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Artists Creating Murals on Metro Gold Line Construction Fences


Wednesday April 26, 2006

Metro has commissioned three local artists to paint murals on construction fences at key intersections of the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension project. Now in progress at First and Soto Streets, Man One and his crew of notable hip-hop artists will spend 10 weeks turning a mundane wall barrier into a neighborhood asset.

Man One was selected from more than 20 applicants by a panel of community members and arts professionals and commissioned through Metro Art. The artist chose four elements -- family, faith, work and history -- to represent the spirit of the East Los Angeles community.

Two walls are in English (faith and history) and two are in Spanish (trabajo or work and familia or family), reflecting the area’s primary languages. Lettering is depicted in a bold, expressive, urban art style, making it relevant to youth. At the mural corners are portraits of Ruben Salazar, Sister Karen Bocalero, Miguel Arenas, Sr. and Cesar Chavez, figures of local, national and personal importance to the artist.

Of the four elements depicted, Man One says, “Work is the most vital because it literally creates the house you live in and pride in the members of the community, as well as the commerce that drives everyday life.”

Man One has created murals as part of a wide variety of public and private commissions, including those for the Coca-Cola Company, Gearys, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Man One was raised and works primarily in Los Angeles.

Other construction fence murals along the Eastside Extension are the recently completed “Know Thy Self” by Charles Freeman at First Street and Lorena Avenue and “Global Los Angeles, A & B” at First Street and Boyle Avenue by Paul Botello.

Established in 1989, Metro Art has commissioned more than 250 artists for a wide variety of permanent and temporary projects. Artists are selected by responding to a Call to Artists issued by Metro Art and a review of past artwork by a selection panel that includes arts professionals and community representatives. All works are created specifically for Metro transit-related sites.

For more information about the Metro Art Program and its free docent-guided tours, visit or call Metro Art at 213.922.4ART.

• Editors Note: Digital photos of Hip-Hop Fence art are available by contacting Kim Upton at Metro Media Relations, (213) 922-2703 or (213) 922-2700.