Go CicLAvia, Go Metro Art!

Expo/Crenshaw Station, Wanderers, Willie Robert Middlebrook, artist

This Sunday, when you’re walking, cycling, skating or otherwise playing your way through the streets at CicLAvia, be sure to check out bounties of art along the way! The 9.1-mile CicLAvia route–with new spurs to Exposition Park, Chinatown and Boyle Heights–connects with 14 Metro Rail stations, each featuring artwork created specifically for its site. See map with Metro stations here. Explore Metro Art here.

Some of the newest artwork in the Metro system is showcased along the recently-opened Expo Line (fortuitously, the CicLAvia route intersects with the Expo Line for the first time, providing easy access from neighborhoods along the east-west corridor to this quintessential L.A. event). Each of the 10 new stations displays a series of mosaic and porcelain enamel artworks along the platforms, with a total of 176 original artworks spread between Culver City and downtown LA.

So, here’s an idea:  take the Metro Expo Line to CicLAvia (or Red, Purple, Blue, or Gold Lines), and explore L.A.’s unique artistic landscape along the way for a fun-filled day of cultural and civic enrichment. Then congratulate yourself on a day well-spent!

Here are a few highlights from the Expo Line:

Jefferson/USC Station, Urban Dualities, Samuel Rodriguez, artist

La Cienega/Jefferson Station, Engraved in Memory, Daniel González, artist

Expo/Vermont Station, Neighborhood Portrait: Reconstructed, Jessica Polzin McCoy, artist

Expo/Crenshaw Station, Wanderers, Willie Robert Middlebrook, artist

Monumental sculpture, Time Piece, at new El Monte Station!

Time Piece, a sculpture designed by Donald Lipski for the new El Monte Station, which includes three double sided clocks, and is suspended by a network of cables from a 30 foot tall stainless steel arch. Photo: Donald Lipski.



An iconic, large-scale sculpture by Donald Lipski is installed at Metro’s new El Monte Station, which is opening Oct. 14!

Lipski, an internationally renowed sculptor in the field of public art, created a monumental clock tower–with a twist. Entitled Time Piece, the artwork includes three double sided clocks suspended from a sweeping 30-foot tall stainless steel arch, using a web of thin stainless steel cables.

The functional sculpture echoes the grand clock towers historically found in transit systems, but is updated to contemporary times and the specific context of the new facility.

Built in the 1970s, the original transit center was the busiest bus-only station west of the Mississippi. The station was demolished to make way for a new two-level station, doubling its previous size and accommodating up to 40,000 daily riders.

Click here for a Source post documenting the installation of this artwork, and here for more information on Donald Lipski’s work.

Detail of Time Piece. Photo: Donald Lipski.


Four new "Through the Eyes of Artists" posters coming soon!

Metro Art is excited to announce the four artists selected to create new posters for its award winning Through the Eyes of Artists series. Jessica Polzin McCoy, Ramon Ramirez, Mary Kay Wilson and Wakana Kimura have designed original artworks that celebrate Claremont, Pico Rivera, San Fernando and Inglewood, respectively. Transit users can expect to see the new posters in the coming months.

Jessica Polzin McCoy in her studio. Jessica’s poster will feature Claremont. Photo: Todd Gray.

Now in its tenth year, the Through the Eyes of Artists program commissions local artists to create original artworks that express the uniqueness of Los Angeles County neighborhoods, as a way of encouraging people to take Metro to explore destinations served by the agency.

The four latest additions will bring the series to a total of 29 neighborhoods featured. Explore Through the Eyes of Artists posters.

Ramon Ramirez in his studio. Ramon’s poster will feature Pico Rivera. Photo: Todd Gray.

Mary Kay Wilson. Her poster will feature San Fernando. Photo: Todd Gray.

Wakana Kimura. Wakana’s poster will feature Inglewood. Photo: Todd Gray.

Metro Board committees tackle TAP issues, Expo safety and phone theft

A few notes from today's committee meetings of the Metro Board of Directors:

A contract that would pay Metro with $110 million in exchange for allowing ads from CBS Outdoor to be placed on Metro properties was moved to the full Board of Directors for their consideration at their Sept. 27 meeting. The item was moved without discussion or a recommendation, as frequently occurs.

•Metro TAP officials told the Board that they are working on allowing day passes to be sold online at the taptogo.net website. Currently, TAP card holders have to wait at ticket machines at rail stations to buy a day pass — readers have complained this negates some of the convenience of having a TAP card.

In addition, Board members and TAP officials discussed some of the other issues that have received a lot of attention, including: the appropriateness of charging tourists and others $1 for a TAP card they may only use once or a few times; confusion at ticket machines when customers initially buy a TAP card and want to buy a round-trip (two single rides), and; the need for more signage and possibly staff at times to help riders use the machines.

The takeaway here: the legitimate issues that many readers and riders have raised with TAP cards have not fallen on deaf ears. Metro staff and the Metro Board is aware of it and they are working to resolve some of the issues.

Continue reading

Metro August ridership numbers

Here are the latest ridership numbers across the Metro system.

The average weekday ridership for the Blue Line (92,006 boardings) and the new Expo Line (19,776) were the highest ever. The Orange Line had its second-best average to date (27,513) and the Green Line its third-best month ever (45,536).

Below are the July numbers, which on the rail side are tabulated over the prior several months and then crunched to come up with the monthly numbers:

Bus – Directly Operated

Aug. 2012 Aug. 2011 Aug. 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 1,074,951 1,048,258 1,050,267
Average Saturday Boardings 723,663 728,213 725,903
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 552,120 547,722 538,147
Total Calendar Month Boardings 29,827,005 29,213,674 28,700,221

Directly operated bus ridership includes Orange and Silver Line ridership.

Bus – Contract

Aug. 2012 Aug. 2011 Aug. 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 45,836 41,327 42,870
Average Saturday Boardings 26,702 24,266 24,838
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 20,881 18,727 18,660
Total Calendar Month Boardings 1,244,551 1,122,490 1,135,790

Bus – Systemwide

Aug. 2012 Aug. 2011 Aug. 2010
Average Weekday Boardings 1,120,787 1,089,585 1,093,137
Average Saturday Boardings 750,365 752,479 750,741
Average Sunday and Holiday Boardings 573,001 566,449 556,807
Total Calendar Month Boardings 31,071,556 30,336,164 29,836,011

Directly operated bus ridership includes Orange and Silver Line ridership.

Continue reading

High school students study Metro

Taylor Shaw with Bruce Shelburne, Metro's Deputy Executive Officer of Operations, and community outreach specialist Jody Litvak. Photo by Luis Inzunza/Metro.

With students heading back to school, it seemed like a good time to let you know about some great high school students I met this last year who focused on Metro. Four of them did so for school projects and one is just really interested in transit. I thought they and their projects were interesting enough to share.

Taylor Shaw – Designing a subway station

Taylor just graduated from Beverly Hills High School where she participated in a very interesting architecture class they offer. As a continuing student in that class, her project for the year was to design a public facility and she chose to tackle the subway station being planned for heart of Beverly Hills.

She reached out to my colleague Bruce Shelburne, our Deputy Executive Officer of Operations, and he reached out to me. One afternoon last fall, we met Taylor and a classmate of hers at the Wilshire/Vermont Station for a behind the scenes tour. We showed them the inner workings of the station including many areas that are not open to the public. Those are where we house equipment for power, communications, ventilation and the like. She was already quite knowledgeable and asked really good questions about the various technical specifications that are required for stations.

Continue reading

Artists of the Metro Orange Line exhibition opens October 11 at Los Angeles Valley College

Detail of Liquid Light: Flowing into the Future by Sam Erenberg, at Roscoe Station. Photo: Sam Erenberg.


Metro is organizing an exciting new exhibition in collaboration with Los Angeles Valley College. Opening on October 11, Translations: Artists of the Metro Orange Line features the works of twenty artists commissioned for the Metro Orange Line and demonstrates how artists enliven the public space of transit.

Artworks that reflect the artists' studio practice in relation to their Metro commissions will be on view, providing insight into the many ways artists translate their practices and material selections to create works of art for public transportation sites.

Featured artists: Lisa Adams, Sandow Birk, Caryl Davis, John Divola, Roy Dowell, Sam Erenberg, Jud Fine, Ken Gonzales-Day, Phung Huynh, Anne Marie Karlsen, Margaret Lazzari, Laura London, Daniel Marlos, Michele Martinez, John O'Brien, Renée Petropoulos, Roxene Rockwell, John Roloff, Pat Warner and Jody Zellen.

•Opening Reception & Artists Panel Discussion: Thursday, October 11, 2012, 6–9pm

•Panel with artists Lisa Adams, Ken Gonzales-Day and Anne Marie Karlsen at 7pm

•Moderated by Jorge Pardo, Director, Metro Art & Design, and Phung Huynh, Assistant Professor, Valley College Art Department.

Valley College Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 11am-2pm and 6-9pm (5800 Fulton Ave. Valley Glen, CA 91401). (Closed for the Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving holidays)

The gallery is located in the Art Building on the northwest corner of campus. Map. The exhibition ends December 13, 2012. Read the exhibition press release here.

View images of all artists’ Orange Line artwork here.


Monumental sculpture installation in progress at new El Monte Station!

Artist Donald Lipski stands in front of Time Piece, the sculpture he designed for the El Monte Station, as it’s being installed. When complete the sculpture will include three double sided clocks, which will be suspended by a network of cables from this sweeping 30 foot tall stainless steel arch.

An iconic, large-scale sculpture by Donald Lipski is being installed this week at Metro’s new El Monte Station, which is slated to open in late summer 2012. Here are a few photos showing the progress of installation.

Click here and here for prior Source posts on this artwork, and here for more information on Donald Lipski’s work.

The artist with John Grant, the artist’s project manager, standing with part of the sculpture before it’s hoisted skyward. JunoWorks fabricated the arch and cabling system for the clocks.

Detail of Time Piece before it’s installed. Each clock weighs a hefty 350 lbs. and is manufactured by the Verdin Company, the nearly 170-year old maker of clocks and bells, which has been operated by six generations of the Verdin family since 1842.