Sure, we've all driven by Los Angeles's boisterous murals, but who knew our fair city has 1,500 of them--more than any other urban center? Tomorrow, our most important one is having its close-up.
The Great Wall of Los Angeles stretches along a quarter mile of the Tujunga Wash flood control channel in Valley Glen. Painted from 1979 to 1984 by a plucky Watts schoolteacher named Judy Baca and her students, it taught gang youth to make art, not war.
Now, after a three-year, $2 million restoration project led by Baca's Social and Public Art Resource Center, there'll be a picnic from 3 to 6 p.m. in a nearby park with food trucks. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will celebrate the mural's bright new hues and signage--and plans to continue its painting.
A historic panorama from pre-Columbian times to the 1950s, its enormity has to be seen firsthand to be believed. We're especially wowed by the bold depictions of local racial flash points, including Japanese internment, the forced clearing of Chavez Ravine and Dr. Charles Drew, whose blood-supply desegregation cost him his job.
Standing in front of it is to experience a life-affirming example of the art of the possible.