Eva left New York for Los Angeles in 1989 and, in the mid-90s, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After an initial round of treatments, she went into remission but it returned and, in 1999, Eva died. Her life and accomplishments are celebrated in Artmakers’ Homage to Eva: La Lucha Continua (2002), which still graces the corner of East 3rd Street and Avenue B, a few blocks from La Plaza Cultural.
“Eva was always thinking, constantly creating ideas and designs for murals,” reflected mural historian Tim Drescher, recalling in a letter to the exhibition curator his many “fascinating telephone conversations” with her. “She always saw the murals as part of a larger struggle, whatever the specifics may have been. She wrote in the Winter 1985 issue of Community Murals Magazine that, ‘the [La Lucha] dedication did not signify an end to the project. In a sense, it is only a beginning.’
“La Lucha was just one achievement in the middle of Eva’s long and productive career of activist art. I don’t think,” Tim continued, “she considered her involvement with La Lucha a career move, but simply one project among many that contributed to informing audiences about important issues while, at the same time, brightening their lives and demonstrating original artworks to them.”
Elaborating, Tim pointed out “the seriousness and skill with which Eva managed La Lucha. Most memorable to those who knew her personally, was the delight with which she took on such challenges. Her face lit up when she talked about this gathering of artists and that idea. Bringing together usually separated artists gave her joy.”
More than three decades after La Lucha’s dedication, the participating artists again gathered together, their words animating this exhibition. Indebted to Eva for opportunity, inspiration, and finding their artistic voices, “they may have temporarily lost touch with each other, but never with Eva’s memory and the continued struggle to make ours a better world, even a decent one, for everybody. That was,” Tim reminds us, “Eva’s challenge to us all.”