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UTLA Art Build: Stand with Los Angeles Teachers!

December 13, 2018

There is power in a union. There is power in solidarity. And there is power in art. Last weekend these themes were on full display during a three-day art build for UTLA (United Teachers Los Angeles). UTLA is the teachers union for the K-12 public school teachers in Los Angeles. They represent 38,000 teachers and the union is a force for justice. 98% of UTLA members have voted to strike in January if contract negotiations continue to stall. UTLA is fighting against the corporate takeover of public education that negatively impacts students and teachers alike. See their current campaigns and demands here. The Art Build took place at an epicenter for social justice art: SPARC (Social and Public Art Resource Center) that was established in Venice, California in 1976 by Judy Baca. The event brought together 700-plus people to create art for the December 15th March for Public Education in downtown Los Angeles (10:00am at Grant Park) and to provide strike ready art (picket signs, banners, posters, and parachute banners) for future actions. It brought together teachers and union leaders from UTLA (shout out to Cecily Myart-Cruz) – with major solidarity from NEA (notably Nate Gunderson), the Oakland Education Association), Los Angeles artists and organizers (Erin Yoshi, Ernesto Yerena, Nisha Sembi, Aise Born, Dewey Tafoya, Louis Barreto, Angelica Becerra, Daniel Martinez, Leila Lujan, Carolyn Knight, Judy Baca, Carlos Rogel, and many more), key LA arts organizations (SPARC and Self Help Graphic), the Milwaukee Art Build team (Joe Brusky, Kim Cosier, Josie Osborne, Claudio Martinez, Paul Kjelland, and Nicolas Lampert), and numerous community members and allies. During the art build over 1,600 picket signs were silkscreened, 1000 posters were screened, 1000 patches were screened, 30 plus banners were painted, 8 parachute banners (24′ wide) were painted, and thousands of offset posters were printed and distributed to UTLA members and the community. Below are three videos by Joe Brusky (with some great drone camera work by Carlos Rogel) that highlight some of the activities that took place at SPARC during the Art Build.

L.A. Art Build Drone Video #1 from MTEA Union on Vimeo.

L.A. Art Build Drone Video 2 from MTEA Union on Vimeo.

L.A. Art Build to Win the Schools Students Deserve from MTEA Union on Vimeo.

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5 comments on “UTLA Art Build: Stand with Los Angeles Teachers!”

Thank you for the wonderful artwork that was created to help spread social messaging for change. My friend and I went to eat at the LA Cathedral after the Friday event at Grand Park. We had to leave our signs in order to have lunch inside next to the wall. We were only in there about 15 minutes and when we exited her poster was gone. She had a poster that said teachers work for the people. We walked around and were unable to locate it. I wanted to know if there was any way to purchase this print or poster.?
Thank You for all of your support.

I’m an LAUSD teacher. Thank you for organizing this art build and thank you to all of the artist for their beautiful artwork. I was unable to attend the art build but heard great things about it. Do you still have some of the posters or would you happen to know where I could get one? I’m specifically looking for the blue one that has an image of a woman with her hair up in a bandanna. It’s the same one from the larger cloth picket signs.

Thanks again. Great work!

My name is Patricia
I’m an LAUSD teacher and I was wondering where I could purchase a print on canvas of the “Maestros trabajamos por el pueblo”.

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