA Alice Patrick, Harbor Watts Economic Development Corporation’s Frank O’Brien, and muralist Daryl Wells will create several sites of public memory including an inventory of important cultural assets to the Watts neighborhood, culminating in a mural at Markham Middle School. The mural will demonstrate the underlying history and resilience that Watts has embodied from 1965 to 2016. The intention is to make visible the events and circumstances that precipitated the largest riot in American history in 1965. Today nothing remains of those events but a profound “absence” as the sites are without markers, commemoration, or memory. The sites, where significant events occurred, will be marked via etched concrete sandblasted into existing sidewalks and connected via a walking, biking or car tour created for the public with didactic materials via memorial plaques and enhanced via augmented reality cell phone technology for the public to interact with. Each site will contribute to the unfolding story of the development and escalation of the riots in the Watts area. While efforts have been made to improve conditions in the Watts community, many of the same issues are still affecting life in Watts today where the life expectancy remains the lowest of any city in California. Through their efforts to highlight the past, present, and future of the Watts, Baca and her team hope to contribute towards a new understanding and optimistic future for the neighborhood’s future growth.


The sites of public memory and mural are estimated to be completed in October 2016.


The corner of Avalon and 116th – the first site of historic importance will be marked by the Watts: Riots/Rebellion 50th Anniversary Commemorative Mural Project on the ground, with a logo for the project in permanent materials that directs people on the tour and marks the beginning events leading to the Uprising of 1965. In addition, cultural sites along the way are noted.

03.00 Avalon-and-116th

Markham (Edwin) Middle School – mural location1650 E 104th St, Los Angeles, CA 90002. This will mark the site of the painted mural above the entrance to the Middle school auditorium and a large-scale map etched into the concrete in front of the middle school auditorium ground.

03.01_Mural Sketch in Situ


Watts Business Center / Charcoal Alley @ 103rd – there will be markers in the ground of personal statements of those who lived through the riots. Use of personal quotes and statistical materials.


The artistic approach is both traditional and unconventional as the work proposed is more than a mural but also is a
tour of the Watts neighborhood through the vehicle of the Riots. The tour will also be available via a mobile phone geo-map application. The result will be a mural that represents the community’s dreams of the future while remembering the past.

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu visits The Great Wall of Los Angeles


Tuesday, September 22, 2015  L-R: SPARC Team: Elaine Raif, Marietta Bernstorff, Judy Baca, Debra J.T. Padilla, NEA Chairman Jane Chu, California Arts Council Director Craig Watson, National Council on the Arts Member Dr. Maria Rosario-Jackson, SPARC Team: Carlos Rogel and Kaelyn Rodriguez.

PRESS RELEASE: http://arts.gov/news/2015/national-endowment-arts-chairman-jane-chu-visit-los-angeles-california-september-22%E2%80%9323

Judith Baca, USA Rockefeller Fellow, Visual Arts

Los Angeles mural artist Judith Baca was named Tuesday as the first muralist to win a grant from United States Artists since the nonprofit group began giving the $50,000 awards in 2006.  Baca was the only Southern California winner this year among 36 United States Artists prize recipients in the nine categories: architecture and design, crafts, dance, literature, media, music, theater and performance, visual arts and traditional arts.

LA TIMES ARTICLE: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-judith-baca-mural-art-united-states-artists-winner-20151110-story.html

MORE ON USA FELLOWS:  http://www.unitedstatesartists.org/

Cal State Northridge President and Faculty visits Judy at the UCLA@SPARC Digital Mural Lab

On Tuesday, April 14, California State University, Northridge President Dianne Harrison visited UCLA Professor Judy Baca at the UCLA@SPARC Digital Mural Lab on Tuesday with Mario Ontiveros, CSUN Assistant Professor of Modern & Contemporary Art, Jay Kvapil, Dean of the CSUN Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication, and Michael Ryan, Director of Development, CSUN Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication.  SPARC Executive Director Debra Padilla and SPARC Project Manager/UCLA Doctoral Student in Chicana/o Studies Carlos Rogel joined the conversation of the impact of Judy’s CSUN arts education, how her practice has developed since graduation, her teaching pedagogy at the UCLA@SPARC Digital Mural Lab and what Judy and the SPARC team are doing now.

CSUN President Dianne Harrison will be awarding Judy with the CSUN 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award on April 18, 2015 in recognition of her career and service as a “muralist and community arts pioneer.”

To learn more about the award ceremony, read The San Fernando Sun’s article, Alumni Innovators to Be Honored for Their Contributions to Their Fields.

Picture (Left to Right): Debra Padilla, Mario Ontiveros, Judy Baca, Dianne Harrison, Jay Kvapil, Michael Ryan and Carlos Rogel.

20 Portraits of Judy Baca Arts Academy Students Completed



The Judy Baca Arts Academy represents the tremendous potential for creative learning endeavors within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). We believe that academic pre- paredness means placing art, creativity and self-exploration at the center of the scholastic journey. The Emancipation Project, a collaboration between University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Judy Baca Arts Academy (JBAA), reflects this ideology. The four-week workshop pairs members of a 6th grade class with university students enrolled in the Beyond the Mexican Mural studio course through the UCLA@SPARC Digital Mural Lab.

Under the direction of Professor Judy Baca, undergraduates assist and mentor JBAA stu- dents as they create life-sized self-portraits. Beginning as photographs, these images transform into hand painted portraits reflecting memory, identity and aspirations. The individual portraits will be installed together in the school’s outdoor eating-area as a unified image of “emancipation,” commemorating the students’ graduation from elementary school, while celebrating their future achievements within academia and beyond.



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