- Art Tours
- Artist Opportunities
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Metro Art enhances the customer experience through innovative, original visual and performing arts programs that encourage ridership and connect people, sites and neighborhoods throughout LA County.
A diverse range of site-specific artworks are integrated into the growing system, improving the visual quality of transit environments and creating a sense of place. Multi-faceted arts programs which add vibrancy and engage customers include photography installations, on-board posters, and live performances. Metro Art also produces music, dance, poetry readings, and unique film screenings to activate historic Union Station and raise its profile as a cultural destination while simultaneously creating incentives to “Go Metro”.
The agency has received numerous awards and is recognized for its varied approaches to integrating the arts into the transit experience, and for engaging artists at all levels of their careers.
To join our mailing lists for opportunities and upcoming activities click on the Artist Opportunities tab above.
Metro offers free, regularly scheduled, as well as special request, group tours of the artwork in the Metro Rail system. Tours are led by trained Metro Art Docent Council volunteers. The Metro Art Docent Council is committed to increasing awareness of the broad range of art in the Metro Rail system through public tours that provide insights into the artworks, the artists who created them, the processes it took to make them, and the communities they enhance. While docent programs are commonly found at museums around the world, Metro is the first transit agency to benefit from such a program.
See the art tours in action!
In this short video, docents and artists lead adventurous tour-goers through the Metro Rail system—some taking transit for the first time—visiting artworks at different stations and learning how to use TAP cards along the way.
April Fool’s Day Art Tour
Wednesday, April 1
5:30pm – 7:00pm
Grand Central Market, Hill St. between 3rd & 4th Streets, downtown LA
Celebrate April Fool’s Day with acclaimed LA native poet Mike Sonksen as he shares his perspective on the quirky history of Los Angeles and how it relates to artworks along the Metro Red and Purple Lines. Incorporating his award-winning poetry, historical information and anecdotes, this one-time tour will bring to light the origins of April Fool’s Day as well as myths and legends of LA’s urban development. The tour will include visits to Richard Wyatt’s People Coming / People Going at Wilshire/Western Station and Sonia Romero’s MacArthur Park, Urban Oasis at Westlake/MacArthur Park Station, among others. Meet at Grand Central Market, west entrance (Hill Street between 3rd and 4th Streets).
Mike Sonksen, also known as Mike the Poet, is a 3rd-generation LA native acclaimed for poetry performances, published articles & mentoring young writers. Sonksen is currently an Adjunct Professor at Southwest College and Woodbury University. His first book I AM ALIVE IN LOS ANGELES! has been added to the curriculum of several universities. He also writes for KCET’s Artbound, an online LA culture magazine.
Tour is limited to the first 40 attendees. First-come, first-served.
For more information on tours: metro.net/art (Click on Art Tours)
Union Station Tours
Second Sunday (January 11, February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14)
Special FREE tours are offered on the occasion of Union Station's 75th anniversary. Led by trained Metro Art Docents, the tours will cover historic Union Station art, architecture and spaces not generally open to the public, including the old ticket concourse and former Fred Harvey restaurant. Additionally, the tours will explore artworks located in the Gold Line Portal, East Portal and inside the Metro Gateway Headquarters Building. Tours are free. Reservations are not required. Meet at the information booth inside the Alameda Street entrance to historic Union Station.
Year Round Tours
FREE docent led tours focus on getting around town using transit, introducing riders to a variety of artworks in Red Line stations, and drawing attention to area destinations served by Metro.
Meet promptly at 10:00am at the street level entrance to the Hollywood/Highland Metro Rail Station on Hollywood Blvd. near the corner with Highland Ave. If driving to Hollywood/Highland station, park at the Visitors' Center at the Hollywood/Highland shopping center complex to obtain partial parking validation. This tour is roundtrip.
Meet promptly at 10:00 am at the information booth inside the entrance to historic Union Station at 900 Alameda St in Downtown Los Angeles. There is pay parking at Union Station, and metered street parking and pay lots in the immediate area. This tour is roundtrip.
Special Request Tours
Free art tours for groups of 15 or more are available by special arrangement. School tours are available for students in the 5th grade and above.
More information is available by calling 213.922.2738 or by clicking Art Tours.
The tours are approximately 90% walking; there are elevators and escalators in all the stations.
Docents carry voice amplifiers and wear bright yellow safety vests for easy identification. Docents will provide tour attendees with free TAP cards that are pre-loaded with day passes.
There are no public restrooms available in the stations but there are restrooms available to the public at Union Station and the Hollywood/Highland shopping complex.
Go Metro and save at various places near the tours. For more details, click here. Metro provides Bus and Rail transportation to Downtown Los Angeles till 2AM on Fridays and Saturdays. For your best route or more info, visit the Metro's Trip Planner or call (323) Go Metro or (323.466.3876).
The Art Guide was updated in July 2011 and includes images of all of the artworks in the Metro transit system. It is a perfect complement for self-guided tours and features a system map, artist information and brief descriptions of the artworks.
Download the Art Guide here.
A hard copy of the pocket-sized brochure is available by request. Please call 213.922.4ART or email us, and include your name and mailing address in your message.
"Through the Eyes of Artists" Poster Series As of November 2013
Download the Poster Series Summary.
Subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates and information about events, public art opportunities and workshops for artists.
Metro Art shares its mailing list, on a carefully selected basis, with other programs seeking to inform artists of public art opportunities.
Organized by Metro Art, Metro Presents is the agency’s series of free arts and cultural programs at Union Station. From music and dance to film screenings and beyond, programs are designed to attract new riders and creatively activate the station.
To receive updates and information about events, subscribe to our email list by clicking on the “Artist Opportunities” tab.
Union Station is accessible via Metro Rail, Metro Bus and several municipal bus lines. Use the Trip Planner at metro.net for routes and connections. Bicycle parking is also available on site.
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