Metro Artworks

The B Line (Red), Metro’s 1st subway line to be built, runs between Downtown Los Angeles and North Hollywood. Landmark stops include: Grand Park, the Music Center, Grand Central Market, LA Convention Center, Staples Center, MacArthur Park, the Pantages Theater, the Walk of Fame and Universal Studios.

A-Train, Bill Bell

A-Train

Artist(s):

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 …

Todd Hido, A Road Divided

A Road Divided

Artist(s):

Project Description Taken by the artist while on the road, these images conjure a passenger’s associations to another time, or place, during their travels. Artist Statement “My concept for this project is a simple one: To bring the beauty of and atmosphere of nature to the urban spaces people commute in. My images have a quality that I often hear transports viewers to another time or place in their lives. The images I have selected are all images that were made while traveling or on the road. They mirror the commuter’s journey but clearly in a more reflective way.” About the Artist TODD HIDO is a San Francisco-based artist whose work has been featured in Artforum, The New York Times Magazine, Metropolis, I-D, and Vanity Fair. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Display year: 2010 – 2013 Locations: Universal City/Studio City Station No longer on display

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 …

Civic Center Benches

Artist(s):

Project Description Peter Reiquam specializes in the design and fabrication of public furnishings that are both fun and utilitarian. Reiquam has created a sleek series of four subway ‘sofas’ for the Civic Center Station platform. The benches have been constructed from a carefully considered system of durable granite slabs that relate to the station’s formal geometry. The composition of each bench provides an air of comfortable domesticity with a configuration that encourages commuters to converse with one another. The highly polished granite surface provides a pleasurable smoothness that reflects a sophisticated palette of carnelian red, sage green and jet black arranged in colorful juxtaposition. Artist Statement “I have designed the benches in a modular style that relates to the formal grid of the paving tiles and the overall symmetry of the station. The pieces are sculptural and contemporary and suggest a stylized version of domestic furniture. The polished surface exposes the intricacy of the stone’s interior.” About the Artist PETER REIQUAM is a Seattle based artist who obtained his Master of Fine Arts from the Yale …

Divining Los Angeles Landscapes: Woodlands to Watersheds

Project Description Divining Los Angeles Landscapes: Woodlands to Watersheds On display in Union Station Passageway Art Gallery July 2015-July 2016 Photo based artworks by three artists invite visitors to Union Station to explore the histories, paradoxes, ironies and majesties of Los Angeles landscapes. The thirty-six illuminated color and black-and-white photographs on display in this passageway meander from ethereal botanical specimens at large scale to vistas of the wild urban edges, and the connective unnatural nature in between. Joyce Campbell – In the Ether Ken Gonzales-Day – Oak and Thistle: Views of the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains John Humble – Natura Urbanus About the Artist JOYCE CAMPBELL (b. 1971, New Zealand) earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Canterbury University and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland, where she is pursuing a doctoral degree in creative practice. She has lectured at a number of universities, including California State University, Northridge, Claremont Graduate University, Scripps College, the University of Auckland Elam School of the Arts and the University of California, Irvine. Her interdisciplinary work has been …

Michael Davis, "Ecliptic/ Illume" (station view)

Ecliptic/Illume

Artist(s):

Artist Michael Davis inlaid the Sunset/Vermont Station floor and walls with granite patterns of celestial orbits and metal etched with spheres containing medical symbols and microscopic images of life forms, a reference to the iconography that is commonly shared by astronomy and medicine.

Francisco Letelier, El Sol / La Luna

El Sol / La Luna

Echoing the vibrant color scheme which dominates the Westlake/MacArthur Station, intense blues, reds, and yellows are woven together in two ceramic tile murals which enrich the mezzanine end walls.

Michele Asselin, Forward Motion

Forward Motion

Artist(s):

Project Description Michele Asselin is best known for her photographic portraiture focusing on individual identities within larger social constructs. Her past work includes a series of portraits of domestic workers and a series of photographs about the loss of Hollywood Park Race Track. For this artwork, Asselin has created luminous portraits of an urban planner, mechanic, bus operator, rail security officer and other professions. The artist found inspiration in the personal and professional stories that drew her subjects to Metro. Forward Motion was installed on the occasion of Womens’ History Month 2019 and celebrates women working in a range of professions at Metro. It also features members of the inaugural Women and Girls Governing Council created by Metro CEO Phil Washington. The Council is tasked with exploring ways Metro can achieve a more gender-balanced workforce, accelerate career advancement for women and improve mobility for female ridership. Visit the expanded page on Forward Motion here. Artist Statement “With Forward Motion, I want to highlight the women of Metro as well as the environments in which they work. My hope is that the Metro patrons who …

Roberto Gil de Montes, "Heaven to Earth"

Heaven to Earth

Located above the escalator at the Hope Street entrance to the Metro Center Station, “Heaven to Earth” is a ceramic tile triptych with strong allegorical content.

I Dreamed I Could Fly

Project Description In a reflection of the universal motif of flight as spiritual journey, Jonathan Borofsky’s I Dreamed I Could Fly is an interpretation of the artist’s dreams of soaring above ground. The six fiberglass figures, all resembling the artist, hover and cast large shadows in the high bay area of Civic Center Station. The work has an audio element as well—the figures are accompanied by an occasional trill of a bird. The numbers on the sculptures are a particular characteristic of Borofsky’s work: the artist consecutively numbers all of his work—from working notes and sketches to finished artworks. Artist Statement “I’ve had quite a few flying dreams in my lifetime. Many other people I’ve spoken to have had similar dreams. Sometimes I fly above it all, serene and rather enlightened…other times my flying dreams seem more like an escape from earthly concerns.” About the Artist JONATHAN BOROFSKY grew up in Boston and was educated at Carnegie-Mellon, Yale, and the Ecole de Fountainbleau in France. Borofsky’s work has been exhibited at galleries and museums around the world. In …

In the Living Rock

Artist(s):

Project Description Artist Samm Kunce’s artwork explores ideas gathered from science and literature. The celebration of inherent beauty of natural materials is a recurrent theme in her work. Kunce’s tile mural at the 1st and Hill St. entrance to the Civic Center station runs the length of the curved planter bed wall. The artist has used a classical composition to reflect the tonal shift of the landscape to the subterranean, and has depicted a hanging garden exquisitely executed in Venetian cake glass mosaic and supported by an expanse of striated sand colored granite. A contrasting black granite ribbon etched with a passage praising the beauty of organic forms from the poet Ovid runs through the center of the piece. Artist Statement “Organic variation and movement in the glass are suggested in this ancient material when the smalti are left in larger pieces. The mosaic has been set according to the character of key segments allowing a more natural rather than illustrative representation of plant form while the striated granite in its layering refers to geologic …

Therman Statom, "Into The Light"

Into the Light

Artist(s):

In Statom’s work, Into the Light, five ordinary objects—house, ladder, leaf, cone and diamond—become extraordinary when suspended in the Westlake/MacArthur Park Station’s skylight area.

Journeys: LA Communities Through the Eyes of Artists

Project Description Journeys: LA Communities Through the Eyes of Artists On display in Union Station Passageway Art Gallery, June 2017-August 2018 Each artwork on display in this passageway focuses on a particular neighborhood or city within Los Angeles County “through the eyes of artists.” The artists capture the look and feel of each place from a personal perspective, highlighting special, surprising, unexpected or lesser-known facets of those communities. Lush urban gardens, backyard barbecues, street parades, cemeteries and even a fantastical underwater world are among the subjects for these idiosyncratic works of art. Following in the tradition of colorful travel destination posters, the artworks are part of a series—typically presented on posters inside buses and trains—that encourages riders to explore communities throughout the expanding Metro transit system. Featuring the original artworks by  twelve artists who created posters for the Through The Eyes of Artists series: Jonathan Anderson (Gardena), Walter Askin (Pasadena), Sarajo Frieden (Venice), Wakana Kimura (Inglewood), Christine Nguyen (Long Beach), Mary Ann Ohmit (Azusa), Sam Pace (Leimert Park), Jane Gillespie Pryor (Whittier), Aaron Rivera (Lakewood), Artemio Rodríguez …

Kinetic Flow

Artist(s):

Project Description George Legrady’s work consists of a series of vibrantly colored porcelain enamel steel panels, 14’ x 22’ 6” at the angled concrete wall above the staircase and escalator unit at the LA City College entrance of the station. The algorithmically generated abstract rendition uses statistical transit ridership data to create visual patterns. Artist Statement “The design concept for the image has been to engage the kinetic experience of the downward movement on both escalator and staircase and escalator, one smooth, the other sequential”. About the Artist GEORGE LEGRADY received a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute. Recent interactive installations have been exhibited at Ars Electronica, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. He has been awarded Creative Capital Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts grants. He currently holds a joint faculty appointment in the Media Arts & Technology graduate program and in the Department of Art of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Public Art commissions include the Seattle Public Library and Metro …

LA: City of Angels

Artist(s):

Project Description  This large painting on aluminum panels is located above the escalators at the west entrance to the Metro B Line (Red) subway station.  It conceptually combines the history of the founding of Los Angeles by eleven Mexican, Native American and African American families, with angels from different religions. The artist constructed eleven wings, each representing one of the founding families and named for an angel, which hover over the blue and green California coastline. The metaphorical references of each wing are: Ram’khastra: Angel of Rarified Air Sui’el: Angel of Earthquakes Mika’il: Angel of Insomnia Gabriel: Angel of Mercy Janax: Angel of Monday Sut: Angel of Lies Zahun: Angel of Scandal Dagiel: Angel of Fish Sofiel: Angel of Vegetables Rohab: Angel of the Sea Nogah: Cools the Earth in Summer Artist Statement “Increasingly, artists are responding to the particular history of a place and its people as a source of both ideas and raw materials. It is an area that has interested me for at least fifteen years. LA: City of Angels is intended …

Peter Shire," Los Angeles Seen" (station view)

Los Angeles Seen

Artist(s):

For the Wilshire/Vermont Station, Shire created Los Angeles Seen, a series of sculptures that float throughout the entrance conveying a theatrical, circus-like atmosphere.

Neons for Pershing Square

Project Description In 1924 the first neon sign in the United States was posted around the corner from Pershing Square. Commemorating this art form, neon artist Antonakos created Neons for Pershing Square, a series of neon sculptures suspended from the station’s high ceiling. The twelve sculptures, with their imaginative shapes and bright colors, create an exciting, lively atmosphere in this modern station. This project received a Best of Downtown award from the Downtown News in 1994. Artist Statement “The neons are meant to be seen each for themselves, in combinations and as a total group. The forms are open, allowing architectural elements to be seen through them. This means that not only the columns, the ceiling and the walls, but the space all around them is brought into the experience of the art.” About the Artist STEPHEN ANTONAKOS was born in Greece and immigrated to the United States as a small child. Antonakos began exhibiting his work in the late 1950s and began working with neon ten years later. His work is included in the permanent …

No Title

Artist(s):

Project Description Bob Zoell has abstracted the appearance and arrangement of typographic design symbols to create a bold and graphic series of ceramic tile murals. The artwork covers four columns at station platforms: two on the upper level and two in the lower. Each column is approached as a four-sided painting. Zoell favored a palette of citrus yellow, velvety black, crisp white and vivid pea green to deliberately frame his composition of stenciled syllables and symbols. The artist worked carefully to establish an animated and playful dynamic between his characters. Text appears to dance at it’s own happy pace, while other figures run off kilter as if ready to jump off the columns to greet commuters. Both pairs of columns also serve as symbolic gateways announcing the arrival and departure of passengers. Clown-like faces composed of punctuation marks grin at commuters on the platform entrance sides, while the sides facing the tracks feature a circus of letters “go”-“ing” “by”-by”. Artist Statement “To be in love with language is to love not only collectively what letters …

Tyree Guyton, People in Motion

People in Motion

Artist(s):

Tyree Guyton designed this artwork to evoke thought, create conversation and stimulate the observer to think about the most basic mode of transportation – the shoe.

PEOPLE PORTRAITS: in CREATIVITY; PERFORMING; SPORTS and FASHION

Artist(s):

Project Description Ringgold designed 52 individual smalti (glass) mosaics at locations across four mezzanine walls. Each is a personification of creativity, performance, sports and fashion.  Images include models walking the catwalk to boxers, baseball players and surfers frozen in the moment of their athletic skill, along with musicians playing and artists making their mark. 52 amateur and professional representations are illustrated in Ringgold’s signature style of line drawing a simplified figure in a solid, color-block background. The glass mosaic panels were created by the artisans at Mosaika Art & Design studio in Montreal, Canada. Artist Statement “The content will reflect the creative energy of the Civic Center area.  Thus it will be color studies of people engaged in creative activities such as: art making, music, dance, performance, fashion modeling, etc.” About the Artist FAITH RINGGOLD received a B.S. in Fine Art and Education, an M.A. in Art from the City College of New York and 21 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degrees from universities throughout the United States. She is a painter, writer, speaker, mixed media …

Kipp Kobayashi, Noel Korten and Marta Perlas AIA, "Plantings"

Plantings

The artist team- Kipp Kobayashi, Noel Korten and Marta Perlas, AIA – created seating environments that produce a strong visual and functional experience for Metro riders at 7th/Metro Center Station, influenced by historic Batchelder tiles in the nearby Fine Arts Building.