Sunday, January 16, 2005

just make it pretty

The good folks at The Metropolitan Transportation Authority are inviting artists working with photographic media to submit proposals for temporary exhibitions to rotate between up to four highly visible locations at Metro Rail stations in Downtown Los Angeles. They will pick four photographers to create light boxes at three sites - two are in the Pershing Square station (that's my station!).

MTA will select seven photographs from the same artist. I'm so jazzed, the only thing I've noticed on the walls of the Pershing Square station are signs that tell me what I can't do - no skateboarding, bike riding, loud music, etc. Alan Nakagawa, senior public arts officer for the MTA, said "It's a big tunnel and hallway that is pretty clean for a public space. But not having anything on the walls, it's very stark," he said. No kidding. Metro commissions artists to incorporate art into the various stations and each of them have a diffent theme: enormous rock sculptures, a yellow brick road, fossils and historic Red Car replicas, a “stellar” sculpture, bird sounds, dancing lights, flying men, industrial angels (my least favorite), concrete living room furniture, butterfly benches, etc. They offer art tours every first Saturday and Sunday of the month.

Photo light boxes are already at the Wilshire/Normandie station and in addition to the Pershing Square boxes, additional boxes are being installed at the Vermont/Beverly station. Each artist’s work will be displayed for approximately one year at each of the four sites. Artists participating in the program have included Robbert Flick, Eileen Cowin, Charles LaBelle, Andrew Glickman, Walter Martin, Paloma Muñoz and Paul Groh.

Selected artists will receive $5,000 and the works will be exhibited for up to one year. Submission deadline is March 11. For details, pictures of existing light boxes at other stations, visit The MTA web site. Questions? Call (213) 922-4278 or email Alan Nakagawa.

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