Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Discover all the ways you can make a difference.
Support Icon
The Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams are here to help.

Restoration of the Great Wall of Los Angeles

Support Provided By

In the 25 years since the completion of the Great Wall, SPARC has completed over a hundred murals, both in collaboration with local communities and solely by artist Judith F. Baca. But the sun, the water of the wash, and graffiti were wearing down on the Great Wall, calling back SPARC a few years ago to restore its luster. The Wall was in disrepair, some sections faded, others infested with spiders, and delamination throughout its entirety, where large sections of paint had cracked or caked off.

Challenged with fundraising - $100 per square foot - they sought after donations and grants both large and small, attained primarily through the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

Students from Baca's UCLA courses, friends of SPARC, and the original volunteers joined in the efforts to restore the Great Wall. Working throughout the summer in the trench of the Tujunga Wash, the crew cleaned the walls and repaired missing chunks before the painting began. Pigments and paints were researched for luminosity and UV protection to ensure a longer life span. Over three summers, from cleaning to painting, the Wall was restored, and in some sections, enhanced with updated imagery.

Carlos Rogel: Improvements in Mural Production

SPARC Project Manager Carlos Rogel explains the advances in paint chemistry that contributed to the restoration.
Carlos Rogel - Improvements in Mural Production

Carlos Callejo: Returning to The Great Wall

Original Great Wall painter Carlos Callejo describes how he ended up back on the restoration crew.
Carlos Callejo - Returning to The Great Wall

Holly Crawford: Defining Public Art

Artist Holly Crawford talks about how Judith Baca and the Great Wall helped her find her way into public art.
Holly Crawford - Defining Public Art

Adriana Macias: Growing Up by the Great Wall

UCLA student Adriana Macias details how he grew up near the Great Wall and her passion for being a member of the restoration team.
Adriana Macias - Social Justice Illustrated

Support Provided By
Read More
Ed Fuentes, artwork Colette Miller (preview)

In Remembrance of Arts Journalist and Advocate Ed Fuentes

Collaborator and friend James Daichendt remembers Ed Fuentes, a longtime advocate of the arts, who passed away this week.

The San Gabriels: The Remarkable History of L.A.'s Threatened National Monument

An exploration of the rich history and culture of the San Gabriel Mountains and its eponymous river.
Boyle Heights Street Vending. Credits: Feng Yuan

Is Los Angeles Finally Legalizing Street Vending?

Trend-setting entrepreneurs versus “illegal” street vendors is a confusing dichotomy that has become the center of many conversations.