Artwork installations in progress at El Monte Station

Workers installing Martin Durazo's artwork

Workers installing Martin Durazo’s artwork

Sixteen new artworks are being installed at Metro’s El Monte Station. The artworks — by Martin Durazo, Phung Huynh, Vincent Ramos and Eloy Torrez — are located at each of the station’s four transit bays and help enliven the customer experience.

Each artist created four artworks. The colorful new artwork panels can be viewed at each bay from multiple viewpoints.

Click here for details on an exhibition of the four El Monte artists’ work, opening next week.

Phung Huynh's artwork being installed. Each artist created artwork in the medium of their choice, including drawing, painting and collage. This work was digitally captured in high-resolution digital files. The artwork was then translated onto 8’ x 8’ powder-coated aluminum panels, which can withstand the elements over the long-term, and are easy for Metro to maintain.

Phung Huynh’s artwork being installed. Each artist created artwork in the medium of their choice, including drawing, painting and collage. This work was digitally captured in high-resolution digital files. The artwork was then translated onto 8’ x 8’ powder-coated aluminum panels, which can withstand the elements over the long-term, and are easy for Metro to maintain.

El Monte Station
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. The new station has modern amenities including variable message signs, intercoms, closed circuit television, solar panels, wayfinding equipment and information displays, new elevators and escalators, a transit store, bike stations and lockers.

Metro Art Program
Metro Art implements the agency’s percent for art program, manages the care and maintenance of the system’s existing artworks and directs a volunteer docent council. From rail and bus stations to construction fences and poetry cards, art creates a sense of place and engages transit riders. Since 1989, Metro has commissioned artists to incorporate artworks into a wide array of transportation projects throughout Los Angeles County. The agency has received numerous design and artistic excellence awards, and is renowned for its approaches to integrating art into the transit experience, and for engaging artists at all levels of their careers.

13 replies

  1. I think Art is are future. Its been in the human culture for as long as we existed. Bravo for Artist!Art is a diverse range of human activities and the products of those activities; this article focuses primarily on the visual arts, which includes the creation of images or objects in fields including painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and other visual media. Architecture is often included as one of the visual arts; however, like the decorative arts, it involves the creation of objects where the practical considerations of use are essential—in a way that they usually are not in a painting, for example. Music, theatre, film, dance, and other performing arts, as well as literature and other media such as interactive media, are included in a broader definition of art or the arts. Until the 17th century, art referred to any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences, but in modern usage the fine arts, where aesthetic considerations are paramount, are distinguished from acquired skills in general, such as the decorative or applied arts.
    Art may be characterized in terms of mimesis (its reflection of life), expression, communication of emotion, or other qualities. During the Romantic period, art came to be seen as “a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science”. Though the definition of what constitutes art is disputed and has changed over time, general descriptions mention an idea of imaginative or technical skill stemming from human agency and creation.
    The nature of art, and related concepts such as creativity and interpretation, are explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics.

  2. I’m all for Marketing Guy’s idea.

    If Metro has an art budget, they can tie in art with something useful like artistic signs and posters that helps get the point across to transit riders.

    Hire a local artist to create “no smoking” posters or signs.

    Hire a local artist to create a “stand to the right” poster or sign for the escalators on the El Monte Station.

    Same with do not litter signs, no food or drink signs, no pets and animals (unless guide dogs) signs, all of these can be more interesting.

    Do this for all stations.

    You shouldn’t sacrifice signs for art when they can be combined together into the same budget.

  3. The so-called “art” is ugly and useless!!! What the station needs is Exit signs and no smoking signs!!!! Not crappy “art”!!! This station is one of the worst stations ever built. No signs, not enough bathrooms,but Metro doesn’t have enough money to make this station useful. But they have money to spend on crap.

  4. The ticket vending machines are still there as of last week. They are next to the escalators on the outside of the station, next to the future bike hub and Expresslanes kiosk.

  5. You all have no one else to blame but yourselves by voting the Democrats into power to this once magnificent free city and state. You want logic and common sense, vote Republican in the next election.

  6. Here’s what I don’t get. It must be one of those “Metro doesn’t run on logic” things, but here it is anyway:

    If Metro has a budget for artwork, why don’t they actually hire local artists and use the artwork for something useful, like using art for “stand to the right” signs for escalators or use artwork for “you must TAP to ride” signs, or stand here signs on the platforms?

    Then, it accomplishes two things at once: more signages that help get the point across and it makes the transit experience more fun and enjoyable, all within the same budget. It’s a huge cost savings that accomplishes two things at once!

    1. Create a cute Metro mascot. Hire an Asian to do it because they know how to make cute characters that sells, you know like Hello Kitty or those cute Olympic mascots from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics? They are cute, they sell, and they are huge money makers. Something like a cute cat called Michelle Metro and a douche named Ignorant Idiot. Catchy name and cute characters.

    2. Use the mascot for your public relations ads, posters, and signs. Like Michelle Metro says “stand to the left” on escalators or a character named Ignorant Idiot blocking the path of poor Michelle Metro by standing to the left. Michelle Metro always TAP when riding Metro instead of fare evading like Ignorant Idiot. Michelle Metro keeps stations clean instead of Ignorant Idiot littering the place all over. Use your imagination.

    3. Then start selling Michelle Metro character goods at the Metro Store. Things like Michelle Metro plush toys and Ignorant Idiot cell phone straps. You gain additional revenue.

    All of this is just plain common sense. Do we really need to spoon feed money making and efficient ideas to Metro? What are we paying you guys for?

  7. 40K riders perday, they must be doing something right, right? Regarding the Art work, the reason there is art at the stations is because the public, specifically stakeholds requested there be art and some sort of beautification. Nearby residents and business owners ask their local politician to lobby Metro to install these things. Lets face it, most people do not enoy solid concrete complexes without any color or design, similar to a jail cell. Get over it.

  8. Metro does not run on logic, it runs on taxes. Hence, Metro does not listen to the people, it just says “gimme more money” and “we’re gonna jack up the fares whether you like it or not.”

    If Metro listened to the people’s voices, they would stop wasting money on art immediately and start spending our money wisely with what people demand like restrooms, more gates, more security, ticket machines, and fixing TAP.

  9. To “BS” and “Georgia”: You are using LOGIC! The MTA does NOT operate on that! There are fewer bathrooms now then in the OLD El Monte Station, but because the IDIOTIC MTA wanted some worthless “LEED” certification, they came up with the pathetic bathrooms they have (yes, ONLY 2 FOR an increasing population!). Not to mention also, there is AN ENTIRE BUILDING at El Monte Station that REMAINS EMPTY (the MTA claims to be looking for “vendors”!) BULL! If there is logic to be had, its not going to had: a.) at El Monte Station, b.) from the MTA! The morons who “designed” this, DO NOT HAVE TO USE IT! That is why they get away with what they get away with!

  10. Nice to see that they are being put in the OUTDOOR PART of the station, where they can be exposed to the rain and SUN (and HEAT!). What “genius” thought of that?
    At least its being installed AFTER the station is up and running (if only this was done at ALL MTA bus and rail stations! INSTALL THE ARTWORK LATER!).

  11. Metro runs on the honor system and lost millions of dollars in revenue for the past 20 years.

    Metro asks everyone to cover the cost with massive fare hikes, all the while slashing bus services. Pay more for crappier service.

    All in the while, Metro keeps installing useless art work at stations at taxpayers’ expense.

    Am I the only one who sees a disconnect here with the use of the people’s tax dollars? Hello?