Monday, May 11, 2009

Discover LA: "Art's a Trip" Metro Art Tour

Other than being a great foodie town, LA has much to offer and while this blog will still be primarily about my culinary experiences, I also wanted to share with you other things about LA that have definitely made me smile, think, chuckle, appreciate and so much more and hopefully, they'll also help you discover an LA you've never known before and may want to know better.

Did you know that one half of one percent (0.5%) of rail construction costs are allocated to the creation of original art works. Well, now you know. :) Since 1989, Metro's Art Department has commissioned over 250 artists for a wide variety of projects.


The job of the artists is to incorporate art into a wide array of transportation projects throughout Los Angeles County. From bus stops to rail stations, streetscapes to bus interiors, construction fences to poetry works, art creates a sense of place and engages transit riders.

A really cool thing that Metro does is hold free tours the first Saturday and Sunday of the month exploring the art at some of these stations. For the public tours, you'll primarily ride the Red Line; however, you can make special arrangements to check out the art on the Gold Line or the Green Line.

The tours run about 2 hours round trip and as a perk, you get a FREE pass that you can use even after the tour is completed. During the tour, you'll be led by a docent who will take you to 4 to 5 stations. As you get off the train and walk into and through the stations, the docent will tell you about inspiration for the art installations.

For the most part, the inspiration will come from the particular neighborhood that the station is at. For example, at the Lincoln/Cypress Station off the Gold Line, the installation is called "Water Street: River of Dreams" because of its proximity to the Los Angeles River. This particular area was at one time home to the Gabrielino (Tongva) Indians, so by having a statue of a Tongva woman drawing water from an imaginary river and pouring it into a tightly woven bronze basket, you get the connection between the LA River and a people long since gone.

I actually set up private Metro Art tours of both the Gold Line, Red Line and Green Line in the past and if you check the links below, you'll see all the pictures I took plus check out the captions for information about the themes being showcased at the various stations. Enjoy!

By the way, a nice thing about taking these Metro Art Tours is that it's a way to learn how to use the Metro System all under the guise of a tour and all for FREE! Aren't those Metro folks sneaky?

Click Here For More Info About the Metro Art Tours.

Check Out My Pictures Below of the:

Gold Line Metro Art Tour
Green Line Metro Art Tour
Red Line Metro Art Tour (starting from North Hollywood)
Red Line Metro Art Tour (starting from Union Station)



Gastronomer said...

So very cool!! I will keep my eyes peeled for art from here on out when I'm hoppin' the Metro.

pleasurepalate said...

Gastronomer: Be sure to give yourself time before you have to catch the train and look around. :)

Anonymous said...

This is a really cool idea. No idea Metro even offered this.

pleasurepalate said...

eatfoodwithme: Definitely go on the Metro Art Tours. It's free plus you'll learn a lot about the ideas that went into the art at the various stations.

Vanessa said...

You have great pictures here! I just did the Sunday morning Red Line tour leaving from Union Station last week and had a really fun time. I'm going to have to go back and check out all the other stations sometime. I love Metro's free Art Guide too.

pleasurepalate said...

Vanessa: Thanks for stopping by. :) I'm glad you enjoyed my post and the photos. This is definitely a great tour and for free, too. How often does that happen? :)

Jaime said...

Metro Art Tours are offered the first Saturday and Sunday of the month.

1st Saturday: 10am meet at Hollywood/Highland

1st Sunday: 10am meet at Union Station

If you would like to schedule a private group tour or for more info email