Judy Baca: Memorias de Nuestra Tierra, a Retrospective at the MOLAA

Judy Baca: Memorias de Nuestra Tierra, a Retrospective is the first comprehensive retrospective of the work of the internationally renowned Chicana muralist, public intellectual and community activist, Judy Baca. It gathers more than 110 works of art including paintings, sculptures, preparatory drawings and sketchbooks, was organized by independent curator Alessandra Moctezuma and MOLAA’s chief curator, Gabriela Urtiaga.

Baca is a painter and muralist, community arts pioneer, and scholarly-educator who has been teaching in the UC system for more than 30 years. She has shaped the literal landscape of Los Angeles. She has also led workshops and projects that not only have added hundreds of murals to the city’s walls, they’ve employed at-risk youth and served as gang intervention programs.

During mid-1970s Los Angeles Baca pioneered a collaborative model that enabled young people to weave “hidden” histories of their underrepresented communities into monumental public artworks. These murals celebrated their people’s contributions and articulated their stories and struggles. Baca’s works became epic narratives, connecting youth with their diverse heritage and creating new “sites of public memory.”

Judy Baca stands flanked by images she employed in an installation at her 1976 show at the Woman’s Building, one of a young clica member nicknamed “Flaca,” left, the other of the artist as a pachuca.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

The exhibition is divided thematically into three sections that present different aspects of Baca’s artistic production.

Gallery A is the Womanist Gallery, where in we see female power presented. This gallery delves with greater insight into Baca’s more intimate history, and her very personal explorations of feminism, gender, and body politics. This gallery also focuses on Baca’s personal role models and their place in Baca’s history, upbringing, and understanding of the world. The Womanist Gallery lastly, features never-before-seen, surrealist ink drawings by Judy Baca, exploring her struggle with personal relationships.

Gallery B features a Baca Public Art Survey, exploring her pivotal and career-defining work through the Social and Public Arts Resource Center, an organization Judy founded in 1976. In a city and time where community public art was dominated by men, Baca demonstrated that a woman could not only produce at large scale, but that decades later would become the leading innovator in this media.

Great Wall of Los Angeles / sparcinla.org

In Gallery C, visitors will discover the history of Baca’s first masterpiece, the Great Wall of Los Angeles. This half mile long mural occupies the Tujunga Wash in the San Fernando Valley. The mural tells the story of California from prehistoric times to the 1950s and takes special care in presenting the lesser-known histories of the ethnic groups who inhabit this state. To understand the immensity of this project, viewers are invited to participate in an immersive audiovisual experience of the monumental piece.

Book your visit HERE!

A detail from Judy Baca’s “La Memoria de Nuestra Tierra: Colorado,” 1999, a mural she created for the Denver International Airport.(SPARC Archives / SPARCinLA.org)

Date: Until March 2022

  • $10 – Adults
  • $7 – Students with valid ID
  • $7 – Seniors
  • Free – children under 12 yrs old
  • Free – MOLAA Members (Become a member)

Phone: +15624371689

Sources: molaa.org, latimes.com

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