Mural Project: The Great Wall

As an Adjunct Instructor at Northwest Vista College, I placed a large focus on providing lectures that highlighted the accomplishments of Chicano/a artists and collectives; I also designed correlating studio projects to connect the concepts of the lectures to the students on a local level.

For example, I teach about the Great Wall of Los Angeles, a large mural project that started in 1978. The mural was conceptualized and led by Judith Baca and painted along with community youth, many from the juvenile correction system. The project visually depicts the history of California in decade long segments and focuses on the perspectives of women and people of color that were being left out of the history books.

My classes met twice a week and consisted of nonart majors. For this topic, I presented a week of lectures to introduce the mural in detail deconstructing the iconography and summarizing the subject for each decade of the mural. Then the students were organized into research groups and each group was assigned a decade to research San Antonio’s history. And lastly, the students make a mural of their own using brown rolled paper and charcoal.

 

Due to the space constraints of the classroom, and because all three segments of my classes collectively contributed to the mural, we needed to unroll the mural outside to view it in its entirety.