Who We Are… Celebrating Metro riders and more

Have you passed through Union Station lately? If so, you may have seen an exhibition Metro Art launched in December titled We Are…Portraits of Metro Riders by Local Artists in the Union Station Passageway Art Gallery and online.  

We Are… celebrates the diversity of both Los Angeles and the community of transit riders by featuring original portraits of our customers by transit-riding artists. Each rider portrait represents a single story among many– with personal ties to the neighborhoods Metro serves. 

The exhibition has been met with enthusiasm and rave reviews from viewers online as well as passersby in the less than two months it has been on view at Union Station and in an online gallery.  

“The portraits are beautiful. These are everyday people…just like me!” shared one rider as he passed by. 

While the 41 portraits each represent distinct people, identities and stories, they also reveal universal aspects of who we are collectively — each one of us  unique and interconnected. 

In the spirit of inviting even more transit-riding customers to show us who they are, Metro Art will be launching a number of related cultural programs in 2022!  

First up on Sunday, February 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Metro Art and LACMA will co-present the We Are…Portrait Activation. During the hands-on workshop, people of all ages can personalize a portrait to creatively represent themselves using collage and other embellishment techniques.  

The workshop will be held outdoors in the Zev Yaroslavsky Plaza at LACMA and is free of charge. Please note that LACMA admission is not required to visit outdoor spaces, including this workshop, but is required to visit the exhibition galleries. Click here to learn more on LACMA’s website. 

The workshop bridges We Are… with Black American Portraits, a current exhibition at LACMA that also connects portraiture and people. Black American Portraits reframes portraiture to center Black American subjects, sitters and spaces to chronicle the ways in which Black Americans have used portraiture to envision themselves in their own eyes.

A work-in-progress artwork detail by artist Chelle Barbour.

Chelle Barbour, a Metro-commissioned artist whose portrait work is also featured in the LACMA exhibition, will facilitate the workshop. All materials will be provided, including  photo portraits, which will be printed onsite 

Can’t make it? Stay tuned for updates for future programs and follow us at @metro.art.la to take part in social media games or tag a selfie #SomosWeAreLA as you ride.  

Show us who you are, in your own eyes 

Click here for more information about Metro’s art program. Follow Metro Art on Facebook  and Instagram, and subscribe for email updates. 

Installation detail photo of We Are… artworks at Union Station.

2 replies

  1. all well and good, but …I am not Black nor Latino, nor Asian nor gay, nor female, nor handicapped, nor a union member…soooo-o-o……