Union Station, Artworks, Metro Headquarters

Guardians of the Track


Project Description

Michael Amescua’s decorative and functional art elements grace several areas throughout the entry to Metro Headquarters and the Patsaouras Bus Plaza. His painted metal screens house figurative panels of flora and fauna, including birds, butterflies, and reptiles. The work takes its inspiration from the Latin American custom of papel picado, or paper cutouts; these cutouts are often seen during religious festivities and celebrations. The taut, compressed images are easily read from both close-up and afar. The painted screens are located at the Cesar Chavez/Vignes Street entrance, bus plaza areas, and on the Metro Headquarters Building exterior facade.


Artist Statement

“My railings are intended to guard riders, buses, trains and the people who work to maintain our transit system.”

About the Artist

MICHAEL AMESCUA was born in Morenci, Arizona and currently lives in East LA. Amescua obtained a degree in Anthropology from Occidental College, specializing in Pre-Columbian myth and ritual, and is a long time artist in residence at Self-Help Graphics in East Los Angeles. Working in steel as a primary medium, he reinterprets traditional art forms and his pieces can be found in collections at UCLA, the Rincon Indian Reservation, and the Wilfredo Lam Museum in Havana, Cuba.