All Metro HQ

A-Train, Bill Bell



Project Description Above the escalators to the Metro Rail subway, artist Bill Bell has installed twelve vertical light sticks producing varying patterns of light and color. Passersby may discover unexpected images that are hidden in the light patterns, and by speaking near a hidden microphone can activate a responsive sound system. Among the over 300 electronic images viewers may see and sounds they may hear are a passing freight train, taxis, Duke Ellington, Rin Tin Tin and Marilyn Monroe. Artist Statement “Some will get it, some won’t. Don’t worry, it’s supposed to be fun.” About the Artist BILL BELL was born in Pittsburgh and obtained a degree in Physics from Princeton University. Bell is best known for his “Lightstick” art pieces, vertical light units which pulse lights at a rate of five thousand times per second. With normal saccadic eye movement our eyes register these pulses and reassemble them into pictures. Bell’s Lightsticks can be found in unexpected places all over the world. One was located for years at the back of the Museum of Contemporary …

May Sun, Richard Wyatt, City of Dreams/River of History

City of Dreams/River of History

Project Description Today, the Los Angeles River is encased in concrete and artificially diverted from its natural path; but it originally flowed near the Metro Headquarters Gateway site. On its banks grew willow trees, cattails, curtains of grapevines, sycamore and cottonwood trees. In the river there lived minnows, trout and lampreys. The west bank of the river chosen as a natural settling site because of the fertility of the soil and the abundance of water for irrigation. Acutely aware of the overlays of natural and cultural histories on the Union Station site (which was once the crossing of several trails used by local indigenous tribes, the later  settling place of the pobladores as well as Los Angeles’s original Chinatown), this artist team’s multifaceted work seeks to create a sense of place resonant of the history and pre-history of the site. The artwork is a unique collaboration between two artists, May Sun and Richard Wyatt, who worked together to develop all elements of the artwork’s multiple interlinking elements including the 80 foot long mural, aquarium, floor …

Patrick Nagatani


Project Description Patrick Nagatani’s collage mural addresses the idea of transportation from an individual to a global perspective. Over 500 postcards of transit images from 1900-1995 together form a view of the edge of the earth seen from space. Images from NASA, including photos taken from Voyager I, the Hubbell Space Telescope, the Magellan Probe, Viking I, Voyager II, and the Galileo Probe are set against a black “deep space” background. In the center are a series of images from photography and motion pioneer Eadweard Muybridge’s eleven volume photographic study of motion, published in 1887. The series used in the mural is entitled Human Locomotion and is directly related to the mural’s theme of transportation. This revolutionary study of the human anatomy in motion forever changed the way artists represent human movement; the series is also considered to be the first moving picture ever made. The work reminds us that transportation begins and ends with each individual. Artist Statement “From the dawn of mankind, the center of transportation has been with man himself. Whether walking, encased in …

Michael Amescua, Guardians of the Track

Guardians of the Track

Project Description Michael Amescua’s decorative and functional art elements grace several areas throughout the Gateway Transit Center. 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 …

Margaret Nielsen, LA Dialogs

LA Dialogs


Project Description Margaret Nielsen’s mural presents a chronicle of Los Angeles history, primarily through images of antique postcards which take us to a different time and place. Other painted elements, including a map, souvenir items (cups and hats), a pencil and a giant snow dome bring levels of meaning about history, location, and communication to the composition as a whole. Artist Statement “For visitors and residents alike, souvenirs and postcards preserve the history of the city. Via humor and documentation, they evoke feelings and recollections of aspects of the city that have long since changed as well as those that have remained with us through the years.” About the Artist MARGARET NIELSEN was born in Alberta, Canada and received a Fine Arts degree from Cal Arts and a Masters in Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University. She has taught at Otis Art Institute, as well as Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Nielsen has a humorous and quirky approach to historic and found material which she recomposes into provocative images. She has consistently exhibited …

East Los Streetscapers, La Sombra del Arroyo

La Sombra del Arroyo

Project Description Well-known Los Angeles muralists East Los Streetscapers have enhanced a seating area centrally located in the shady recessed area under the transit area’s pedestrian bridges. Hand-painted and glazed ceramic tile on the undersurfaces of the bridges provide the illusion of lacy tree branches overhead, while cast relief tiles feature a variety of native birds and animals which might once have inhabited this spot. Cast bronze “tree trunks” add to the illusion and bring the eye upwards to the riot of color above. Artist Statement “La Sombra del Arroyo offers the commuter an opportunity to pause for a calming moment under the shade of an arboreal canopy alive with native fauna.” About the Artist EAST LOS STREETSCAPERS was founded in 1975 by WAYNE HEALY and DAVID BOTELLO, both veterans of the East LA mural movement. Healy was born in Santa Barbara and worked as an aerospace engineer before dedicating himself full time to ELS. Botello was born and studied in East Los Angeles, and he is an experienced artist and muralist who has received two National Endowment for …

James Doolin, Los Angeles Circa 1870, 1910, 1960 and After 2000, 1996

Los Angeles Circa 1870, 1910, 1960 and After 2000, 1996


Project Description James Doolin’s series of four major murals are conceived to show the astounding scale and grandeur of Los Angeles and thereby the need for the best public transit systems. The central panel, Circa 1870, depicts a pristine approach to Los Angeles as it might have looked soon after the coming of the railroad with a view looking north up Alameda Street. It is flanked by panels of Circa 1910 and Circa 1960. Circa 1910 is a view looking northwest and shows Los Angeles forty years after the central mural. The population has grown over fifty times larger, and there are many trams along the streets. In the foreground is the Los Angeles River, the First Street Bridge and several steam trains. The background shows the developing city spreading west over Bunker Hill to the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Coast. Circa 1960 is a view looking east and shows Los Angeles in the 1960s. City Hall is visible, buses move along downtown streets, the freeways are constructed (including a four level interchange), and an orange haze is beginning to …

Kim Yasuda, ReUnion



This artist team designed a series of six bus passenger waiting areas which reference the social and natural history of the site and incorporate ideas about shelter, movement, evolution and change.