Los Angeles, CA
United States
Lincoln Park, 3600 N. Mission Road The Wall Las Memorias since 2 December 2004
500 names
Located within Lincoln Park is a unique public art work that tells us a story and also has a cause behind it. It Consists of eight wall panels, of which six of the murals depict life with AIDS in the Latino community and two granite panels that pay homage to the 600 named people who’ve have died from AIDS. The Las Memorias Wall Mural is the first publicly funded AIDS monument in the nation. Designed by artist Robin Brailsford and architect David Angelo, the project’s main sculptural icon, fabricated of stainless steel, symbolizes the AIDS ribbon.
Founded by Richard Zaldivar, on December 1, 1993, on World AIDS Day, The Wall Las Memorias Project stated mission:
is dedicated to promoting wellness and preventing illness among Latino populations affected by HIV/AIDS by using the inspiration of The AIDS Monument as a catalyst for social change. Each year on World AIDS Day, new names are added to The Wall.
Made possible by the State of California through the leadership of then State Senator Gilbert Cedillo and the City of Los Angeles, the $700,000 art piece was designed as a Quetzalcoatl serpent, an Aztec symbol for rebirth.
By walking the path leading to the main icon brings a sense of peace and solitude. It’s not a long walk, but it’s definitely introspective. This poem by Anna Contreras and Richard Zaldivar, from the plaque at the walkway’s entrance, says it all:

It is here we grieve
and restore
honor to our dead.

It is here we heal
and through acceptance,
destroy denial and ignorance.

It is here we awaken to reclaim
an understanding of self,
ancestry and culture.

We unite as one people
in our visions,
our teaching,
and our truths.

Through truth we live,
through knowledge
we survive.

Photo © Lisa Newton Mapping Los Angeles Public Art  Travelin' Local

9 June 2011
Lisa Newton, Los Angeles