Hitting the Wall: A Historic Mural Will Return to LA

“Hitting the Wall”

Update on Restoration of Judy Baca’s 1984 artwork on the Harbor Freeway

As many of you know, the emblematic mural “Hitting the Wall” was egregiously whitewashed in 2019 without the consent of the artist and our founder, Judy Baca. The piece commemorated the first time female runners were allowed to compete in the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics. Much like the incredible women who’s perseverance the piece encapsulates, “Hitting the Wall” will not be silenced. After a detailed conservation assessment performed by SPARC with the support of LA Metro and CalTrans, we are thrilled to announce that “Hitting the Wall” can and will be restored. LA Metro has taken responsibility for the damages and has agreed to support SPARC’s restoration of the mural. SPARC will be meeting with CalTrans leadership to develop solutions for the future maintenance of the mural, including the improvement of lighting, fencing, reporting, and the enforcement of laws against the destruction of public art. Currently, CalTrans has no maintenance fund for murals on state property. Due to a policy restriction, CalTrans is unable to provide funds for future repairs should any mural on their property be vandalized. This policy must change. Unfortunately, “Hitting the Wall” is just one of many public artworks that are at risk of disappearing. SPARC is advocating for better policies and procedures that prevent the defacement of public art, whether intentional or negligent. We hope that SPARC’s plan will serve as a model for the protection of the thousands of public artworks that are vulnerable to damage under the supervision of public agencies.

Read more about “Hitting the Wall” in Molly Lambert’s article published in Los Angeles Magazine.

We need your help to make sure the restoration of “Hitting the Wall” moves forward!

Sign the petition to save this historic mural!

“Hitting the Wall,” Judith F. Baca, 1984

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