Metro Artworks

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Person with bike passing Installation of portraits of Metro Artists

The Makers: Portraits of Metro Artists by Todd Gray

Artist(s):

Project Description The Makers: Portraits of Metro Artists by Todd Gray On display in Union Station Passageway Art Gallery, August 2016 – June 2017 This series of photographic portraits present the artists behind the artworks in the Metro system. The illuminated photographs on display in this passageway depict the artists in their homes and studios, providing a glimpse into their distinct personalities and cultural influences. Portraits were created by Todd Gray, a professional photographer and internationally exhibited artist born and raised in Los Angeles. He works in multiple genres including photo-based works as well as sculpture, paintings, performance and public art. Portraits of  Carmen Argote, Judith Baca, Bill Bell, East Los Streetscapers (David Botello & Wayne Healy), Charles Dickson, Roy Dowell, Martin Durazo, June Edmonds, Cheri Gaulke, Ken Gonzales-Day, Phyllis Green, Clement Hanami, Phung Huynh, Joe Lewis, Ronald Llanos, Jessica Polzin McCoy, Man One, Michael Massenburg, Christine Nguyen, Noni Olabisi, John Outterbridge, Sam Pace, Sonia Romero, Sandra Rowe, Alison Saar, Shizu Saldamando, Peter Shire, May Sun, Cha-Rie Tang, and Richard Wyatt. About the Artist TODD GRAY (b. 1954, Los Angeles, California) works in multiple genres, including photo-based works, as well as sculpture, painting, performance, and public art. He began his career as a rock …

Terry Schoonhoven, Traveler

Traveler

Traveler, a tile mural located at the bottom of the escalator at the east entrance of the subway station, depicts travelers from different eras in a Los Angeles “timescape” that features historical references such as Spanish galleons, the Pico House, Olvera Street and actress Carol Lombard.

Christopher Sproat, Union Chairs

Union Chairs

Project Description Bold, sculptural chairs take their influence from the elegant, wood and leather seating located above the platform, in historic Union Station. The granite benches echo the form of the lobby chairs installed in the 1930’s, and provide spacious seating with wide armrests, which adds a sense of grandeur to the experience of commuting. Artist Statement “In the old station each traveler is treated as a dignified being at an almost royal event. Following the architect’s example, I decided for this project to use the concept of ‘union’ as my theme. This is a union of the old and the new stations and symbolizes a union of person and building as well.” About the Artist CHRISTOPER SPROAT was born in Boston and studied art at Boston University, the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, and Skohegan School of Fine Arts. Sproat has created public sculptures for a number of transit systems and government buildings. He has received many awards and grants from entities that include the National Endowment for the Arts, Humanities Council, and the …