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Hill Street Pedestrian Enhancement ,2009

Project Description

Doug Suisman, urban designer

The design team was charged with creating pedestrian linkages for transit customers at the Hill Street entrance to the 7th Street/Metro Center Rail Station. The objective was to link the station with area sites and other transportation networks and to enhance the pedestrian experience. To fulfill this objective, artist Kim Abeles contributed several elements: art tiles, sidewalk medallions and a sound clock. The art tiles depict the architectural history of the local area and installed into a large concrete bench that looks out on Angel’s Flight across the street. The medallions and utility covers placed throughout the neighborhood’s sidewalks provide details about important places, times and themes of travel. Those walking by the ventilation grates hear voices telling the time of day, tales of Hill Street, descriptions of buildings and art, or they may hear ambient sounds from the area.

Artist Statement

“Historically, at its core, art has served as a guide to the vistas that we see from each of our own observation decks. I develop my art by combining research or data-gathering over extended time periods with intuitive manipulations that respond to the communication inherent in the materials. Thus, my sculpture combines poetry with fiction in both visual and literary terms. I make use of the media and processes which best transform each subject.” Kim Abeles

DOUG SUISMAN is the founder and principal of Suisman Urban Design. An urban designer and licensed architect, he has gained national recognition for his ideas and designs of public space in U.S. cities. In 1999 he was made a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. The focus of his work is on down­town revitalization, public spaces and buildings, and street and transit design, with a strong emphasis on public participation.

This project was commissioned and funded by Metro and is owned and maintained by the City of Los Angeles, the Grand Central Square Limited Partnership, and Metro.

Abeles is also developing artistic lighting elements into several blocks along Hill Street under the auspices of the Community Redevelopment Agency and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

About the Artist

KIM ABELES was born and raised in Missouri, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Athens, Ohio, and received a Master of Fine Arts from UC Irvine. Organized by the Santa Monica Museum, “Kim Abeles, Encyclopedia Persona: A 15-Year Survey” went to the National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago, Chile, and toured museums in South America. Abeles’s “On-Site Smog Collector Sculpture Series,” sponsored by the California Bureau of Automotive Repairs and the Department of Consumer Affairs, earned the project a Clean Air Award from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Abeles has received awards from the International Association of Art Critics, J. Paul Getty Trust Fund, California Arts Council, and the Pollack-Krasner Foundation. She has served on a number of arts advisory groups and is a professor of art at California State University, Northridge. Abeles has been selected to create public art projects for the California State Archives Building and the Panorama City Branch Library.

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