Metro Artworks

The L Line (Gold) links East Los Angeles to Union Station before heading northward into the San Gabriel Valley. Notable stops include: Mariachi Plaza, Little Tokyo/Arts District, Grand Park, Chinatown, Southwest Museum, Old Town Pasadena, Arcadia, City of Hope Medical Center, Azusa Pacific University, Citrus Community College.

Jose Antonio Aguirre, A Passage Through Memory

A Passage Through Memory

Serving as a landmark and gateway for the city of Azusa, Jose Antonio Aguirre’s A Passage Through Memory (2015) is inspired by local historic architecture and the cultural traditions of the region’s earliest inhabitants. A pair of monumental Spanish colonial-style arched portals is placed at the entry ramps leading to the station platforms.

About Place About Face

Artist(s):

Project Description Intending to monumentalize the station’s surrounding community, Neilson reached out to local schools and organizations and gathered images of 27 faces of people who live and work in the Pico/Aliso neighborhood. The final images are made of cast iron and are larger than life size. They are located on the upper sides of the platform canopy. The sculptures “freeze” a wide variety of facial gestures, emotions, ages and genders and provide a lasting artistic legacy. Artist Statement “The design is intended to reference windows of a passing train and the faces peering out at us. Are the faces looking out at us or are we looking in at them?” About the Artist ROB NEILSON has completed numerous public art projects throughout the nation including Los Angeles, Detroit and New Orleans. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina. He is  the recipient of a Kohler Company Arts/Industry Artist in in Residence Program and has been …

Michael Davis, Arcadian Zephyr

Arcadian Zephyr

Artist(s):

Weaving together history and the story of place, Michael Davis’s artwork for this station, located in downtown Arcadia, draws inspiration from two of the city’s major destinations: the Santa Anita Park thoroughbred racetrack and the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

Michael Stutz, "Astride-Aside"

Astride-Aside

Artist(s):

Made of annealed bronze strips that have been welded over a supporting armature to create a woven latticed form, Astride-Aside by Michael Stutz represents a unique community that is determined to move forward in its own distinct way.

Adobe LA, "Blissful Interiors" (platform view)

Blissful Interiors

Artist(s):

For Atlantic Station, Adobe LA created a series of benches with tile rugs at the platform and a large scale free standing sculpture inspired by the striking and colorful design culture of Eastside living rooms, shops, cars, and toys.

Hirokazu Kosaka, in collaboration with Ted Tokio Tanaka Architects, "Buffer Zone" (seating)

Buffer Zone

Artist(s):

For Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, Hirokazu Kosaka created six smooth granite benches with concentric circles of black and white, simulating a Zen archery target with station canopies in the shape of Japanese archery bows. “Buffer Zone” was displayed at the station from 2009-2017 in coordination with the artist. 

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 …

Alejandro de la Loza, "El Niño Perdido" (sculpture)

El Niño Perdido

Inspired by the famous Mexican song from yesteryear, “El Niño Perdido” (the Lost Child), Alejandro de la Loza sculpted a bronze statue of a mother and child which hangs over the entrance Mariachi Plaza Station.

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 …

Geologica 42

Project Description A 40-foot spire of telescoping steel and bronze ascends into the sky and announces the entry to this station. Capped at its pinnacle with a gleaming gold baseball, the tower is comprised of kinetic elements including an anemometer for measuring wind force, and a weather vane depicting a miniature Bell X-1 rocket plane balanced by a Cadillac tail fin. The Bell X-1 rocket, piloted by Chuck Yeager, was the first aircraft to break the sound barrier in 1947. These elements make apt reference to the California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Art Center College of Design, all located in the Pasadena area. A bronze collar clads the bottom 10-feet of the tower, and contains a wealth of interesting and engaging designs, textures, and artifacts relating to both geological time and the history of Pasadena. Complex sculptural images including book spines, hot metal letterpress type, doorbells, locks, metal cars and train tracks, keys, pencils and paintbrushes, miniature doors, and miscellaneous small hardware fittings represent a conceptual stratum of history, knowledge, and subtext, …

Gold Line Bridge

Artist(s):

Project Description Gold Line Bridge serves as a symbolic gateway into the San Gabriel Valley, as well as a tribute to the area landscape and its earliest settlers. Completed in 2012, the 584-foot dual-track bridge spans the eastbound I-210 Freeway in the city of Arcadia. Artist Andrew Leicester’s design for the sculptural landmark was realized in collaboration with architect Rivka Night of AECOM. The concept was inspired by the local Indigenous peoples and the oversized iconic roadside attractions of nearby Route 66 (now Foothill Boulevard). The bridge’s main design features are two 25-foot tall baskets flanking the sides of the main superstructure and the superstructure’s curved serpentine-like underbelly. The baskets represent some of the area’s most notable and recognizable Native American artifacts, and the grooves and hatch marks on the underbelly simulate patterns found on the western diamondback rattlesnake. Artist Statement “I drew my inspiration from two sources: the region’s cultural history and its architecture. The large baskets that adorn the bridge metaphorically represent the Native Americans of the region and the growth of agriculture …

Harmony

Artist(s):

Clare Rojas’s artwork will honor the presence of the natural world within the urban landscape and highlight humanity’s shared rhythm with the land, water, and sky.

Sonia Romero, "Hecho A Mano"

Hecho a Mano

Artist(s):

The shape, history and beauty of hands and the sacred objects they hold provides a glimpse into rich and unexpected personal stories from the neighborhood surrounding Mariachi Plaza Station.

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 Energy

Artist(s):

Project Description Artist Ries Niemi has created 550 linear feet of hand-wrought fencing for this station. Influenced by the historical Art Deco buildings of Pasadena, the Craftsman Style detail of architects Greene & Greene, and the beauty of machines and trains from the Industrial Revolution, Niemi designed and fabricated stylized discs, axles, arcs, pistons, turntables, and rails to provide a rich visual vocabulary in stainless steel and bronze. Commissioned by Urban Partners LLC, and in keeping with the City of Pasadena’s public art policy, the artist has also created four 6-foot in diameter medallions that crown the top of the plaza elevator tower. The medallions are made from forged bronze, and contain customized lighting elements. Four stainless steel panels at the base of the tower enclose the stairwells to the parking garage below, and suggest fragments of large mysterious machines. The project reflects a contemporary interpretation of the nostalgic design elements that made streamliners and early passenger trains popular and created a culture of sophisticated and elegant travel. Artist Statement “In this work I have …

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 …

Nobuho Nagasawa, Landings

Landings

Artist(s):

Located in the heart of Boyle Heights, the artist’s goal is to create a focal communal space for the multi-generational communities of the area. Images of birds, alluding to migration and travel is the theme throughout portions of the plaza, escalator walls and mezzanine.

Maravilla Hearts of Token

Artist(s):

Project Description The primary artwork features a series of aluminum almond shaped panels that echo the shape of the platform canopy.  The panels contain images from the past and present-day Boyle Heights community, and are cut out to depict images of historic transit tokens and landmarks in a style reminiscent of papel picado (cut paper) and Japanese wood block prints. Laminated glass canopy skylights also include artist selected images of local history and iconic travel imagery. On the west end of the station landscape area, large metal sculptures forming the words “TO…”, evokes the famed Hollywood sign and creates a new landmark. Artist Statement “I am striving to create an exciting day environment. I was inspired by images of transportation tokens from all transit periods in Los Angeles and how this element of our collective histories carries with it personal stories of travel. I intend to use local architectural landmarks which will also bring a familiar image of travel to the station experience.” About the Artist JOSE LOPEZ is nationally recognized for his innovative light-based designs, creating stage …

Robin Brailsford, Pioneros de la Rivera de San Gabriel

Pioneros de la Rivera de San Gabriel

Artist(s):

Robin Brailsford’s Pioneros de la Rivera de San Gabriel (pioneers of the San Gabriel River, 2015) celebrates the pioneering spirit of the area’s five founding families and their descendants who capitalized on the unique local geology to create a thriving community and industrial center.