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Metro Unveils Poster of El Monte Through the Eyes of Artist Lois Keller

Friday March 16, 2007

On display in Metro buses and rail cars through early April 2007, a new poster by local artist Lois Keller features scenes from the City of El Monte. It’s the latest in the Neighborhood Poster Series of original artworks commissioned by Metro Art.

“This colorful poster conveys the distinctive character and vitality of the City of El Monte and brightens up the interiors of our buses and trains” said John Fasana, Metro Board and Duarte City Council member. “It also encourages people to take Metro to visit and explore this interesting area of the county.”

The work features El Monte’s sculptural olive trees, which line the streets along Valley Mall, the city’s bustling shopping district. In the background are the flower and strawberry fields that once grew at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains and provided a livelihood for so many. These fields were site of the famous Berry Strike of 1933.

“El Monte is a wonderful city to profile. Its rich history and beautiful geographic setting have inspired many artists, over the years. This latest Metro poster is another fine example of the diversity in art it has influenced,” said Jack Gabig, Metro San Gabriel Valley General Manager.

The new El Monte Poster was, in fact, inspired by history. “What began as a mere oasis along the Santa Fe Trail,” said artist Keller, “became the final destination for many immigrants impressed by the undeniable qualities of El Monte. These groups settled in nine separate barrios, which, over the years, built strong ties with one another -- ties that eventually led to collective action in 1933 for improved treatment and wages throughout California.”

Keller has exhibited throughout the United States and worked as a scenic painter for the Cincinnati Opera and the Cincinnati Ballet. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin.

The El Monte poster is the 15th in a series of posters commissioned by Metro Art to convey the distinctive character and vitality of neighborhoods and destinations served by the Metro network. The posters are displayed throughout the Metro system on trains and buses and at stations and various other locations for the enjoyment of thousands of transit customers.

The posters are available for purchase at the Metro Store (www.metro.net), along with note cards featuring other art from the Neighborhood Poster Series, including pieces on Alhambra, Chinatown, East LA, Echo Park, Griffith Park, Highland Park, Leimert Park, Miracle Mile, NoHo Arts District, Pasadena, Pomona, Topanga, Van Nuys and Venice.

Posters in the series have garnered a Print Magazine Regional Design Annual Excellence Award, A Tranny Merit Award, a “Fresh” Illustrator Award from Illustration Magazine Annual and a Los Angeles Society of Illustrators Silver Medal.

Established in 1989, Metro Art has commissioned more than 250 artists for a wide variety of temporary and permanent artworks throughout the Metro system. For more information about Metro Art and its free docent guided tours, visit www.metro.net/art or call Metro Art at 213-922-4ART.

Media may request hi-res image sized for print publications: mailto:mediarelations@metro.net

Poster by local artist Lois Keller features El Monte’s sculptural olive trees, which line the streets along Valley Mall, the city’s bustling shopping district. In the background are the flower and strawberry fields that once grew at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains.


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