Ms. Hernández’s life has been dedicated to the arts, furthering the social causes for both Mexican Americans (Chicanos) and Latin American women for forty years. Her work facilitates feelings of empowerment, undoing the adverse effects of decades of abuse, stigmatization, and racial injustice. Through her motivational murals and artwork, what she refers to as her “image support”, people gain the benefits and appreciation for their culture.
Judithe’s association with Carlos Almaraz, during her graduate studies at Otis Art Institute in 1977, led her into becoming the fifth member of Los Four, a powerful group of artists during the Chicano Power Movement and setting the stage not only for change within the neighborhoods of East Los Angeles, but also establishing a legacy and career deeply ingrained in her roots. Creative Review, London 2009, published an article about Self Help Graphics (SHG) of East Los Angeles, crediting Los Four for the visual language of the movement. Judithe’s response was quite humble, “My God, I never thought of it that way and I never bumped into anyone who said that to me, but it’s very flattering if that’s true.” By following their hearts and being creative, using education to promote freedom, a visual language was born. Los Four showed that by banding together, youth could make a difference in their community.
After spending 25 years in Chicago, Judithe returned to Los Angeles, to her roots, still determined to affect change. In this interview she talks about her rich history as member of Los Four and her current show at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. The exhibition, La Vida Sobre Papel, is on view until May 1, 2011.
Video Interview by Los Angeles filmmaker Veronica Aberham