Dedication Poster
Courtesy of Rikki Asher

“I still don’t know how we achieved all this [planning and painting the murals] in such a short time, only a few months,” reflects La Lucha muralist Karin Batten. “It was a lot of work but very satisfying, celebrated by a great opening with music, speeches, poetry, food, and dancing.” 

Press Release p1
Courtesy of Susan Ackoff Ortega

Press Release p2
Courtesy of Susan Ackoff Ortega

The “dedication fiesta” organized by Artmakers and CHARAS took place on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, September 14, 1985. Emceed by Chino Garcia and Bimbo Rivas, it was attended by hundreds of people from both the political art world and the neighborhood, amid many expressions of community unity and a renewed sense of purpose. 

The celebration’s buoyant mood and good will was beautifully captured by John Hunt in his half-hour video documentary La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues.

La Lucha muralists   Photo © John Hunt

La Lucha muralists
Photo © John Hunt

“Over the weeks as we worked, we developed a camaraderie and exchanged ideas and reflections of each other’s work and our artistic processes,” recalls Susan Ackoff Ortega. “Creating work dedicated to people’s struggles in the U.S. and around the world was an energizing experience, both for me and, I’m sure, all the artists who took part in this historic project.” 

La Lucha muralists.  From left: Pat Brazill, Noah Jemisin, Nancy Sullivan, Cliff Joseph, Camille Perrottet, Maria Dominguez, Chico, Eva Cockcroft speaking, Karin Batten, Willie Birch (?), Rikki Asher, Keith Christensen, Susan Ackoff Ortega, Kristin Reed, Joe Stephenson, Seth Tobocman, Dina Bursztyn  Photo © John Hunt

La Lucha muralists. From left: Pat Brazill, Noah Jemisin, Nancy Sullivan, Cliff Joseph, Camille Perrottet, Maria Dominguez, Chico, Eva Cockcroft speaking, Karin Batten, Willie Birch (?), Rikki Asher, Keith Christensen, Susan Ackoff Ortega, Kristin Reed, Joe Stephenson, Seth Tobocman, Dina Bursztyn
Photo © John Hunt

La Lucha Continua The Struggle Continues
1985 video by John Hunt

Joining the artists, poets, musicians, and singers—and validating the topicality of the South African and Central American murals—were Neo Mnumzana, the representative of the African National Congress to the United Nations, and Roberto Vargas, cultural attaché of the Nicaraguan embassy.