The Metro Purple Line Extension Transit Project will provide a high-capacity, high-speed and dependable alternative for commuters to travel between downtown Los Angeles, the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills and Westwood. This project is being built in three sections. (Read more about the transit project here.)
The Purple Line Extension Transit Project Art Program includes artworks integrated within the station architecture and future large-scale banner artworks displayed along construction site fences.
STATION ARTISTS: Section 1
"Designed to be viewed from the windows of a traveling car, [the Wilshire corridor’s] architecture reflects the importance of the automobile and the changing technology of the early 20th century. The development of [this Metro line extension] represents the next step in the evolution of transportation in this city."
Inspired by the geometric details of the art deco architecture along the Wilshire corridor and in greater Los Angeles, Eamon Ore-Giron’s artwork concept for the glass entrance pavilion and escalator landing walls of this station references the past while looking toward the rapidly changing future of Los Angeles’s streetscape. Playing with perspective, the artwork’s sightlines, patterns and colors will energize the architecture of the station.
"The artwork’s kaleidoscopic appearance fuses multiple viewpoints, subjects and time sequences, providing a rich visual complexity that connects a wide range of travelers with their surroundings."
Fran Siegel’s artwork for this underground station will consist of layered sequences from the surrounding landscape, above and below ground. In her photographic collage—which will be fabricated in glass and extend across the north and south walls of the station concourse—reverberating patterns of light and shadow will reveal prehistoric fossils, bubbling asphalt from the La Brea Tar Pits and art deco architectural details amid strata of time and local history.
"Tar is inextricably linked with the identity of the Miracle Mile and Hancock Park. As the trains will be traveling underground through tunnels that have been dug in and around ancient tar deposits, my surreal artwork will acknowledge the reality of the surrounding geology."
Mark Dean Veca’s artwork concept for the station platform draws from the art deco details of the nearby Wilshire Tower building and the past and present geology of the Miracle Mile neighborhood through stylistic references to barley fields and tar. Emerging from the “tar,” transit customers will see everyday objects cherished by people who live and work in the area. Evoking movement and playfulness, the layered imagery will be fabricated in porcelain enamel steel and extend down the length of the station platform on either side.
"As an artist, my goal is to challenge viewers to move slowly and with greater awareness through the world of images and signs in order to reveal how these images make meaning and shape our experience."
Karl Haendel’s larger-than-life composition for the glass entrance pavilion and escalator landing walls of this station will provide prompts for transit customers to engage with their surroundings and reflect on their daily experiences. Locally made functional objects spanning the prehistoric age to the present—and found in the surrounding neighborhood’s museums and cultural institutions—will be depicted in the hands of 38 local volunteers who participated in the creation of the artwork. The images—although only revealing the participants’ hands and arms—hint at the cultural and generational diversity of the area and rich history of the surroundings.
Ken Gonzalez-Day, Urban Excavation: Ancestors, Avatars, Bodhisattvas, Buddhas, Casts, Copies, Deities, Figures, Funerary Objects, Gods, Guardians, Mermaids, Metaphors, Mothers, Possessions, Sages, Spirits, Symbols, and Other Objects
"Rodin once said, ‘I invent nothing, I rediscover.’ I believe [my] project will offer visitors a chance to discover and rediscover some of the city’s richest cultural assets, as well as to further position Los Angeles within an increasingly global context."
Inspired by the idea of transporting the body and mind, and by the station as an excavation site, Ken Gonzales-Day‘s glass-tile mural for the north and south concourse level walls aims to transport transit customers across time and place by immersing them in an environment where images of objects—spanning many cultures, continents and eras—mined from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s permanent collection are reproduced at an enormous scale. Gonzales-Day’s artwork will invite viewers to think about museum collections and their connection to the outside world in unexpected ways.
"My projects interrupt—in subtle and more overt ways and through combinations of humor, edginess and subterfuge—the assumptions we make based on our observations."
Susan Silton’s We, Our, Us (in progress) expands on her series investigating the historical use of stripes as social and cultural signifiers, and is motivated by the idea of transit stations as shared public spaces. The porcelain enamel steel artwork for the station platform will include three prescient messages in English, Korean and Spanish—the predominant languages of the neighborhood—embedded within multicolor-striped fields to explore individuality and diversity while acknowledging our collective human experience.
"Historically, the culture of Los Angeles and the American Dream was transmitted globally through film. The representation of the American Dream in cinema was dominated by images of [the] majority culture, and images of minority cultures and communities were rare. I’ve collaged images into my design to engage this narrative and paint a broader, more inclusive cultural picture."
Todd Gray’s artwork concept for the station’s glass entrance plaza and escalator landing walls juxtaposes archival architectural drawings by S. Charles Lee and historic photographs of the nearby Saban Theatre (formerly the Fox Wilshire Theatre) with a multicultural selection of iconic textile patterns. The recontextualized imagery invites viewers to consider the region’s history of migration and shifting demographics over time and under the influence of grand architecture.
"I activate my images by cutting away photographic material and revealing the surfaces beyond their immediate picture plane. The process of excision provides an antidote that is both hostile and sympathetic toward the type of reverie the images—left to themselves—might belie."
Soo Kim’s artwork concept for the station platform cuts and collages her photographs of the dense, urban topography along the Wilshire corridor with images she has captured throughout the world. Extending down the length of the train platform in porcelain enamel steel, her reimagined cityscape will reveal unexpected discoveries as transit users slow down and get lost in its details.
IN THE COMMUNITY
The Purple Line Extension Transit Project Art Program includes an ongoing series of Meet-the-Artist events, presentations, community engagement workshops, performances and exhibitions. To be kept informed of these events, please sign up for our email list.
For more information about the Metro Art program, projects in the works, tours, events, publications and artist opportunities: