Discover Transit Art on Metro Art Moves

During your daily commute, you may be surprised to see beautiful works of art on display at underground train stations. What you may not know is that since 1989, Metro has commissioned artists of all levels to create works to be integrated into the Los Angeles transit experience. From November 6 to December 4, Metro Art Moves will celebrate their artistry by providing free art tours at downtown stations between the hours of 5:30 and 7 p.m. Metro Art Los Angeles manages the care and maintenance of Metro’s existing artwork and directs the volunteer docent council.

UCLA Magazine recently ran a feature about Metro artists (who often call themselves Bruins), and Maya Emsden, who heads Metro Art & Design, understands why transit art is important. “It’s all about transforming the customer experience, because you’re not just about going from point A to point B,” says Emsden. “You also spend time waiting. The stations are heavily engineered spaces that can be pretty sterile, so we try to give each one an element of vibrancy. Southern California is a major arts capital of the world so, of course, we’ve got to leverage that incredible resource and make those stations our own.”

Metro Art Moves installations begin at Union Station and about 90 percent of the viewing experience involves walking. Tour-goers will experience a variety of artwork from the past 25 years, including newer interactive, electronic artworks at Union Station as well as magnificent architecture. For tour participants who work up an appetite, the tour’s end at the 7th Street/Metro Center Station leads directly to discounted grub at nearby restaurants. Tour participants can receive 15 percent off their meals at Casey’s Irish Pub, Cole’s French Dip and Ebanos Crossing by showing a valid TAP card to the server when ordering. These dining destinations are also part of 213 Nightlife, an acclaimed Los Angeles group that promotes DTLA as a cultural destination by transforming historically significant buildings into vibrant nighttime hotspots.

Metro Art Moves tours meet at Union Station at the information kiosk, just inside the Alameda Street entrance.