The Crenshaw/LAX Line Comes to Life
We are very excited for the opening of the Crenshaw/LAX Line later this year. The new line will span 8.5 miles from Crenshaw and Exposition Boulevards through Leimert Park and Downtown Inglewood before meeting up with the Green Line’s Aviation station south of LAX. As part of the project’s art program, Metro commissioned 14 artists to bring the eight stations and their historically rich neighborhoods to life. We explore a few of these amazing pieces that will adorn stations along the route and we can’t wait to see them in situ!
Kenturah Davis, Sonder
Local artist and Yale Art School grad, Kenturah Davis, created Sonder with the aim of encouraging connections between strangers, even temporarily, while riding transit. The porcelain enamel steel art panels portray various figures against a backdrop of letters that form words defining “sonder,” a newly coined term alluding to the realization that every person has a unique and significant story. The piece features portraits of individuals with ties to the Inglewood community and Davis hopes that it inspires curiosity about these people and fellow commuters on the train.
Jaime Scholnick, Layered Histories
Jamie Scholnick’s Layered Histories consists of vibrant frieze-like collages that are based on hundreds of studies and more than 11,800 photographs of the surrounding neighborhood. Scholnick and photographer Sally Coates spent many hours documenting the area between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Leimert Park Village as well as talking to local residents about their visions for the artwork. She also collaborated with youth through the Leimert Park–based RightWay Foundation, who contributed their photographic perspectives to the project.
Carlson Hatton, Hyde Park Oasis
For artist Carlson Hatton, “South Los Angeles has provided a soundtrack for the city for generations, and, like the solitary drummer in the woods, this soundtrack echoes outward influencing and inspiring.” His densely layered, rhythmic murals, Hyde Park Oasis, capture the soundtrack of Hyde Park and its surrounding areas. The porcelain enamel steel art panels are infused with intricate patterns, vibrant color and cultural figures such as the late Nipsey Hussle, that pay tribute to the area’s rich musical legacy. A nod to low-rider car culture is also found among the wide skylines—populated with majestic palm trees, plantings from neighborhood gardens and notable buildings—which mimic the South Los Angeles horizon.
Mickalene Thomas, Untitled
Mickalene Thomas’s mosaic Untitled was inspired by the quality of light, cultural and visual richness, and iconic structures in the surrounding Leimert Park neighborhood. Before translating the work into a mosaic, she used painting and photocollage techniques to create the layered composition, which integrates many of the natural and architectural elements characterizing the community. The Leimert Park fountain, Vision Theatre, and Japanese-inspired home garden designs are among the featured motifs.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Shinique Smith, Only Light, Only Love
Only Light, Only Love, Shinique Smith’s glass mosaic mural, playfully visualizes the cultural richness of South Los Angeles by collaging elements pulled from fashion, pop culture and Japanese calligraphy. Honoring the station’s namesake, the artwork also includes a selection of empowering words inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches and autobiography. The reflective mirror-like pieces embedded in the work are intended to bring the movements and reflections of viewers to life, while the fabrics represented draw from a variety of cultures and speak to the diversity of the area.
For the latest news and information about the Crenshaw/LAX Line, click here.