This series is designed to feature and engage the different neighborhoods surrounding the stations of the Metro system. This rotating exhibition features portraits of patrons created by artists connected to the neighborhoods served by the Blue Line. Artists were recommended by curatorial advisors with ties to local and cultural organizations. The artists worked closely with Metro Art at every stage of the process to produce art that is intimate, immediate, and relevant to the local communities. “Metro riders see aspects of themselves or their lives reflected in the portraits,” says Maya Emsden who leads Metro’s Arts & Design program.
The simultaneously personal and universal stories expressed in More People Than You Know recognizes that the visibility of an artist’s well-honed craft in the new digital landscape improves the customer experience through perceptive considerations of people and place. On the occasion of the re-opening of the renovated Blue Line, the portraits will be presented on newly installed digital screens in all stations along the corridor and featured on limited edition TAP cards. The Blue Line is the first transit corridor with this new cultural amenity
The Journey Home
The Journey Home focuses on Maricela, a mother of three, a Latina and a resident who travels on Line A regularly. The artist simultaneously recognizes Metro’s ridership and addresses an art historical gap, the vast underrepresentation of women of color.
Born in Los Angeles, Eric Almanza is a Chicanx figurative painter and curator with a BA in Art Practice from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Figurative Painting from Laguna College of Art and Design. Almanza taught in Wilmington for many years and currently teaches fine arts in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Wall of Concrete
Wall of Concrete depicts the artist’s daughter and includes elements that celebrate the street art that is prevalent between the cities of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
Kristina Ambriz moved to Long Beach in 2011 with her husband to pursue her artwork. Her work has been exhibited at various galleries and venues throughout the Los Angeles region, including the Bergamot Station, the Liberty Art Gallery in Long Beach, and the Downey Civic Theater.
Last Stop is a portrait of two Filipino Americans, members of a community with a long history in the area. Through the train car window, viewers can see iconic landmarks as well as places recognizable solely to residents.
Jazmine Atienza is a painter, tattoo artist, and graphic designer whose art practice is a personal reflection of her place in life. Her most recent focus is figurative painting. Atienza moved from Brooklyn NY to Southern California in 2013 to explore Filipino tribal culture and tattooing.
Roosters is a semi-autobiographical painting of a man portrayed with empathy and vulnerability rather than traditional markers of physical strength. The flat coral background features silhouettes of roosters, a symbol often linked with masculinity, in a color associated with peace and tranquility.
Daniel Barajas, a Mexican-American visual artist, received his BFA in Drawing and Painting from California State University, Long Beach in 2018. He has a professional background in design and illustration. Barajas uses the human form as his subject, aiming to capture the fragility and melancholy of man.
Cat Ferraz, Vovó Santinha
Vovó Santinha is a portrait of the artist’s Brazilian grandmother, whom the she would often think of on her commute. The artist would take mental snapshots of passing views as she recollected how vovó ironed her blanket before tucking her in, walked with her to pick wildflowers and treated her to sugar on her pacifier.
Cat Ferraz was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Ferraz received a BFA in illustration and painting from Parsons School of Design. She has exhibited paintings in New York, Austin and Los Angeles and completed international mural commissions.
Monday Morning is a portrait of Caesar, a CSULB student, full-time social worker and good friend of the artist. The portrait is framed with geometric shapes to mimic the urban landscape between the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Alepsis Hernandez is a self-taught artist based in Long Beach. Her portraits explore the lives of individuals who are part of her community and personal life. The achromatic palette or her drawings or paintings allow viewers to focus on the subject’s qualities and bring individuals of different subcultures together to create a stronger sense of belonging.
Bodeck Hernandez, Legacy
Legacy depicts the artist’s mother, who has been riding the Blue Line to and from work every day since her family moved to Long Beach from the Philippines. The system’s accessibility and convenience throughout her daily ridership since 2002 provides Myra the freedom to continue her full schedule.
Bodeck Hernandez, an immigrant from Manila, Philippines, creates artwork that mines the associations between nostalgia, social empowerment, and reliance on disposable technology and consumerism. His background in street art heavily influences his figurative paintings, illustrations, and murals.
Jose M. Loza,
Memory and Perspective
Memory and Perspective is influenced by the artist’s memories riding the light rail to Del Amo Station. The child and his aunt also symbolize two perspectives and reflect how the childhood gaze changes in adulthood.
José M. Loza was born in Cuernavaca, Mexico and raised in Long Beach. Loza was introduced to painting through the mentorship of professional muralists via public art programs. Loza is a graduate of Long Beach City College and California State University Long Beach. He is currently working on completing his Arts Education Credential.
Cody Lusby, Playful Transportation
Playful Transportation shows mother and child playing with a toy train as an early introduction to transportation. The birds-of-paradise, Los Angeles’ official flower, grow in the artist’s front yard and helps locate Metro’s Blue Line corridor as another regional asset.
Cody Lusby was born in the Pacific Northwest, raised in Southern California and currently lives and works full time as an artist in Long Beach, He attended both Orange County High School of the Arts and Laguna College of Art and Design. Since his first solo show, “Mustachio rides again” in 2009, Lusby has metamorphosed from classically trained roots into a contemporary realist.
LP Ǽkili Ross,
Blue Sights is a portrait of LP’s fiancé riding the light rail between Long Beach and Los Angeles, while looking into the vast LA basin during a sunrise. The subject reflects how residents of this textured city navigate between individualism and interconnectedness.
LP Ækili Ross' artwork springs from recycling sources and recreating and materials outside of their original form. There can be up to 250 layers in a given composition. LP develops techniques that emulate traditional styles of painting in a digital medium.
Dave van Patten,
Modern Prometheus represents various creative fragments within a community that forge together to build a person. Just as bodies are made up of many cells that work together for survival, individuals are activated and built stronger through the support and inspiration of one another.
Dave van Patten is a Long Beach/Los Angeles based artist working in illustration, comics, and murals. Van Patten has done album artwork for bands such as the Grateful Dead and Les Claypool. His work has appeared in publications such as, Juxtapoz, Vice and NPR.
Angela Willcocks, Kid
Kid, an image of a young girl born and raised in North Long Beach, is one of many paintings and drawings produced over a three-year span. During that span, this girl and her extended family visited the artist’s studio to be photographed together.
For over 15 years, Angela Willcocks, a multidisciplinary artist, has been collaborating with diverse communities such as the visually impaired and public organizations to create art that is participatory, permanent, and sustainable. The artist is interested in the way digital media is used to interpret portraiture while maintaining drawing and painting as a foundation of her work.