Judith F. Baca’s Iconic ‘Great Wall’ Mural Gets an Update, Thanks to a Major Grant

"Judith F. Baca’s The History of California, better known as the Great Wall of Los Angeles, is an epic mural cycle that envisions history from the perspective of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian people, who have historically been pushed to the margins of mainstream versions of L.A. history centering white politicians, activists, and more. In the work, Baca highlights the important—and painful—moments to which these communities have bore witness over the centuries. But the work has never charted the recent past—its focus has cut off at the 1950s since 1983, when the mural was completed.

"That will all change following a $5 million Mellon Foundation grant that will allow Baca and the arts nonprofit she cofounded, the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), to extend the imagery of the Great Wall to include happenings over the past 70 years through 2021. Once Baca’s additions are complete, the mural will span all the way from visions of California’s pre-historic flora and fauna to scenes reflecting on the coronavirus pandemic. The Great Wall’s expansion is expected to be completed by 2028, in time for the L.A. Olympics that year."


Ariel Wesler, "Great Wall of LA to Undergo Expansion in Time for 2028 Summer Olympics," Spectrum 1 News Los Angeles, March 17, 2021.