Artist Levi Ponce depicts his hometown of Pacoima, where flowers bloom around community, in the latest installment of Metro Art’s Through the Eyes of Artists poster series. The poster is viewable onboard the Metro fleet from now through August 2021.
Ponce painted his San Fernando Valley neighborhood with a sense of unity and a touch of pastoral sentiment. In his depiction, the recent Pacoima Neighborhood City Hall building, constructed in 2011, is framed by bright flowers. It sits side-by-side next to open streets and across the street from local shops. Residents support small businesses and enjoy ice cream along Van Nuys Boulevard, the longest commercial stretch and heart of the neighborhood, as clouds float toward the foothills.
The artist reflects, “I appreciate the need for new infrastructure and mass transportation (with the coming Metro light rail), and simultaneously, I cherish the unique moments we have now in a part of LA that forgets it is a big city. It still feels like there are fields of produce and flowers just around the bend.”
Ponce continues, “I grew up in this neighborhood, and am watching it slowly transform and connect to greater Los Angeles….It seems people are beginning to take to the streets again to build a community, and a college-educated generation has returned home to bloom.”
About the artist
Born to a sign maker and seamstress, Levi Ponce (b. 1987, Pacoima) has been studying art and form since childhood. After earning his B.A. in 3D Animation, Ponce began painting and organizing community murals in Los Angeles. His transformative mural projects bring together a wide range of artists, business owners, and youth. They serve as catalysts, inspiring people to take control of their communities and leading to the re-discovery of LA’s “Mural Mile” corridor. In 2014, MSN’s Latinzine named Ponce as one of the “Top 10 Latinos To Watch” in the United States. In 2015, Walt Disney Imagineering contracted him for artwork for worldwide attractions including The World of Pandora, Frozen, and Star Wars. He has contributed digital compositing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and VFX work for Interstellar (Winner, Best Visual Effects 2014). His work has been featured at The Skirball Center, the Peterson Museum and Super Sonico Music Festival, and by Katy Perry and Vans Art. Local media coverage includes The Los Angeles Times, La Opinión, LA Daily News, PBS, Sony, Welcome to Los Vargas, Fox 11’s Good Day LA, CNN Latino, BBC Mundo, Univision, Telemundo, MUN2, MTV Tr3s, Azteca TV, KPFK 90.7FM, La Opinion, KCET, The Huffington Post, and more.
About Through the Eyes of Artists
In the tradition of celebrating transportation through colorful travel destination posters, Metro Art commissions a diverse range of Los Angeles artists to create original artworks for the Through the Eyes of Artists poster series. Established in 2003, the posters are displayed onboard Metro trains and buses.
View other works in the poster series in our publication here.
Click here for more information about Metro Art programs. Sign up for our Arts & Cultural Programs eblast and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn about future artist poster signing events in the future.
Categories: Metro Art, Transportation News
I object to the San Fernando depiction of the mission on 2 grounds. The mission is not located in the city of San Fernando, it is located in Los Angeles city’s Mission Hills area. Also, the California missions treated Indigenous people harshly, violated their human rights, and should not be glorified.
Your San Pedro poster has a major omission, in not mentioning the Los Angeles harbor. Even the artist’s own studio is located on military surplus land, which was utilized to defend the entrance of the harbor during World War II. There is much to San Pedro besides the harbor, and I don’t mind the artist depicting the rest of San Pedro. But the harbor is too large to ignore completely.
You included a link to Metro’s complete compilation of all of its neighborhood posters. You should integrate the new Pacoima poster into your on-line display of all your posters. I don’t care if an older version has already been printed—you can still modify your computer version of your document.
Through The Eyes of Artists posters are created by the artists to share their creative interpretations of the communities where they live or have other, personal connections. Artworks are not intended to be comprehensive but share each artist’s own unique perspective. Thank you for your feedback and we will take this into consideration with future artists and their artworks! – Maryam Hosseinzadeh, Metro Art