To view our Art Program handout that features bios and sample artwork from all of the selected artist - please click here.
23rd Street Station:
The Intimacy of Place
Christofer C. Dierdorff, artist - View Sample Artwork #1 / View Sample Artwork #2
Visitors to the station will be greeted with a sea of faces, a broad cultural mix of individuals who define life in and around the 23rd Street Station. As a commentary on public transportation, where people from many walks of life are removed from their personal spaces and find themselves in close physical proximity with strangers, Dierdorff will populate the station with intimate portraits of fronts and backs of heads, photographed in locations that help describe their role within the larger community.
“This sea of wondrous faces is Metro. Metro is not about people, Metro is people – thousands and thousands of different people every day. Each with their own story, their own worries, their own triumphs and their own tragedies – each different, each rare, each unique and each irreplaceable. The people who ride Metro every day are the same people from your favorite memory. They are your grandmother, your mother, your sister and your best friend. This proposal celebrates those people.”
CHRISTOFER C. DIERDORFF has been photographing for 26 years, with over 20 years in portraiture alone. Over the years, his portraits have included many world leaders and celebrities including President Clinton, Princess Margaret, Madeleine Albright, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lech Walesa, Maya Angelou, Salman Rushdie, Nicolas Cage, David Hockney, Linus Pauling, William Burroughs and Francis Ford Coppola. He has been commissioned by the United Nations, RCA Music Group, Oxygen Media and MTV and was awarded a New York Times “Outstanding Excellence in Photojournalism” award, as well as an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Individual Achievement.” Christofer Dierdorff received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 1977.
Samuel Rodriguez, artist -View Sample Artwork #1 / View Sample Artwork #2
Samuel Rodriguez weaves a visual narrative that includes fragments of building facades, vintage rail cars, realistically rendered human figures, and fictional characters. These illustrations are representative of images that may wander into the mind of the waiting traveler. Each art panel is visually divided by the silhouette of bike frames, resembling the layout of a comic book. The artist draws on imagery associated with bicycles to emphasize the human powered modes of transport along the line. Each panel is an invitation to engage the mind in a playful fantasy along the route between starting point and destination.
“One thing many of us do when using public transportation is travel. Both physically and in our mind’s eye. When we look at something, we may be seeing a face, a light pole, perhaps somebody’s shoe, but simultaneously what happens is a mental picture. To capture the nature of public transportation is to crop different and small moments that form together to tell a story.”
SAMUEL RODRIGUEZ From 2005-2007 Samuel Rodriguez worked with artist Mel Chin on a permanent installation for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in San Jose, CA. His work has been exhibited at Anno Domini, Phantom Galleries and Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA). Samuel Rodriguez received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts and currently resides in San Jose, CA.
Expo Park/USC Station:
Robbert Flick, artist -View Sample Artwork #1 / View Sample Artwork #2
Driving down major thoroughfares with camera in hand, Robbert Flick documents neighborhoods at a specific moment in time. The camera shutter clicks every few seconds, creating frame by frame views of what we often perceive as a blur through the window of a moving vehicle. By slowing down the process of looking, Flick gives the viewer the opportunity to discover bits and pieces of neighborhoods that when pieced together, create an overall impression.
For the USC/Expo Park Station artwork, Flick proposes to photograph Adams and Jefferson on the north end of the area, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Vernon on the south end, San Pedro and Central Avenue to the east and Budlong and Normandie Avenue to the west. Art panels will present these thoroughfares as they exist at the time they are photographed.
“These East/West and North/South corridors are on the verge of major change and have already a little known but well documented history. It is my intent to create a temporal representation of these thoroughfares in terms of the present.”
ROBBERT FLICK is represented by Rose Gallery in Santa Monica and Robert Mann Gallery in New York. Recent exhibitions include The Collectible Moment at the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA and Robbert Flick: Trajectories at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Flick is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowships, a Ford Foundation Faculty Enrichment Grant and a Flintridge Foundation Award. Robbert Flick is Professor of Photography at the University of Southern California Roski School of Fine Arts.
Neighborhood Portrait: Reconstructed
Jessica Polzin McCoy, artist -View Sample Artwork #1 / View Sample Artwork #2
Displayed on the gateway arches, McCoy’s intricate watercolor collages of exteriors of homes in the West Adams area describe the window frames, doorways and garden gates that define the architecture of entryways in this historic neighborhood. When riders step through the gateways onto the station platform, they experience similarly assembled paintings of local residents seated in the interiors of their homes.
Located above seating modules, community members are surrounded by personal objects: books, a pet, framed photos of loved ones. The viewer has a sense of familiarity with both the public and the intimate spaces of the area surrounding the station. Each person who visits the station is also a visitor to a resident’s garden, their front porch, their living room, their bedroom.
“My goal is to produce artwork that reveals something secret or previously unseen. The viewer should know the painting. It should be their private space.”
JESSICA POLZIN MCCOY is Assistant Professor of Art at Pitzer College, Claremont, CA. Her paintings have been exhibited at venues such as the Ontario Museum of Art, Columbus College of Art and Design, and the Porter Butts Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant and a University of Wisconsin-Madison Vilas Fellowship. Jessica McCoy is represented by the Fanny Garver Gallery in Madison, WI.
Ephemeral Views: A Visual Essay
Ronald J. Llanos, artist-View Sample Artwork #1 / View Sample Artwork #2
Ronald Llanos is a collector of images. He sketches while people watching at a café or navigating the city. Often, these character drawings reappear in self-published ‘zines.’ For Western Station, Llanos proposes to develop a visual narrative that spans the two station platforms like the open pages of a book. From images of large open skies dotted with palm trees and billboards, women walking down the street together carrying shopping bags and pushing baby carriages, a man selling flowers from a pushcart, and teens walking home from school while speaking on cell phones, Llanos will create art panels that draw on the many characters who activate Los Angeles street life.
“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.”
RONALD J. LLANOS has exhibited regionally at Bamboo Lane Gallery, Ghetto-gloss, Black Maria Gallery, the Eagle Rock Community Center, The Drawing Club and Avenue 50 Studio. He was selected as the artist for the Van Nuys Metro Neighborhood Poster in 2005. Llanos teaches at his alma mater, the Art Center College of Design, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors.
Willie Robert Middlebrook Jr., artist -View Sample Artwork #1 / View Sample Artwork #2
Willie Middlebrook’s art panels explode with color and human emotion. Portraits of a diverse population collide as the earth swirls between them, a reminder of our shared planet. A newborn baby’s mouth is open, gasping its first breath of air, symbolizing a rebirth of communication between people and an awareness of our relationship with our environment.
Middlebrook draws from a large collection of manipulated photographs to illustrate universal connections. The planet earth is the unifying element in each panel. In some images it appears as an offering, held out for the viewer by two female hands. In other images, it acts on its own agency, rotating around figures, then disappearing from the picture plane.
“My goal is to make art that speaks to us about how we relate to each other, life, love and our relationship to the environment.”
WILLIE ROBERT MIDDLEBROOK JR. was raised in Compton, CA and received his Associate of Arts degree from Compton Community College. He has received numerous awards including two Visual Artist Fellowships in Photography from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as a Getty Trust Visual Artist Fellowship and a Brody Individual Artist Fellowship from the California Community Foundation. His work has been exhibited throughout the country including the Studio Museum of Harlem, Art Institute of Chicago, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Cleveland Museum of Art and the California African-American Museum. He was one of the station artists (along with John Outterbridge and Stanley Wilson) for the Metro Green Line Avalon Station. Willie Middlebrook teaches photography and digital art at the El Camino College Compton Community Educational Center.
La Brea Station:
LA Metro Lotería
Jose Lozano, artist - View Sample Artwork #1 / View Sample Artwork #2
Lotería (translated as ‘lottery’ in English) is based on a card game with origins in Mexico. LA Metro Lotería plays with the station name “La Brea,” retaining the Spanish language prefixes “La,” “El,” or “Los,” and substituting “Brea” with passenger interactions commonly encountered while riding Metro. “El Luggage” shows a smiling man surrounded by overstuffed luggage. “La Prisa” (the hurry) has a mother and child walking quickly across a plaza, the mother focused on reaching her destination, the child sidetracked by other things in the plaza. Set against a blue mosaic background, the ‘Spanglish’ lotería cards will appear to have fallen from the sky and landed on art panels throughout the platform.
These images are composites of all of our experiences of traveling on the train. In each scene, Metro riders recognize the colorful characters they see every day, bustling about throughout the city.
“LA Metro Lotería depicts scenes, people, objects and situations having to do with the Metro riding experience. The color and style of the cards are reminiscent of Mexican comic books from my youth and the Sunday comics. I want to create something visually interesting and poetic from what seems to be mundane and ordinary.”
JOSE LOZANO received his Master of Fine Arts from California State University, Fullerton. His drawings and paintings have been exhibited widely at venues that include the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, Orange County Museum of Contemporary Art, Patricia Correia Gallery, Self Help Graphics, and Avenue 50 Studio. He has received many awards including a J. Paul Getty Mid-Career Grant in Painting and a California Arts Council Grant for Drawing and Painting.
La Cienega Station:
Daniel Gonzalez, artist -View Sample Artwork #1 / View Sample Artwork #2
A series of delicately carved linoleum prints illustrate the history of the Ballona Creek and the Culver City area. Riders will be greeted by a large gateway arch art panel depicting a pristine Ballona Creek. Seating modules will display images of the landscape with the people native to the area, the Shoshoneans, who later became known as the Gabrielino Indians when the San Gabriel Mission was established. Another panel will represent the Californio period, during which the land was divided into several rancherias, including Rancho Las Cienegas for which La Cienega Boulevard was named.
Other panels will include a changing architecture: brick and wood homes replacing clay adobes, the film industry moving into Culver City with the creek as a backdrop for several movies, and the city’s landmark buildings and unique homes as they appear at present. The Ballona Creek will flow through each art panel, constant and recognizable, visually linking the images across time.
“I would like to retell on the art panels, the history of the peopling of Culver City, the transformation of space into place. I would like to rediscover our past to give us scope of what our present is.”
DANIEL GONZALEZ works for the City of Los Angeles History Department. His work has been exhibited at the De Young Museum, the University of Texas San Marcos, the San Francisco Center for the Book, and the Los Angeles Public Library. His work was included in the book Puro Muerto, published by La Mano Press in 2005.
Tom LaDuke, artist -View Sample Artwork
Softly rendered painterly views of Culver City as seen from surrounding hillside viewpoints frame the entry to the station. Abstracted faces of historic, political and entertainment industry notables that have shaped Culver City appear in each of the art panels. On gateway arch art panels, the faces shapes float across the length of the landscape, their placement determined by the notes of a musical score, composed by the artist while riding the train. On seating module art panels, the shapes expand outwards like rings on a tree, their outlines encircling icons reminiscent of the city seal.
“A kind of landscape is created that, coupled with the passage of time, mirrors my impressions of moving from one platform to the next. My hope is that this will be perceived by Metro riders as ‘all of us made this’ and less about celebrity recognition.”
TOM LADUKE has exhibited widely at venues that include the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Orange County Museum of Art; Portland Art Museum; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and the Sweeney Art Gallery, University of California Riverside. His work is included in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Albright-Knox Gallery; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; Portland Art Museum; The Speed Art Museum; Orange County Museum of Art; Jumex Collection, Mexico City; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and Luckman Gallery, Cal State Los Angeles. Tom LaDuke is represented by Angeles Gallery in Santa Monica.