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SIGNS FROM THE HEART: California Chicano Murals edited with an introduction by Eva Sperling Cockcroft and Holly Barnet-Sanchez (Social And Public Art Resource Center: $14.95) .

February 03, 1991|Ethel Alexander

Strength, perseverance and resolve are frequently the byproducts of pain, despair and oppression. The murals exhibited through the Los Angeles cityscape and documented in "Signs From the Heart" express the full range. Paralleling the sentiments of el movimiento of the late 1960s, murals began to spring up with full and legitimate force in the Chicano community, acting as barometer, Greek chorus and a collective community voice in response to the shortcomings in American mainstream social-political-economic-educational policy, practices and delivery. Watershed events are often the subject, as in "Zoot Suit Riots" (above), painted by preeminent urban artist Judith F. Baca. This is one panel of an ambitious, ongoing 2,400-foot mural entitled "Great Wall of Los Angeles" located in Tujunga Wash Drainage Canal, San Fernando Valley. The art serves as a reminder of a constantly evolving process of reclamation and positive redefinition. Under SAPAC's aegis, and directed by Kate Vozoff and Max Benavides, Los Angeles' 4,000-plus murals were photo-documented for two archives. The art included in this book is accompanied by four essays that serve to provide context and interpretation.

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