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Grand Central Station lobby | © Sracer357/WikiCommons
Grand Central Station lobby | © Sracer357/WikiCommons
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Metro Art Presents Brings Art To Everyday Life In Los Angeles

Picture of Marnie Sehayek
Updated: 30 August 2016
Los Angeles, a city notorious for its sprawling highways and round-the-clock traffic, does not live in the public imagination as a city with a blossoming public transport network. Meanwhile, the LA Metro is expanding lines from Santa Monica to Downtown, Downtown through Mid-City to West LA, and Pasadena to Azusa. Within this growing transport network exists a dynamic art initiative called Metro Art Presents. Metro Arts Presents showcases works such as site-specific paintings and photographs, live music, poetry readings, dance events, and screenings of films from classics to experimental works.

Historic Union Station is the hub of all live performances and screenings presented by Metro Art Presents. The Historic Union Station is located at 800 N Alameda Street in Downtown LA, where the red, purple, and gold lines intersect, and where Amtrak takes off to cities all over the nation. The space of Union Station is a gander in itself. Opened in May 1939, it imbues the Art Deco charm of LA at its most elegant, not foregoing the pinch of kitsch that makes LA what it is. Partially designed by John Parkinson and Donald B. Parkinson, the building integrates Art Deco, Mission Revival, and Streamline Moderne influences.

When you gots to go, you gots to glow || photo 📷 @christiejayyy #GoMetro #neon

A photo posted by Metro (@metrolosangeles) on

Passengers of LA Metro can attend Metro Art Presents events as a plan or can have the joy of stumbling upon one during a quotidian commute. During Mardi-Gras, for example, the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Band, a six-piece Los Angeles-based band, spirited through Union Station inspiring metro riders to join their march and enjoy a surprise slice of unsolicited and heartfelt fun.

According to their website, ‘…Metro Art Presents showcases free arts and cultural programs at historic Union Station. The diverse, all ages programming is designed to creatively activate the landmark station, engage the Los Angeles community and attract new riders.’

Attracting new riders is an important pursuit. Citizens are paying for an increase in lines that could ostensibly create a more sustainable and travel-easy LA. Metro Art Presents, however, is much more than a bid to attract new riders; it is a part of the texture and fabric of Los Angeles, an inspired city that exudes creativity. Metro Art Presents facilitates art in the everyday lives of Angelenos. As riders come from all walks of the city and life, diverse city dwellers can be connected by that common experience.

Great challenges ahead. #blacklistla #hbdla5k #metroart #publicart #challengeyourself

A photo posted by Jenn Kennedy (@jenn_kennedy_) on