By ELLEN ENDO, Rafu Shimpo
Two internationally recognized artists will help shape the character of the future Regional Connector station at First Street and Central Avenue, it was announced on Thursday by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).
Formally introduced to Little Tokyo stakeholders were Audrey Chan and Clare Rojas, who were chosen from among 1,200 artists to infuse the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station with images reflective of the area and its history.
“I wanted to show the different cultures that have inhabited in the area…its long history of resistance,” Chan, 34, told The Rafu Shimpo. Her work includes depictions of Tongva Indians, the area’s earliest inhabitants, as well as iconic Little Tokyo landmarks such as the Far East Café and Yagura Tower.
Chan, who has exhibited throughout the United States and Europe, received her BA from Swarthmore College, and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.
Rojas, 40, is known for creating towering murals and for her use of geometric abstractions. Born in Columbus, Ohio, she lives and works in San Francisco and has held solo exhibitions in Spain, Netherlands, London, New York, Philadelphia, Knoxville, and Chicago.
She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and previously attended the Rhode Island School of Design.
An estimated 88,000 daily riders and 17,000 new transit users will view the Chan and Rojas works when the Little Tokyo/Arts District station is completed sometime in 2020. The Regional Connector will eventually link the Gold Line with the Blue Line and the Expo Line. Passengers will be able to travel seamlessly from Azusa to Santa Monica and from East Los Angeles to Long Beach.
Chan and Rojas were among seven artists introduced by Metro. Others are: Andrea Bowers and Clarence Williams, who will be contributing artwork to the Second Street and Broadway station, and Pearl C. Hsiung and Mungo Thomson, Second Place and Hope Street station.
Leslie Ito, president and CEO of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, served on the five-member artist selection panel.
Photos by ELLEN ENDO/Rafu Shimpo