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Finding your station: Metro's 'call to artists' for public pieces along the Expo Line

"Wanderers" by artist Willie Robert Middlebrook is on display at the Expo/Crenshaw Station of the recently opened Expo Line.
Courtesy of Metro

California artists, your train has arrived. Metro announced this week that it is seeking submissions for public art pieces along the Expo Line.

As part of the Expo Line, Phase 2 development, Metro released the call to artists for seven future stations in Los Angeles County and Santa Monica.

One piece of public art by the people, for the people, will be selected for each of the following future station locations:

Consideration will be given to both emerging and established artists with a background in two-dimensional media, says Metro. For these submissions, prior public art experience is not a requirement.

At the Santa Monica station at Colorado/4th, an iconic sculpture will also be selected, and prior experience, plus other criteria, must be met for those submissions.

The deadline to submit is Monday, July 2, 2012 (the deadline to submit for the Santa Monica sculpture is Monday, July 9, 2012).

Jorge Pardo, Director of Art and Design for Metro Creative Services, recently spoke to KPCC about how public art pieces become neighborhood landmarks, with generations and generations of communities growing up seeing them.

The installations also send a positive message to riders, says Pardo. Seeing a piece of artwork instead of a commercial image or advertisement shows that "a degree of care went into their station, and that care goes into their journey."

176 new pieces of public art debuted across ten stations in April with the opening of the Expo Line, Phase 1. 24 mosaics on display at the Expo/Crenshaw station were created by artist Willie Robert Middlebrook, Jr., who passed away one week after the opening. Middlebrook’s other public art commissions can be seen at the Avalon Station of the Green Line and at the Florence-Firestone Service Center.

This story has been updated.

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner