Collectible L.A.: Artists to sign poster series at neighborhood library talks

Elliott Pinkney's Compton: Number 23 in the series of posters commissioned by Metro for the "Through the Eyes of Artists" project. The posters are displayed throughout the Metro system.

Elliott Pinkney's Compton: Number 23 in the series of posters commissioned by Metro for the "Through the Eyes of Artists" project. The posters are displayed throughout the Metro system.

Here’s an interesting perspective – your neighborhood as seen through the interpretive eyes of a local artist. A poster series here at Metro does just that. It’s called “Through the Eyes of Artists.” The series has produced 25 posters featuring as many neighborhoods since 2004.

The result is a time-stamp of Los Angeles that reveals the communities within. By looking at the poster on a bus or train, we can discover a destination steeped in lore and layered in eras. For example, sculptural olive trees align the streets of El Monte, and recall the original barrios. The bees of Whittier inspired a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, the town’s namesake. We see the views of Topanga Canyon, the boardwalks of Venice, the processions of Pasadena, the iconic Yagura Tower of Little Tokyo. We experience the fiery twilights of Highland Park, pop culture of Chinatown, the flora and fauna of Griffith Park (at 4,000 acres, it’s the largest municipal park in the U.S.).

And, now, more is to be revealed.

Metro is launching a series of conversations with the local artists who have created these posters. The conversations will be held at the local libraries in the neighborhoods featured in the series.

Artist Elliott Pinkney

Elliott Pinkney

Artist Elliott Pinkney begins the conversation at Compton Library Sept. 13. His poster “Compton” reveals the colliding, colorful energy of the town called Hub City. Next up: Jane Gillespie Pryor reveals “Whittier” at the Whittier Public Library Oct. 6. The artists will sign and give away first-edition prints of the posters, an enviable collectible for residents and art and local history enthusiasts. And, it’s all free.

Is your neighborhood featured in the series yet? Visit the complete collection online at metro.net/art to find out.

Join the conversation! More details in the  news release.