Monday, April 30, 2012

Expo Line Mosaics at Western

In honor of the newly-opened Expo line Metro in Los Angeles, today's post centers on the mosaics that ornament the Western Avenue station. Under the rippling, open roof, panels line both sides of the station. Oddly--to me, anyhow--the best pictures of the Metro Expo art and the only picture showing this artwork at the Western stop, comes from Forbes. To check out their picture essay of the entire Metro Expo Station art, go here.

Ronald J. Llanos is the artist.

Llanos has been working on these mosaics for four years, and documenting parts of their construction on his blog.

The work is called "Ephemeral Views". Llanos completed 24 mosaic panels, each 3 ft x 8 ft, for this station at Western and Exposition. All are based on sketches he made of ordinary people--as shown on these pictures that I replicate from his blog posting of over a year ago, February 2011.

His artistic statement on the BuildExpo site is this:
“You might call me a ‘visual journalist’ or an ‘urban realist.’ My images are inspired by people, and by places I travel to or frequent. I feel that if I search within myself for that which I find interesting about the places and people of those areas, I might be able to communicate with people across time.”

This ArtCenter blog posting displays the picture of Llanos at work. He is both an alumni and an instructor at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena features nine close-up pictures of parts of the mosaics as well. Mosaika helped create the art by taking Llanos' water color paintings and transfering them to tiles, firing them, then breaking them up. More pictures are on another post. In fact, photos of his original drawings and a visit to Mosaika, with all the other artisans involved, are here.

Metro has a slide show up of the art at the Western Station. I have not been able to get it to run for me but that probably says more about my computer than it does about the Metro site. Sadly, since the celebrations this weekend bypassed the Western stop, these particular mosaics were not shown on news items.

The new Expo line goes from Flower & 7th to Jefferson & LaCienega near Culver City, for now--it'll eventually reach Santa Monica, which means more artwork (and hopefully more mosaics) coming! The fare is $1.50 one way, .55 for seniors.

Of the 176 panels at the 10 Expo Metro stops (I learned that from Forbes), there are many more mosaics. Over the next few weeks I'll blog on works by Jessica Polzin McCoy at the Vermont stop, by Willie Robert Middlebrook at the Crenshaw station, and more.

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