Monday, December 3, 2012

MacArthur Park Metro Mosaic

At the CuratingLA blog, I found a nice write-up of Metro LA's public art program, which started in 1989. Over 300 works of art have been commissioned through that program, which combines private donations with public funds. The work below is titled "Urban Oasis," and the artist is Sonia Romero.

Romero created 13 pictures, six framed in red and seven in blue. They are installed at the mezzanine level of the Westlake/MacArthur Park Metro Station for all to see.

I particularly like the two-guys-at-booth picture. It's Langers, and the guy on the right is Norm, the manager. The guy on the left? Norm's Dad, Al Langer, the founder--photographed just before he passed away.

All these photos came from the Metro "About Art" site.

The corner Art Deco designs are all copied from buildings in the neighborhood. The division between the two sets of pictures--red and blue--is Wilshire Blvd.

"Urban Oasis" was named one of the The Best Public Art Installations in the US by Americans for the Arts.

In this center mosaic below, the artist appears holding a paintbrush.

Sonia Romero is not necessarily a mosaicist, but like many of the artist who've contributed work to our Metro Stations, she created pictures that could be tile-ized and reformed by the wizards at Mosaika. (You can see the step-by-step details on Mozaika's blog, where the picture below right came from.)

To create her artwork, she walked the neighborhood, talked to people. As you'll learn if you watch the YouTube video,  at the CuratingLA site, where she talks about "Urban Oasis."

Romero describes the process--her artwork was done as a lino-cut print and then made into bas-relief hand-carved porcelein tile.

Sonia Romero grew up in Echo Park and went to LA County High School for the Arts, btw, and works out of the She Rides the Lion Print Studio on Avenue 50 in NE LA. SheRidestheLion is also her Twitter name, but don't bother with the blog SheRidestheLion. That belongs to a writing mommy.

If you've seen the medallions that went up in Little Tokyo a couple of months ago--the Lucky Kitty and other Japanese doll images--those are Romero's work too.

BTW, there are FREE public art tours of Metro Stations on the first Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday of each month. The Thursday tour departs at 7 pm, and the Saturday at 10 am, both from the Hollywood/Highland Station. The Sunday tour, also at 10 am, departs from Union Station. Details here.

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