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Metro Features Azusa and Whittier on New Posters by Local Artists


Tuesday July 05, 2011

Two new posters celebrating the cities of Azusa and Whittier, two of the many destinations customers can travel to via Metro, are on display in Metro buses July through August of this year. The posters are also installed on rail cars throughout the Metro system. Commissioned by Metro Creative Services, the Azusa poster is by local artist May Ann Ohmit and the Whittier poster is by Jane Gillespie Pryor. 

Azuza poster by May Ann Ohmit

Azusa Avenue, Highway 39, is a scenic boulevard that leads to the San Gabriel Mountains. Ohmit depicts the rows of old palm trees that mark the change from Southern California desert to rugged mountain terrain.

"Calling itself the Canyon City, Azusa serves as the gateway to the San Gabriel Mountains. Clothed in late afternoon sunshine, majestic old palm trees line Azusa Avenue creating a dramatic entrance, rather like a fanfare announcing the abrupt transition from city to wilderness."

Mary Ann Ohmit received a Bachelor of Arts from St. Cloud University in Minnesota. She taught art at Azusa High School for many years. Her work is exhibited in several galleries in California and Minnesota.

Whittier poster by Jane Gillespie Pryor

Gillespie was inspired by poet and Quaker, John Greenleaf Whittier's poem, Telling the Bees. The poet, for whom the City of Whittier is named, wrote about a tradition of announcing a death to the bees. The artist also pays homage to the indigenous population who called the land Sejat meaning "a place of the wild bees."

"The houses depicted are reminiscent of the homes that fill Whittier's streets and set within Whittier's hills. The house in the far right of the photograph reflects the Jonathan Bailey House, built in 1860, as a center gathering for the city's social, economic, and religious activities."

Jand Gillespie Pryor is a visual artist working primarily in sculpture and photography. She exhibits in the Los Angeles area and was awarded the Maguire Teaching Fellowship and the Joe Sonneman Photography Prize. Gillespie Pryor received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California and her Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University. 

The Azusa and Whittier posters are number twenty-four and twenty-five in the series of posters commissioned by Metro Creative Services. Posters in the series have garnered a Print Magazine Regional Design Annual Excellence Award, Tranny Merit Award, "Fresh" Illustrations Award from Illustrations Magazine Annual, Los Angeles Society of Illustrators Silver Medal, and a Society of Environmental Graphic Design Award.

In the tradition of celebrating transportation through colorful travel destination posters, Metro commissions a diverse range of Los Angeles artists to create original artworks. The purpose of the series is to express the distinctive character of neighborhoods and destinations served by Metro. The posters are displayed throughout the Metro system, including on trains and buses, in stations and various other locations.

Metro Creative Services includes the agency's in-house design studio, which creates Metro's brand communications, and the agency's art and design excellence programs, which commission wide-ranging projects by visual artists and promote overall design quality of customer environments.

From intelligently designed, user-friendly customer information, engaging and effective advertising and a newly designed fleet of buses and trains to large scale site-specific artworks by world-class artists. Metro employs art and design to create a sense of place, engage transit riders, and improve quality of life throughout Los Angeles County.

For more information about Metro's art programs and it's free docent guided tours, visit or call 213/922-4ART.