S tart los angeles metro assessment 2013 05-13 (1)

244 views

Published on

Published in: Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
244
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
6
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

S tart los angeles metro assessment 2013 05-13 (1)

  1. 1. An Informal Assessment of the Los Angeles Metro Art ProgramKurt Kiefer and Jenny HeishmanMay 14, 20136/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 1
  2. 2. OVERVIEWMetro Lines Reviewed6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 2Reviewed over the course oftwo days in early May 2013:• Red Line (Union Station toHollywood/Highland)• Gold Line (Little Tokyo toAllen)• Silver Line (Union Station toEl Monte)• Blue Line (7th Street/MetroCenter to Willowbrook)• Green Line (Willowbrook toRedondo Beach)
  3. 3. OVERVIEWObservations6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 3The Los Angeles Metro Art Department,established in 1989 has developed over 300different projects in conjunction with commuterrail, light rail, bus rapid transit and local busservice. Experimenting widely, the departmenthas tested many different strategies andtherefore offers excellent examples of bothsuccessful and unsuccessful projects. As a20+ year-old collection in a heavily-usedsystem, Metro’s program is also something ofa laboratory for reviewing the maintainability ofmaterials and techniques, as well as thelongevity of conceptual approaches.The piece at left, Jonathan Borofsky’s IDreamed I Could Fly (1993) at the 7thStreet/Metro Center Station, is a collection ofhumorous sculptures flying over the stationplatform. Although very dirty, the piece remainscharming and is a good example of artworkthat creates an art experience unrelated to theidentity of the surrounding neighborhood.
  4. 4. STRONG APPROACHESArtist-Driven Station Designs: El Segundo, Daniel Martinez6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 4The earliest artworks created as part of theprogram were elaborate collaborations withstation design teams. Artworks such as DanielMartinez’ hand and paper airplane sculpture,part of his For Your Intellectual Entertainment(1995) installation at the El Segundo/NashStation on the Green Line, define the station.Most of the projects in this part of the systemare showing their age and are significantlydeteriorated. Martinez’ works, in contrast, havemaintained their presence, in our opinionbecause of the heavy materials and darkcolors used to fabricate the artwork.
  5. 5. STRONG APPROACHESArtist-Driven Station Designs: Aviation/LAX Station, Richard Turner6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 5Like Martinez’ project, Richard Turner’s designs for the Aviation/LAX Station are immersiveand create the identity of the station. In this case, though the station is showing its age, thework is focused on engagement with patrons, creating little domestic zones within a publicplace. Inspired by the mid-Century modern design associated with Southern California, thepiece provides comfortable, single-person seating away facing inwards, forcing a smallamount of community interaction on the platform.Also like Martinez’ project, Turner’s features well-crafted, substantial objects made fromdurable materials. The ruggedness of the installation’s components allows them towithstand heavy use and keep their conceptual integrity, even as their colors and surfacesdegrade.
  6. 6. STRONG APPROACHESImmersive Designs: Hollywood/Highland Station, Sheila Klein6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 6Sheila Klein’s masterful transformationof common architectural materials,Underground Girl (2000), creates anengaging and welcoming environmentfor passengers. Using sophisticatedcolor and indirect light, Klein fashionedwhat may be the most comfortableunderground station in the system.Although now 13 years old, the stationseems brand-new, a testament to thestrength of using the materials andmethods common throughout thesystem, accepting the challenges ofmaintenance and embracing thosechallenges as critical designconstraints.
  7. 7. STRONG APPROACHESImmersive Designs: Hollywood/Western Station, May Sun and Escudero-Fribourg6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 7May Sun’s and Escudero-Fribourg Architects’ untitledcollaborative installation at the Hollywood/Western Station(1999) is another fully-immersive experience. While lesscohesive as a design than Sheila Klein’s Hollywood/HighlandStation, two simple strategies here make the work successful: anall-over exuberant field of color on the walls and floor, mergedinto one continuous surface via a cove at the base of the walls.While beginning to show its age, because the artwork is bothhighly-textured visually and made of materials within thevernacular of station design, it appears to be in good conditionand much cleaner than many other stations in the system.
  8. 8. STRONG APPROACHESStrong and Discrete Interventions: Wilshire/Vermont Station, Bob Zoell6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 8Bob Zoell’s installation, NoTitle (2004), is a strongexample of how well-designed interventions usingcolor, graphics and humorcan fully occupy a largespace. Surrounding fourcolumns in an immenseunderground station, thepieces’ presence farsurpasses their actual scale.
  9. 9. STRONG APPROACHESStrong and Discrete Interventions: Little Tokyo/Arts District Station, Hirokaza Kosaka6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 9Similarly, Hirokaza Kosaka’ssimple, elegant sculpturalseating (part of his BufferZone, 2009) for the LittleTokyo/Arts District Station,proves that artwork does notneed to be large to have asignificant impact on thedesign of a station.
  10. 10. STRONG APPROACHESSimple Projects: Westlake/MacArthur Park, Sonia Romero6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 10Sonia Romero’s MacArthur Park, Urban Oasis (2010)is a project retrofitted into an existing station to addcolor and vibrancy to an otherwise dark mezzanine.Although somewhat awkwardly placed, the piece iswell-crafted and approachable, serving its purposewell.
  11. 11. STRONG APPROACHESSimple Projects: Vermont/Santa Monica Station, George LeGrady6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 11George Legrady’s simpleporcelain enamel panel,Kinetic Flow (2006), is aelegant, low-tech objectevoking a high-techsource. Sited on asloping surface above theentrance to anunderground station, in avery direct way, the piecedoes what it wasintended to do:“…engage the kineticexperience of thedownward movement onboth escalator andstaircase and escalator,one smooth, the othersequential”.
  12. 12. STRONG APPROACHESSystem-wide Temporary Projects: Wilshire/Normandy Station, Holly Andres6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 12The LA Metro ArtDepartment has recentlydeveloped a series oflong-term (3 year)temporary photographiclightbox installation. Thisproject by Holly Andres,Sparrow Lane (2010), isa narrative work tellingthe story of a girlapproaching adulthood.The PhotographicLightbox Series allowsthe Art Department toengage a broad range ofartists who would notnormally make art forpublic places, andprovides them with astrategy to retrofitexisting stations withoutthe costs andcomplexities ofinfrastructural artwork(though there areongoing programmaticcosts).
  13. 13. LESS-SUCCESSFUL APPROACHESArchitectural Interventions: Westlake/MacArthur Park, Thurmen Statom6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 13Thurmen Statom’sskylight installation, Intothe Light (1993), is astrong attempt atcreating a magicalmoment for patrons, butsuffers from inelegantstructural connections,forced poeticism andchallengingmaintenance.
  14. 14. LESS-SUCCESSFUL APPROACHESArchitectural Interventions: Vermont/Santa Monica Station, Robert Millar6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 14Robert Millar’s untitledproject for theVermont/Santa MonicaStation entry, althoughbeautiful, creates amausoleum-like space,largely because of thechosen colors, rawmaterials and mysterioustext.
  15. 15. LESS-SUCCESSFUL APPROACHESArchitectural Interventions: Vermont/Santa Monica Station, Robert Millar6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 15Additionally, the lightingcomponent of Millar’s,while made of simplecomponents (flourescentlighting tubes with gels)has proven very difficultto maintain because ofits location over stairsand escalators.
  16. 16. LESS-SUCCESSFUL APPROACHESArchitectural Interventions: Lake Station, Pat Ward Williams6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 16Backlit photographic images on glass, replacing a facility’s glazing, isa strong approach to incorporating artwork into a station’s design. PatWard William’s Everyday People (2003) could have been successfulwith better craftsmanship and a more nuanced sense of color anddesign.
  17. 17. LESS-SUCCESSFUL APPROACHESArchitectural Interventions: LA County and USC Medical Center, Merge Conceptual Design6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 17The BRT station at LA County and USC Medical Center, though onlya few years old, is an example of an artist-led project that has notaged well, in part because of small, delicate design gestures in a veryharsh environment.
  18. 18. LESS-SUCCESSFUL APPROACHESArtist-Driven Station Designs: Redondo Beach Station, Carl Cheng6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 18While trying to reflect both thenearby beach environment and thelocal aerospace industry, CarlCheng’s The Museum of SpaceInformation is overly aggressive asan immersive experience, placingvalue on the art experience overthe other needs of passengers.
  19. 19. REMAINS TO BE SEENStrong and Discrete Interventions: Southwest Museum Station, Teddy Sandoval6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 19Teddy Sandoval’s unusualsculptures, part of his HighlandPark Gateway project (2003),are an interesting example ofextreme localization – artworkby an artist living close to thestation and based on theneighborhood’s historic culturalidentity.
  20. 20. REMAINS TO BE SEENStrong and Discrete Interventions: Chinatown Station, Chusien Chang6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 20Chusien Chang’s The Wheelsof Change (2003) is acompelling addition to thestation’s intermediate platform.Although each componentpiece of the work is well-made,the piece’s grout lines andcenter glass are failing fast,probably the victims ofaggressive pressure-washing.
  21. 21. REMAINS TO BE SEENStrong and Discrete Interventions: Memorial Park Station, John Valadez6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 21John Valadez’s The First Artists in Southern California: A Short Story (2003) is a boldaddition to the Memorial Park Station, but seems like a last-minute and somewhattemporary gesture that could be easily removed.
  22. 22. TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS TO KEEP IN MINDTraditional building materials make for long-lasting works of art6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 22Samm Kunce’s In the Living Rock (2004) is an elegant tile and stone mosaic alongthe back of a bench in a public plaza attached to a station entrance.
  23. 23. TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS TO KEEP IN MINDWell-designed robustness is an appropriate maintenance strategy6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 23Daniel Martinez’ stair risers at the El SegundoStation have endured heavy use and pressurewashing by being cast quite deep.
  24. 24. TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS TO KEEP IN MINDWell-designed robustness is an appropriate maintenance strategy6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 24Richard Turner’s rustic terrazzo “welcome mat”at the Aviation/LAX Station has survivedreasonably intact (as has the surroundingflagstone) for over 20 years.
  25. 25. TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS TO KEEP IN MINDA little escape is appreciated6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 25Passengers seem to valueopportunities to sit bythemselves.
  26. 26. TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS TO KEEP IN MINDOrnament and craftsmanship can add quality to facilities6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 26Real ironwork adds richness toa facility more than cut-outmetal panels.
  27. 27. LESSONS LEARNEDFrom a limited review of art in the LA Metro system6/4/2013Sound Transit ELE Lead Artist Team (Schugurensky, Kiefer and Heishman) 27The LA Metro Art Program offers encyclopedic breadth for studying the successes and weaknesses of varioustransit-oriented art commissioning strategies. Over the past 20+ years, the program has experimented with artist-driven development, integrated design, blue-chip artist projects, limited-scope permanent projects and curatedtemporary projects.Based on our observations, it appears that the program, facing the complexities and cost of maintaining a verylarge collection, has retreated to a much more conservative practice. This practice seems to be designing in distinct“frames” in which artists can work: overhead mural panels; lozenge-shaped paving areas; tile mosaic installations;and temporary curated projects. These seem to be reasonable changes in their program given the budgetconstraints of the last 5 years.Applying these observations to the current Sound Transit program, we believe the following are the most importantlessons learned:• Maintenance (and the ability to maintain) is critical to the success of an artwork in the harsh environment of atransit system and is, in fact, an important facet of sustainable development;• Craftsmanship is also critical to the long-term success of an artwork, can help ensure its success even if anartwork isn’t maintained brings the hand of the artist to public facilities, adding richness and depth to theexperience;• Developing the identity of a station as a rich place is a more successful strategy than trying to encapsulate anddescribe neighborhood identity;• Consistency does not necessarily add to the strength of station design if the artwork is confined to distinct,repeated framing devices unless an artist is skilled in the particular methods and materials required of thoseopportunities;• Strong artist voices and robust interventions maintain their conceptual strength over time, as do the strong androbust manifestations of those voices and interventions.

×