How Art Inspires L.A.'s Public Transit Commuters

As the L.A. metro continues to expand, so do opportunities for artists to showcase their art. For transit riders, this adds an important element to their daily journey, making the commuting experience all the more memorable.

January 12, 2013, 1:00 PM PST

By Erica Gutiérrez


 Hollywood/Western Red Line Station

fredcamino / Flickr

Liesl Bradner reports on how the Metro Art program chooses to allocate the .5% of construction costs that are dedicated to the installation of art along Los Angeles’ expanding transit network. Established in 1989, the program has now benefited over 300 artists and poets, and 80 stations, adding a cheerful dimension to the Los Angeles transit commute.

"The customers' experience is essential," said Maya Emsden, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's deputy executive officer for creative services. "Art is a wonderful, engaging way to transform their journeys into something pleasant." For example, as commuters arise from the depths of their subway journey at the Civic Center Red Line station, they are greeted by "Samm Kunce's 'Under the Living Rock,' a 160-foot curved wall depicting a classical hanging garden of Venetian glass and striated granite” and  “an uplifting passage from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses'.” writes Bradner.

Many artworks reflect the history and heritage of their surrounding neighborhoods, which may help to make Angelenos feel more connected to the growing transit mode and introduce those using the system for the first time to neighborhoods they'd given scant attention to when cruising by at 60 miles an hour.

Sunday, January 6, 2013 in Los Angeles Times

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