Sneak peek into the art making process for Crenshaw/LAX stations


Artist Carlson Hatton is hard at work developing his artwork for Hyde Park Station, part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line. Inspired by his many explorations in the community, his concept is to capture the musical vibrancy and historical legacy of the area in a fresh and contemporary manner.

The artwork imagery aims to balance the energy and social nature of the commercial boulevard with the tranquility of home gardens found in the neighborhoods in between. All set within compositions filled with intricate patterns and color resonant of the light and sky at sunset and sunrise.

Carlson has been meeting with community members to share his concepts and gather feedback. He has also been working with young student artists to introduce them to the public art process. The students, who have personal connections to the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor, have been participating at key occasions during the artwork development.

The ideas conveyed to the artist about the surrounding community are informing the development of his artwork. Carlson has included references to the rich musical legacy of the area and the vibrant high energy of the wide boulevard juxtaposed with the lush neighborhood gardens and fruit trees. Memorialized in several songs over the years, Crenshaw Boulevard’s past renown as the epicenter of car culture is also referenced.

Several have remarked on the timeless quality of the artwork and expressed appreciation that the layers upon layers of imagery and patterns in the artwork provide a rich tapestry of discovery.

“I like the young, fresh aesthetic,” said Armen Ross, President and CEO of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce and Co-chair of the C/LAX Community Leadership Council.

“The artwork design is soulful, particularly as reflected in the musical components. It captures the energy of the community,” said Karen Mack, a C/LAX artist selection panelist and the Founder and Executive Director of LA Commons, a Leimert Park-based arts organization.

Below are some images that share Carlson’s process:


Details of in-progress artwork designs by Carlson Hatton for Hyde Park Station.



The legacy of music and the many notable musicians along the Crenshaw corridor, including Kamasi Washington and the New Orleans Traditional Jazz band shown here, are an inspiration in Carlson’s artwork for the station.



The many layers of imagery in the artwork include the popular Crenshaw High School Cougars 1970s logo as well as the iconic palm trees along the corridor—some of the oldest in the City. Carlson also includes hundreds of patterns sourced from visuals along the corridor



Detail of artwork referencing plants found in neighborhood gardens and iconic palm trees.



Students working with Carlson and learning about the public art process.


Click here for more information about the Crenshaw/LAX Art Program.

Click here for more information about Metro Art.

Past Crenshaw/LAX artwork stories on The Source:

Previous article on Carlson’s work

Fourteen artists selected to create art for Crenshaw/LAX Line project

How you can be part of the artwork

Metro Art hosts free design workshops with local teens

6 replies

  1. I like the use of such vibrant colors and patterns to bring this history back to life. Can’t wait to see this in person! 🙂

  2. I’m really happy to hear that Carlson Hatton’s art will be featured on the Crenshaw/LAX line! I went to see an an art exhibition he did at Bergamot Station and the pieces on display were phenomenal. I look forward to enjoying what he’s going to put up when the line is finished and I start to use it to get to LAX!!

  3. Such a beautiful representation of the community! Can’t wait to see it for myself!

  4. Yay, more socially aware public art! I hope this turns out to be a benefit to the community!