The Care We Create
Painted mural and vinyl, facade of the Los Angeles offices of the ACLU of Southern California (1313 West 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017). Fabrication by the Los Angeles Art Collective and the Wilson Cetina Group. Photos by Elon Schoenholz.
A mural for Southern California
Spanning the facade of the Los Angeles offices of the ACLU of Southern California, the mural The Care We Create (2020), designed by artist-in-residence Audrey Chan, is a testament to the power of coming together to fight for community healing and social justice.
The lush scene of life, healing and solidarity is a response to a pandemic that has exposed the inequities embedded in our society and prompts the essential questions: What do we dare to create? How do we care for our communities? How can we work together to build structures that ensure enduring support, access and justice for all?
In exploring these questions, the mural lifts up Southern Californians – past and present – who have fought or continue to fight for a better tomorrow by exercising their First Amendment rights, challenging unjust systems of policing and abuses of state power, and demanding dignity and respect for the rights of Black and brown people, immigrants, people unhoused, the LGBTQ+ community and youth. Some also include their family members, who inspire and support them. This is what community looks like.
A bold call to care and action
The mural sits directly across from an unmarked building that houses the Los Angeles Police Protective League (the police association) that has so often railed against the ACLU SoCal, Black Lives Matter and other community groups who oppose state violence and the unwarranted use of deadly police force.
“This monumental work reminds us of the power of art to celebrate and galvanize communities at a time when there are forces, even just across the street, that move to divide us,” says Patrisse Khan-Cullors, activist, author and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network and who is featured in the mural. “The mural lifts our hearts and reassures us that they will not succeed.”
The ACLU SoCal does not hide behind an anonymous facade. We openly advocate for justice in the courts, governmental seats of power and the streets.
“Our work, as reflected in the mural, is to create the just society and world we want to live in,” says ACLU SoCal Executive Director Hector Villagra, “and this will only be possible when we protect and promote our rights and dignity, together.”
About the People
The mural features Dr. Melina Abdullah, Baba Akili, Hector Barajas, José Bello, Alysha Boone, Albert Corado, Caesar Cruz, Anthony Flores-Alvarez, Theo Henderson, Mark-Anthony Johnson, Janaya Future Khan, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Vonya Quarles, Ramona Ripston, Bamby Salcedo, Upton Sinclair, Theresa Smith, Phal Sok, Ali Vayeghan and Marjan Vayghan. Read their biographies.
“The Care We Create is about our collective future and is rooted in the powerful stories of people exercising their rights and demanding dignity and respect for their communities," said Audrey Chan. "As an artist, it has been an honor to work alongside the ACLU of Southern California and their community partners to uplift people fighting for a just society. My hope is that this mural will be a constant reminder that the work of challenging systems that perpetuate injustice is a profound expression of love and compassion.”
Collaborating Partners: Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, People’s City Council, TransLatin@ Coalition, and Ktown For All
Art Consultant: Ana Iwataki
Fabricators/Painters: Eder Cetina, Juan “Gogo” Hernandez, David “Dense” Zajdman, Keefer “Keef” Butterworth, Fernando Mendoza, Dan Boer, and Frank “Kodak” Armstead of the LA Art Collective & Wilson Cetina Group
Photographer: Elon Schoenholz
"The Care We Create – A Mural Envisioning Community Care" | Essay by Audrey Chan for ACLU SoCal blog, January 27, 2022
"ACLU SoCal Unveils Massive Mural Depicting Activists" | Nic Cha Kim, Spectrum News 1, March 15, 2021
"Audrey Chan's LA Mural for ACLU" | Jennie E. Park, Artillery, January 13, 2021
"New Mural Depicting LA Civil Rights Leaders on 8th Street" | Julia Paskin, LAist, January 10, 2021
Video by Jenna Pittaway for the ACLU of Southern California