- CONTINUING ED
- PUBLIC PROGRAMS
- COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
As one of the pioneering artists in the vanguard of the Chicano Art and Los Angeles Mural Movement of the 1960's and 70's, ('74) Judithe Hernandez is regarded as one of the important visual artists of the period. During a time when Latinas were discouraged from seeking careers in the visual arts, she was one of a handful of women who shared equal footing with her male contemporaries and was the only female member of the seminal and influential artist collective "Los Four". The group also included the late well-known California painter, Carlos Almaraz, whom she met when they both attended graduate school at Otis Art Institute.
Her numerous works of public art and exhibitions have helped pave the way for the new generations of Latina artists that have followed. She has exhibited extensively in the United States, Europe, and Mexico, including the ground-breaking first exhibition of contemporary Chicano Art in Europe: Le démon des Anges. Her public works include the Los Angeles Bicentennial Mural (1981). Selected by competition from among the leading visual artists in Los Angeles, hers was the only mural commissioned by the Los Angeles Bicentennial Committee to officially commemorate the 200th anniversary of the city's founding in 1781. From its site within the El Pueblo State Historical Park on Spring Street, the 3-story mural, Recuredos de Ayer, Sueños de Mañana, overlooked the downtown area of Los Angeles for nearly 20 years. In contrast to her mural work, her studio work has always been pastel on paper. The lush color and haunting imagery of the work prompted one art critic to compare it to two legendary artists, saying it was a unique and beautiful "blend of Rivera and Rousseau".
Committed to the education of the next generation of Latinos, she spent 30 years teaching, lecturing, and in college administration at several major universities in California and Illinois, including: California State University of Long Beach where she was an Assistant Professor in the Chicano Studies Department; the University of California at Santa Barbara, Occidental College; the University of Illinois at Chicago; Triton College; Rush University; and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Born and raised in East Los Angeles, she now resides with her husband, graphic designer Morton Neikrug, and their daughter Ariel in Chicago. She maintains a studio and is currently working on a new series drawings and pastels for exhibition.