Westwood/Rancho Park Metro Station




It is a great honor to be among the many great artists who have already completed their stations. The artists who will be working on the Expo Line include: Shizu Saldamando, Abel Alejandre, Susan Logoreci, Nzuji de Magalhaes, Constance Mallinson, Carmen Argote, Judithe Hernandez and Walter Hood.

Project Description

Artworks on gateway arches depict the legs of travelers headed to their destinations: a business professional with her rolling briefcase, a parent with a stroller and a hummingbird in flight. Art panels above seating areas present commuters calmly waiting. Looking at the illustrations, the viewer may notice the standing figures combine styles of dress from the past as well as the present, collapsing time and place into a series of narrative stances. Individuals reference the history of the local area: a gardener holds a young boy’s hand as the boy reaches for a dropped origami paper crane, signifying nearby Little Osaka and the many nurseries that once flourished in the area. A wounded soldier in an older style uniform stands on crutches, drawing on the memory of the Sawtelle Veteran’s Home. Each figure is purposefully placed to create a story of place illustrated through the act of commuting.

Each of the twelve panels are made up of three steel tiles. The steel is sprayed with porcelain enamel by the Washington based Winsor Fireform fabricator’s specialists. The artwork provided was then transferred onto the tiles through a photo process somewhat similar to negative film was onto photo paper. The porcelain enamel plates were then baked into the finished tiles they are now. To be sure this an art onto itself. The tiles were shipped to California and assembled in custom steel frames to later be installed as illustrated above.

Westwood/Rancho Park Station is located at 10800 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
Westwood/Rancho Park Station is located at Exposition Boulevard just east of Westwood Boulevard, between Westwood Boulevard and Overland Avenue. This station is located in Rancho Park, an affluent single-family neighborhood south of Westwood and southwest of Century City. The station location is a short walk from the Westside Pavilion shopping mall.

The  station features a center platform east of Westwood Boulevard and north of Exposition Boulevard. The station also features a passenger drop-off area and a pedestrian transit plaza. Station has 6 Bike Racks and 8 Bike Lockers. Bus connections are BBB 8, BBB Rapid 12, CCB 3

Background about Panoramas:

The panels are a movie camera panning across slivers of time. Scenes of the diverse Westwood/Rancho Park neighborhood serve as cinematic vistas; panoramas of local commuters waiting, engaging with one another.

Undoubtedly, the graphite medium renders a tightly thematic style in this panoramic theatre. The hundreds of pencils used were always at the sharpest point possible to capture the details of the attorneys, the shopkeepers, the students, and the parents.

Each scene functions on several levels. All the panels show a narrative instead of a still cityscape. By focusing on the ground level, the viewer discovers a different perspective. Looking up at the panels, the viewer is like a child. Only the shoes show the personality of each commuter, the body language tells their story and their relationship to one another. Before long, the viewer can identify with these activities and these commuters as being much like themselves.

At first, the Gateway Arch illustrates the commuters walking and waiting from all paths. The panel details the short distance travelers; the attorney with her rolling briefcase, a hummingbird in flight, and a mother- each en route to somewhere.

Soon after, the commuters calmly wait at the Seating Module panel. Perhaps, the viewer can feel the varying degrees of comfort among these commuters; the close or distant space, a demonstration of our relationship with public spaces and with each other.

The relationship between the panels is tethered through film nostalgia; the cinematic approach is a subtle reminder of the community’s contribution to film studios.

The history and flavor of the community is also displayed by the subjects; for example, the memory of the once seven local nurseries is reflected by the gardener who holds a young boy’s hand who is reaching for his origami paper crane which signifies the Nisei community of Sawtelle’s Little Osaka. Further, a wounded man on crutches is remembered from Sawtelle’s Soldier’s Home as the skater and his friend are returning from Stoner Park up the street.

Check out video of the installation of the tiles.


Santa Monica Mirror: Expo Line Art

LAist: Photos: The Art Of The Expo Line Extension’s New Stations

NBC Los Angeles: Expo Line: New Station Artwork

Crafts Overload: Inside a Art during a New Expo Line Stations

Culver City Observer: Local Artists Decorate New Expo Stations

Curbed Los Angeles: Inside the Art at the New Expo Line Stations

 CycleBikeShop: Inside a Art during a New Expo Line Stations

Gizmodo: Watch the First Passenger Train to Travel from Downtown LA to Santa Monica in 60 Years

Metro: Artist: Abel Alejandre

The Source: Metro to offer free rides, station celebrations as part of Expo Line grand opening May 20-21

Los Angeles Times: Metro Expo Line to begin service to Santa Monica on May 20

Daily News: Much anticipated Expo Line train to Santa Monica, beach will open in May

KPCC: All aboard to the beach! Expo Line to Santa Monica opens May 20

The Source: 17 things to know about the Expo Phase 2 opening on May 20

Los Angeles Magazine: Metro Artist Abel Alejandre Draws Fallen Superheroes

The Source: Sneak peek into fabrication process for artwork at future Westwood/Rancho Park Station

The Source: Eight artists selected to create art for Expo Line Phase 2 stations

KCET: Exploring the Course of the Future Metro Expo Line: Phase 2

KCET: Station Art Revealed for Phase 2 of Metro Expo Line

The Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority

The Source: More pics of recent work on the Expo Line Phase 2

Here are some photos showing the process from my studio; to the fabricator near Seattle, Washington; to the installation of panels at the Westwood/Rancho Park Station.