Los Angeles is often called the “City of Dreams”. It is a place that includes its own dream factory (Hollywood), consumer mecca (Rodeo Drive), and make-believe world (Disneyland), not to mention a subtropical Mediterranean climate, beaches, wetlands and mountains. Such a myth requires ignoring the indigenous and Mexican population already there. Hollywood helps to sustain that myth, since one rarely sees the city’s Latino majority depicted in studio feature films or network television series set in Los Angeles. But for the Mexican-descent population in Los Angeles, the “City of Dreams” ― that modern sense of the region as a paradise — came at their expense as freeways cut through their communities, and as social institutions either neglected or discriminated against this population, isolating Chicanos from a city their ancestors had founded.

This history is often narrated in the social and political terms of the mid-century civil rights movements in the United States. But the arts were a critical element of this effort, placing the act of seeing on equal footing with rights-based demands. In claiming a space and an intention for their work, these artists offered both a critique of the society and an alternative social vision, leaving the aesthetic as an undefined area to be answered by the work itself.

In Imagining Paradise, these artists produce works that are at once insistent and ambiguous, calling the “City of Dreams” to account, while still dreaming nonetheless.

Chon Noriega

Building Bridges in Time of Walls is an unprecedented collaboration between AltaMed Health Services and the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura. In partnership with Mexico’s Secretary of Culture, Alejandra Frausto Guerrero and the director of the Instituto de Bellas Artes y Literatura, Lucina JiménezBuilding Bridges is presented by Cástulo de la Rocha, President and CEO of AltaMed Health Services; and Zoila D. Escobar, President, AltaMed Foundation.

AltaMed Health Services serves Latino, multi-ethnic, and underserved communities in Southern California, and as part of its holistic approach to healthcare, exhibits its art collection throughout all its clinics and service sites, whose subjects reflect the diverse communities it serves.

To learn more about the AltaMed Art Collection, click here

Exhibition partners

Presented by



Virtual Inauguration with Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT)

THURSDAY, JUL 9, 2020 8:00 AM

Celebrate the launch of the online exhibition of Building Bridges in Time of Walls in this virtual reception with special guests from Mexico’s Secretary of Culture, the Instituto de Bellas Artes y Literatura (INBAL), and AltaMed.
Visit the event HERE

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