National Arts and Humanities Month 2022: Spotlight on Metro Art’s Lightbox Exhibitions

In honor of National Arts and Humanities Month this month, Metro Art is celebrating the art of photography by shining a light on the current exhibitions of the Metro Art Lightbox Series! 

Photos by artist Janna Ireland are on view in the Metro Art Lightbox Series at Universal City/Studio City Station

The exhibitions feature a series of five photographs, and showcase the diverse talents and perspectives of each photographer. They are now on view in illuminated cases that enliven these stations with glowing imagery: 

  • Wilshire/Normandie: David Emitt Adams, Power 
  • 7th Street/Metro Center: Genevieve Gaignard, Untitled 
  • Universal/Studio City: Janna Ireland, Regarding Paul R. Williams
  • Hollywood/Highland: Arlene Mejorado, Caricias 
  • Vermont/Beverly: Hiroshi Watanabe, Namonai ike 

And, special for National Arts and Humanities Month, we’re inviting you to dive into the artworks more deeply with a question and a link to resources to accompany each exhibition. 

From the oil fields of Los Angeles and a tranquil pond in Japan to backyard parties in East LA, the rolling Hollywood Hills and the streets of Compton, let’s take a closer look.  


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Power by David Emitt Adams

Wilshire/Normandie Station

Power is grounded in the social, political and environmental landscapes of the oil industry in Los Angeles when global energy consumption has reached a critical mass and the foreseeable effects of our changing climate are evident. David Emitt Adams made these large-scale photographs using a 19th century tintype direct-positive method on discarded 55-gallon oil drum lids. 

RIDE AND CONSIDER:  How do these images and landscapes make you think about resource extraction from the land? 

Learn more about Power and access additional resources here.


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Untitled by Genevieve Gaignard

7th Street/Metro Center Station 

Intertwining issues of race, class and gender, this autobiographical series by artist Genevieve Gaignard investigates the aesthetic and cultural divides she experiences as a biracial woman in America. Between white and black, a chasm as palpable as it is “invisible,” Gaignard challenges viewers to navigate the anxieties of intersectional identity and notions of passing.  

RIDE AND CONSIDER: How does the artist visualize the idea of a divide through her choices in setting, clothing and props in these self-portraits?   

Learn more about Genevieve Gaignard’s self-portraits and access additional resources here.


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Regarding Paul R. Williams by Janna Ireland

Universal City/Studio City Station

Photographer Janna Ireland’s series examines the work of pioneering Los Angeles architect, Paul R. Williams (1894-1980). Williams was the first Black architect to become a member of the American Institute of Architects.  He built a wildly successful career, decades before the Civil Rights Movement, as an architect of residential spaces in neighborhoods where he would not have been allowed to live. 

RIDE AND CONSIDER: What is the significance of a Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) artist documenting the work of other BIPOC artists? 

Learn more about Regarding Paul R. Williams and access additional resources here.


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Caricias by Arlene Mejorado

Hollywood/Highland Station

This multimedia project by Arlene Mejorado centers migrant LGBTQ+ tribute artists who embody and perform as iconic divas in the Latinx community. Often hired for backyard tent parties, first communions, weddings and quinceañeras, these queer artists bring drag culture, comedy, dance and beloved songs to intergenerational family gatherings. 

RIDE AND CONSIDER: Why is it important for cultures and communities to be visible in public portraiture?

Learn more about Caricias and access additional resources here.


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Namonai ike by Hiroshi Watanabe

Vermont/Beverly Station

Titled Namonai ike, or “a pond with no name,” this series depicts a small village pond in Japan known for its picturesque beauty. The pond is neither named nor marked on a map. When photographer Hiroshi Watanabe visited it, he felt a sense of tranquility and creative rest where time ceased.  

RIDE AND CONSIDER:  Where do you find tranquility and creative restoration?  

Learn more about Namonai ike and access additional resources here.


About Metro Art 

Metro Art enhances the customer experience with innovative, award-winning visual and performing arts programming that encourages ridership and connects people, sites and neighborhoods throughout LA County. A diverse range of site-specific artworks are integrated into the growing Metro system, improving the quality of transit environments and creating a sense of place. 

To check out an archive of past works featured in the Metro Art Lightbox Series, click here. 

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