Continuing our coverage of artistic public transport, we present two tile works on display at Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park Station.
The first, Francisco Letelier’s El Sol / La Luna are two ceramic tile murals on the mezzanine end walls of the station. Created in 1993, these works use intense colors of blue, red and yellow to illustrate people and landmarks of MacArthur Park as a reference to the community’s past and it’s unfolding present, according to the rail system administration.
Letelier was born in Chile and moved to Washington, DC. He studied art at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland before receiving his BFA from UC Berkeley and his MFA from UCLA. He’s created murals before, but this piece is Letelier’s first work in tile. In his statement, Letelier said he feels a special affinity with people living in the community around the station. He wanted the work to celebrate their history, culture and persistence. “I also have left the country of my birth and started a new life in Los Angeles,” he said.
The second work is from artist Sonia Romero. Urban Oasis is a 2010 piece which uses 13 tile pictures of the artist’s observations of MacArthur Park. Here we see panels of musicians, people sharing drinks, protesters and children feeding birds. The rail administration boasts that the works reflect MacArthur Park as a layered, diverse and dramatic community.
Romero graduated from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She works out of her studio in Los Angeles and offers youth art workshops as part of the HeArt Project. She said her goal was to celebrate the park’s 120-year history. “I found the story of the park and its fluctuating energy stimulating and intriguing,” she said.
Above image: Francisco Letelier, El Sol / La Luna, 1993
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