From the Local to the Global:
Great Wall and World Wall

February 29 – June 23, 2024

SPARC at Bergamot Station  |  Exhibition

We’re thrilled to announce our new gallery-production space at the Bergamot Station Art Center. A significant expansion of SPARC, this space embodies our commitment to art, community, and social change. We eagerly present to you our inaugural exhibition:

FROM THE LOCAL TO THE GLOBAL: GREAT WALL AND WORLD WALL brings together two monumental mural projects as envisioned by pioneering artist Judy Baca. Conceived in 1974, the iconic Great Wall of Los Angeles was followed ten years later by the epic World Wall: A Vision of the Future Without Fear. While the ‘Great Wall’ mural program engaged hundreds of local youth and community members, the international ‘World Wall’ would expand to a global audience, bringing Baca’s collaborative mural making model to worldwide acclaim. With the support of the Social and Public Art Resource Center, co-founded by Baca in 1976, SPARC and Judy Baca would continue to evolve from a modest community based art program, born out of the barrios of Los Angeles – with its roots in the Mexican Mural movement, to one of the most influential public art programs in the country and the world.

Rooted in collaborative origins since 1974 and initially conceived as a haven for at-risk youth during summer break, Baca’s Great Wall of Los Angeles provided a transformative experience along with paid employment to the young Mural Makers; more importantly the opportunity to participate in visually commemorating the unsung stories of their own ethnic communities and their contributions to the development of California. Along with artists and historians, the Mural Makers gathered each summer from 1976, 1978, 1980, 1981 and 1983, each year adding 350 feet of mural and a decade of history. Spanning a half-mile of mural and currently undergoing an ambitious mile-long expansion, the ‘Great Wall’s’ narrative unfolds along the Los Angeles River, in the Tujunga Flood Control Channel, in San Gabriel Valley. The Great Wall of Los Angeles has stood as a testament to artistic innovation and social impact, being officially recognized as a national monument and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.

Simultaneously, since 1986, the World Wall: A Vision of the Future Without Fear has been a globe-traveling mural installation, and serves as a space for public dialogue on matters of global importance. Guided by Judy Baca’s collaborative approach, the World Wall visually examines and sparks conversations on global issues such as war, peace, environmental concerns, interdependence, cooperation, and spiritual development. The ongoing evolution of the World Wall is evident in its completed panels, including Judy Baca’s profound “Triumph of the Hearts” and “Nonviolent Resistance.” Notable panels by the artist team from Finland “Dialogue Alternatives” and the Russian “The End of the 20th Century,” underscore the mural’s international impact. The project’s expansion encompasses diverse perspectives, from the Palestinian-Israeli collaboration on “Compromise/Inheritance” to the Mexican panel “Tlazolteotl: The Creative Force of the Unwoven” and the Canadian contribution addressing a ‘culture of extraction’ in “The Inuit Send the World a Canary.”

The ‘Great Wall’, akin to the ‘World Wall’, persists in its evolution. Despite the ongoing challenges posed by political instability, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, FROM THE LOCAL TO THE GLOBAL: GREAT WALL AND WORLD WALL unfolds the visual narrative of the human spirit to persevere, drawing cyclical connections between past and present. Both mural projects, rooted in community engagement and artistic expression, stand as enduring symbols of transformative storytelling and cultural preservation.

February 29 – June 23, 2024

SPARC at Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave Unit B1,
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Monday   closed
Tuesday   closed
Wednesday   1pm – 5pm
Thursday   1pm – 5pm
Friday   1pm – 5pm
Saturday   1pm – 5pm
Sunday   closed