Latino heritage in LA: Murals

City’s urban canvas – murals are freely visible and open for all to enjoy! They give the cities that unique artistic touch that lift you up every time you walk by it! They make you think as they express the history, concerns and aspirations of a community. Latino artists and their culture are an integral part of the Los Angeles’s mural heritage. Let’s check some below!

América Tropical

This 80×18 foot mural located above Olvera Street, completed in 1932 depicts a Mexican Indian crucified on a cross beneath an American eagle, with two sharpshooters aiming at the eagle from nearby. It’s the first large-scale mural in the U.S. that created a public space by being painted on an ordinary exterior wall. There was an immediate controversy since the mural has the strong political message about the exploitation of Mexican workers. David Alfaro Siqueiros‘s América Tropical was restored by the Getty Conservation Institute and opened to the public in October 2012 with a new viewing platform and interpretive center.

América Tropical by David Alfaro /


Siqueiros: La Voz de la Gente!

This mural which was painted as a part of Latino Heritage Month is a homage to David Alfaro Siqueiros. The collaborative work was organized by Anna Siqueiros, the iconic artist’s great-grand niece, who gathered famed muralists and graffiti artists such as Ernesto de la Loza, Willie Herrón III, Carlos Callejo, Carlos Duran, Juan Carlos Muñoz, Fabian Debora, Raul Gonzalez, Nuke, Defer, Blossom and more.

Various Artists, Siqueiros: La Voz de la Gente!, Los Angeles, 2012. Courtesy of the Siqueiros Foundation of the Arts.


The Great Wall of Los Angeles

This super interesting and one of the longest murals in the world tells the story of California from prehistory to the 1950s. The Great Wall of Los Angeles contains chronologically ordered vignettes, beginning with dinosaurs on one end and the Baby Boom at the other. The mural was designed by Judith Baca, founder of the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC). It took over five summers to complete this mural! 400 youth and their families from diverse social and economic backgrounds along with artists, oral historians, ethnologists, scholars, and hundreds of community members worked on this mural!

The Great Wall of Los Angeles /


White Memorial Medical Center

Art can heal! That’s why the grounds of the White Memorial Medical Center contain many paintings, sculptures and tile work for patients to peruse as they convalesce. One of the most prominent is a tile mural on the Cesar Chavez Avenue side, Comunidad by Jose Ramirez. It features a Los Angeles cityscape in the background and its multicultural citizens in the foreground.

East Los Angeles Tile Mural, White Memorial Medical Center, Artist: Jose Ramirez /


Tikkun Olam – To Repair the World

Across the street from the medical center is Tikkun Olam – To Repair the World, by George Yepes. The 1997 mural rises 36 feet on the side of a parking lot, depicting Christ on the cross as well as after his resurrection. Music fans will recognize Yepes from his cover art for the 1988 Los Lobos album, La Pistola y El Corazon.

Tikkun Olam – To Repair the World, by George Yepes /



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