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The Evolution of Street Art in L.A.


In 1974 the artist Judy Baca started painting The Great Wall of Los Angeles. It is a half-mile long mural in the Tujunga Wash drainage canal in the San Fernando Valley, one of the LA river’s tributaries and involved the participation of 400 youth volunteers. She told DnA, “The Great Wall was a reclamation of a story that had been disappeared very much like the river had been disappearing. I was a kid at the time that the rivers were not all entirely concreted and there were open spaces where we could go and play and as they became concreted we lost those kind of spaces.”

Now she will tell that story along with other tales of collective history-making through street art, when she joins the veteran street artists Saber and Brooklyn-based Swoon (aka Caledonia Curry) for a conversation about the evolution of street art and the impact of gentrification. It takes place at the Annenberg Space for Photography and it is part of the programming for the exhibition “Walls: Defend Divide and the Divine.”