On my business trips from Asia to America, I am sometimes able to add a a few days to meet up with a friend. One such rendezvous happened in June of 2003 with my longtime friend Leesa, an urban art consultant in Vancouver.
Leesa works with municipalities and developers to integrate commissioned art into public spaces in order to create significance for the people who use those spaces. (We are not talking graffiti.)
She wanted to check out how the Los Angeles Metro was implementing its highly praised public art program, and I was game to tag along.
From bus stops to rail stations, streetscapes to bus interiors, construction fences to poetry, Metro’s Art Department has commissioned more than 300 artists since being established in 1989. [source]
We explored the Green Line and were delighted with the way artists had woven their stories into the environment: walls, ground, seats, stairs.
Here are just a few of the photos I got. You can read about the artists and their project descriptions on Metro's excellent website.
[photos enlarge when clicked]
Los Angeles, 2003
Do you agree with me that Metro achieved its goal?
Metro commissions artists to create engaging and thought-provoking artworks to make your journey more inviting and pleasurable. The artworks weave a multi-layered cultural tapestry that mirrors Los Angeles County’s rich contemporary and popular cultures.
[Source: LA Metro Art Guide]
Besides having quality face-to-face time, Leesa and I had a blast riding the Metro. Today you can take a free Metro Art Tour on the first Thursday and Saturday of the month. When next I return to LA, I will surely continue to explore this people-friendly transit system.
U is the letter at Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. Go check out how others creatively play with this letter.