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.
Judy Baca and the Students of Beyond Mexican Mural Class conduct emancipation Project
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.
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.
Below is a collection of the completed paintings from the Emancipation Workshop. As part of Judy’s pedagogy, UCLA students of the Beyond the Mexican Mural class are empowered to join her in teaching the Emancipation Workshop to students of the Judy Baca Arts Academy. This multi-week workshop provides teaching experience for UCLA students and an opportunity for Judy Baca Arts Academy students to reflect upon and self-express his and her own distinctive identity. The first two weeks are devoted to talking and developing imagery to express the student’s identity. The third and fourth weeks are for painting! View the gallery to see what 6th grade students of the Judy Baca Arts Academy are passionate about and what they desire to do with their futures!
As part of Judy’s pedagogy, UCLA students of the Beyond the Mexican Mural class are empowered to join her in teaching the Emancipation Workshop, also known as the Collaborative Portrait Workshop, to students of the Judy Baca Arts Academy. This multi-week workshop provides teaching experience for UCLA students and an opportunity for Judy Baca Arts Academy students to reflect upon and self-express his and her own distinctive identity. The first two weeks are devoted to talking and developing imagery to express the student’s identity. The third and fourth weeks are for painting! Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the Workshop.
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On February 4, 2015, the UCLA Daily Bruin published the article,”Beyond Mexican Mural: Scenes of LA” featuring a video of the Winter 2015 Beyond the Mexican Mural students painting the mural LA Tropical at the UCLA@SPARC Digital Mural Lab in Venice, CA. LA Tropical culminates over 3 months of research, reflection and re-imaging of the relationship between one’s identity and Los Angeles.
For more information, videos of the challenges, and the proposals led by LAUSD students, visit:
SPARC Hosts International Guest Artist from Scotland:
Welcome Richie Cumming
Sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, National Galleries of Scotland, the British Council, and Creative Stirling
A Message from our International Guest:
“I applied to the Cultural Exchange International programme to fund a period of study/work at SPARC as I wanted to learn about the impressive history of an organisation who have been producing public artworks in complicated social and political contexts for over 30 years.
As an artist and as Outreach Officer for the National Galleries of Scotland, I work with communities across Scotland to produce work which is of social interest and relevance, work that gives people a public platform to express their thoughts and concerns about issues that affect them. I felt SPARC could provide me with evidence and a renewed confidence and conviction of the importance of artworks presented and produced by and for communities outwith the confines of galleries and art markets. I was also interested in learning production methods utilised by the UCLA@SPARC Digital Mural Lab in order to apply them to future productions I am involved in with the Blameless collective.
I am blogging about my LA experience here and there is information, films and images of the National Galleries of Scotland’s Outreach project, The Nation//Live currently on display in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery here.” – Richie Cumming