Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Underground Art Museum

Ever taken the metro in L.A.? Yes, there is one. And yes, it's like any metro in the world, except for its limited reach -- but also its art.
The metro company set up an Art Department in 1989, which has since commissioned 250 artists for various projects. "From bus stops to rail stations, streetscapes to bus interiors, construction fences to poetry works, art creates a sense of place and engages transit riders."
We decided to check it out and hopped on the Red Line, connecting North Hollywood to Union Station. Every station has its own theme -- from movies at Hollywood & Vine, to the California-Mexico treaty at Universal City, to science and medicine at Vermont & Sunset, or the history of California immigrants at North Hollywood. The wide variety of work, approaches and media perfectly reflects the multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary character of Los Angeles.
A great excursion into the city's belly of creativity. If you end it at Union Station, the choice of eateries is a continuing tribute to L.A.'s diversity -- between Traxx at the station, Chinatown, Olvera Street, or Philippe's, the famous "home of the French dipped sandwich."
- Union Station: mural representing L.A.'s ethnic diversity
- Hollywood & Vine: Gilbert Lujan's movie reels & palm tree pillars
- Universal City: Margaret Garcia's tile tribute to the CA-Mexico treaty
UPDATE 03/29/07: L.A. subculture in LAT
photos LA Frog