Photo by Dustin Downing, Chinashopmap.com.
Nicole Pajer writes for the arts and culture blog Chinashop. What she doesn’t do is take mass transit, “Something about cramming into a tiny train car underground and being smashed up against random strangers just doesn’t sit right with me.”
Which means her tour of the Metro Red Line courtesy of Metro’s free monthly art tours was an eye opening experience – and her photographer Dustin Downing was there to capture it.
The four station tour included Hollywood/Highland, Universal City, North Hollywood and Hollywood/Vine. The latter was Pajer’s personal favorite, and if you’ve ever been curious about the yellow tiles that line that station, here’s the answer: “The artist that created this station was Gilbert Lujan (nicknamed Magu) and Adolfo Miralles was the architect. The ceiling of the station contains over 20,000 actual 35mm film reels that were acquired from an old production studio. The ground is Magu’s version of the Yellow Brick Road, as MGM has a patent on the original one.’
If the story inspires you, Metro Art Tours – cheekily called “Art’s a Trip” – are free, require no reservations and take place on the first Saturday, Sunday and Thursday of each month.
The Source has been working hard to share Metro news and views for a year now and we’re looking to you, our readers, to grade our performance so far – and tell us what you’d like to see from us in the next year.
We’ve had a great response to our 2010 Reader Survey so far and we only posted it two days ago, but there are still plenty of readers out there who have yet to chime in. It just takes a few minutes of your time, and your feedback will help us adjust what we’re doing to better serve you.
And remember to be honest! We love praise, but constructive criticism is most helpful.
You can take the survey here: http://thesource.metro.net/2010readersurvey/
The Source last week hit a milestone: one year of Metro blogging!
At its core, The Source is all about communication. As scribes, we can’t build the rails, raise the funds or make the buses show up on time. But we can tell you how the agency is dealing with these issues, inform you of the challenges faced, tell you how to best take advantage of what’s there now and even give you an outlet to voice your two cents on all of this.
Admittedly, the government blog is a new beast on the media landscape and can be hard to define. The Source is a lively mix: part news, part PR, part promotion, part interactive communication and — hopefully — fun and readable.
But instead of patting ourselves on the back for making it this far, we’re turning to you, our readers, to tell us how we’re doing and how we can do better.
With that in mind we’ve put together the 2010 Reader Survey and we encourage you to take a few minutes to fill it out. Doing so will help us better define who our readers are and what they want — and focus our resources appropriately.
You can take the survey here: http://thesource.metro.net/2010readersurvey/
Robbert Flick discusses the artwork fabrication for Expo Park/USC Station with Bryan Stockdale, principal of fabrication firm Winsor Fireform.
Since moving to Los Angeles 34 years ago, much of Robbert Flick’s work has centered on transportation, specifically extending the tools of the photographer to include the automobile. Robbert photographs much of his subject matter from the backseat of his minivan. And yes, he does this while driving. He has modified the back of his car to house a tripod with a motorized adjustable head and applied special screening to the window glass to keep reflections out of the images. A long extension cable is connected to the camera so the artist can photograph while his eyes are on the road. Continue reading
Los Angeles County Supervisor and MTA Board Chairman Don Knabe has issued this statement in remembrance of California State Senator Jenny Oropeza:
California State Senator Jenny Oropeza. Photo courtesy of District SD28 staff.
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of our dear friend, former Board Member and State Senator Jenny Oropeza.
Senator Oropeza was elected as the first Latina to the Long Beach City Council in 1994. She previously served on the Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education.
As a Metro board member from 1996 through 2000, she represented the southeast cities of Los Angeles County and served on MTA’s Planning and Programming, and Construction committees. While with the MTA, she also chaired the Goods Movement Committee of the Southern California Association of Governments.
Senator Oropeza was elected to the California Assembly in 2000, and in 2002 was named chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. From 2004 to 2006, she chaired the Assembly Transportation Committee.
Senator Oropeza dedicated her life to public service and championed many issues, from transportation to public health. She fought tirelessly for her constituents and had a steadfast passion for the well-being and quality of life for those she represented. Senator Oropeza was a strong, brave and forceful advocate and a true public servant. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time. She will be truly missed.
One goal of The Source is to get you -- the taxpayer -- inside Metro HQ.
It was one year today that we launched The Source on the Metro website, hoping to better explain government to the people who pay for it: you.
Here’s my first post, explaining what we were shooting for on The Source. And here’s Fred’s first post, explaing his ambitions to cover an agency that he — Fred doesn’t own a car — relies on most days. Excerpt from Fred’s post:
By compressing its massiveness down to the size of your web browser and providing daily postings on what’s going on, where your money’s being spent, and how you can get involved, my hope is that The Source will provide a level of accessibility, transparency, and understanding to Metro’s customers and taxpayers that simply wasn’t before possible.
In the next few days, we’ll post a reader survey because we want to know what readers want/need from The Source.
In the meantime, it’s (hopefully) onward and upward with a busy day today. Public officials are scheduled to hold a news conference later today in Leimert Park to discuss the federal loan to speed construction of the the Crenshaw/LAX Line. And in downtown L.A., the Metro Board of Directors’ planning committee is set to discuss Metro staff recommendations for the Westside Subway Extension and Regional Connector projects.
We’ll have coverage later. And, of course, thank you all very much for reading.
Even the event posters are archives. This one is based upon an illustration of a one-person rocket helicopter, 1951. From the Los Angeles Examiner Negative Collection.
The Metro Library is among some 70 exhibitors on tap for the 5th Annual LA as Subject Archives Bazaar this Saturday at the Doheny Memorial Library on the USC campus in downtown Los Angeles.
Never mind that it’s free and transit-accessible. Those of you with a compelling interest in all things transportation will be able to fill in the local backstory with virtual trips to the past, present and future of the greater Los Angeles region.
Panel discussions cover blogging as history, newspapers as memories, and the legacy of Mexican mural artist David Alfaro Siqueiros. Los Angeles Times columnist and KPCC commentator Patt Morrison gives a journalist’s-eye-view of libraries and historical archives.
All in one day? There’s also a range of documentary film screenings and educational sessions, including a how-to on getting started in research.
Event: LA as Subject Archives Bazaar
Date: October 23, 2010
Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: Doheny Memorial Library on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los Angeles
Take the Silver Line to the Figueroa St. and Exposition Blvd. exit. To plan your trip and to check all other transit options, please consult Google Transit or the Metro Trip Planner.
Footnote: Metro’s Digital Resources Librarian Kenn Bicknell chairs the web and technology committee of the L.A. As Subject project, a research alliance of more than 250 separate collections dedicated to preserving and improving access to the unique history and culture of Los Angeles.
- Artisans at Mosaika translate Jessica Polzin McCoy’s watercolor paintings into hand glazed ceramic mosaic art panels for Expo/Vermont Station.
When added together, the ten new Expo Line stations under construction will feature 176 art panels. All are currently in the fabrication phase, which means teams of artisans are translating the original designs from works on paper to durable materials ranging from hand assembled glass and ceramic mosaic to digital photographic processes on porcelain tile.
Art panels include historic architecture found in West Adams.
All the selected materials are resistant to graffiti and vandalism and guaranteed not to fade in the intense Southern California sun. Also important, these materials require minimal maintenance. This was a big consideration given the speed at which Metro’s bus and rail lines are expanding.
The Expo/Vermont Station features 24 art panels, to be spread above gateway arches and seating areas. Over a period of several months, Metro art program staff worked closely with an Art Advisory Group to create a Community Profile – an insider’s guide to the neighborhood’s history and culture created by people that live and work near the stations. Artist Jessica Polzin McCoy (more about Jessica here
) used the profile as a tool to learn more about the historic architecture of the neighborhood surrounding the station.
To create the artwork designs Jessica initially took hundreds of photographs of the neighborhood. She returned to her studio with the photos and cut and pasted the photos into collaged reconstructions of the neighborhood environment. Finally, she created intricate watercolor paintings of each of the collages. Art panels over gateway arches focused on distinctive exterior spaces found in the local area such as the windows and doors of historic homes, the Felix car dealership sign and front yards. Panels above seating areas featured more private interior spaces: living rooms, a USC dorm room and the Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation adjacent to the station. Continue reading
One of the art panels for the Expo/Crenshaw station.
As construction of the Expo Line moves forward, many new features of the stations are starting to take shape.
Tiny pieces of glass mosaic are pieced together to create the art panels.
The canopies are in place and pavers line the walkway. But there are a few painted steel support structures on the platforms that are noticeably empty. That’s because those structures will hold framed artworks that are currently being made off site.
Over the coming weeks we’ll take a behind-the-scenes tour of the artwork, which comprises 176 art panels in total.
This post highlights the work of Willie Robert Middlebrook Jr. who has designed 24 art panels for the Expo/Crenshaw station (here’s a link to more info about Willie). The work explores complex communications between diverse populations and between humans and the earth. The bold color palette is designed to echo the stained glass windows at West Angeles Church of God in Christ, which is adjacent to the Crenshaw station platform.
Original designs for each of the art panels were created over several months. The final designs were then sent to a fabricator to be translated from works on paper into durable materials suitable for a high-use transit environment. Continue reading
Metro bus mechanic Marilin Archie walks the runway on the final episode of TV Land's "She's Got the Look" modeling competition reality show. Photo courtesy of TV Land.
Metro bus mechanic Marilin Archie has won TV Land’s “She’s Got the Look” modeling reality show.
“I never thought I would make it this far,” she says in the show’s blog. The mother of two, whose career as a bus mechanic spans 20 years, said she gave modeling a shot early on and even made it all the way to Ford Models in New York. ”I took a lot of chances and made big sacrifices at a very young age to achieve my goal of becoming a model,” she said. “I never stopped trying.”
The TV Land press release is below and here’s a previous post on Marilin:
38-year-old Bus Mechanic and Mother of Two To Receive Contract with Wilhelmina Models, Inc., and Photo Spread in SELF Magazine
Los Angeles, CA September 30, 2010 – Marilin Archie was named the winner of season three of TV Land’s 35 and older modeling competition “She’s Got the Look.” Host Brooke Burke announced Marilin as the winner of the competition after she impressed the judges with her stand-out performance in the final runway challenge where she faced off against fellow finalists Julie Love-Templeton of Tuscaloosa, AL and Rachelle Love of Memphis, TN.
In last night’s season finale, the three finalists strutted their stuff on the catwalk at a fashion show in an airport hanger complete with a jetliner and moving runway. Continue reading