This is the fourth in a series of Source posts providing a behind-the-scenes look at the artwork fabrication process for each of the seven new Metro Rail stations under construction along the second phase of the Expo Line between Culver City and downtown Santa Monica. The artworks will create a welcoming environment for future riders and connect the stations to surrounding neighborhoods. Commissioned artists include Constance Mallinson, Shizu Saldamando, Abel Alejandre, Susan Logoreci, Nzuji de Magalhães, Carmen Argote, and Judithe Hernandez.
This post introduces the artwork of artist Judithe Hernandez, which will be featured at the Downtown Santa Monica Station. Her original artwork, L.A. Sonata, began as chalk and oil pastel drawings on paper.
Artwork Description: L.A. Sonata depicts a composite of global mythologies, a fitting gesture for the terminus station of the Expo Line, located at the very edge of our continent. The artist layers images to create metaphors for day and night as well as the seasons. By weaving cultural identifiers with elements that denote the passage of time, artworks create a sense of shared place and historical significance that honors the heritage of the local, the immigrant and the tourist alike.
In the artist’s own words, “I sought an image palette from the ancient myths and legends of Europe, Mexico, Japan, India, Latin America, Iran, Russia, Native America, Polynesia and Africa. These images became a visual symphony, a magical dreamscape.”
The pastel drawings were translated into glass mosaics from vivid cake glass, handmade by the artwork fabricator. The 24 glass mosaic panels will be placed in steel frames and installed at the Downtown Santa Monica Station in highly visible places for riders and the public.
Hernandez is thoroughly involved in the process to ensure that the glass mosaic is an accurate translation of her original artwork.
High resolution scans and scaled match prints of Hernandez’ artwork were sent to Perdomo Studio, an artwork fabrication branch of the mosaic glass maker, Mosaicos Venecianos de Mexico. The fabricator printed the electronic files at 100 percent scale to be used as full size layouts and in developing a full custom glass color palette. After the color palette was reviewed and approved by the artist, Perdomo cut the hand-made glass into mosaic sized pieces and assembled them using the full scale scans of the artist’s drawings as a guide.
Glass mosaic is a highly durable material often used in transit environments all over the world. Mosaic as an art form has been traced back as far as the fourth millennium B.C. to the Temple of Uruk in Mesopotamia and the ancient Greek city of Pella. They were also found in Pre-Columbian cultures, which decorated objects using shells, mother-of-pearl and semi-precious stones.
Other Expo Line artwork fabrication stories on the Source:
Enjoy photos documenting the fabrication process below:
The two photos above show the assembly of thousands of glass mosaic pieces to match the artist’s original drawings at the fabricator’s shop. The high resolution scans of the original drawings are visible underneath. Photo courtesy Perdomo Studio.
The photos above show details of two completed artwork panels.