New ArtsLine program showcases work by local artists on the light rail

The program by Valley Metro aims to 'bring the community together through art'

An ongoing project by Valley Metro aims to give the community and transit riders a chance to experience art in different ways. 

The Valley Metro ArtsLine is showcasing work from artists, including ASU alumni, during a continuous rotating art series at the Roosevelt Street and Central Avenue light rail station. 

Not only can public art be seen at all 35 light rail stations across the Valley, but the Valley Metro light rail connects over 55 art and culture organizations including the Mesa Arts Center, the ASU Art Museum in Tempe and the Phoenix Art Museum

Brittany Hoffman, public information specialist for Valley Metro, said a goal of the program is to bring the community together through art rather than seeing the light rail as just a way to get from one point to another. 

“Everybody has their own interpretation of art,” Hoffman said. “We may draw completely different references or experiences from that moment, but either way we’re both going to be touched by it.”

ArtsLine

Click through to view previous works that have been included in the ArtsLine program.

Lauren Lee, a fine artist and muralist who graduated from ASU with a BA in studio art in 2007, said she rode the light rail every day for work when she was a high school art teacher. She said she appreciates the incorporation of art into public spaces that is not just being used as an advertisement. 

“The arts give us culture, and culture is essentially what people come together around," Lee said. "What they enjoy makes the difference between just a city or a community — the feeling of belonging to something greater than yourself.”

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William Dambrova, who graduated from ASU with a BA in studio art in 1993, said that public art is easily accessible to all cultures and pay scales and creates gathering places that provide inspiration.

He said one of the biggest challenges for museums is attendance, especially among younger visitors, which is often negatively impacted by the Valley being so spread out.

“I think it definitely reminds people that there’s more to life than the drudgery of going to work,” Dambrova said. “It’s an awesome idea to be able to stop on a train and just get off and go to different art spaces, and also being welcomed by local artists.”

Dambrova said the ArtsLine program is providing artists with the opportunity to enhance their careers, and he enjoyed the experience of collaborating with experts in digital fields. 

“I found that to be more open to some of their suggestions just gives me better challenges to respond to, and I ended up coming up with something that I wouldn’t have planned on,” he said. “It’s a nice compliment – art is very playful and the fabrication side is very precise.”

Hoffman said the program is still searching for more artists to contribute, and the hope is to continue to provide a platform for local artists and an artistic experience for the community as long as possible.

“The arts and fine arts are a dying program at a lot of schools,” she said. “This is an opportunity to also give that educational experience and bring back art as a great outlet for kids and adults to find bigger meaning than themselves.”


Reach the reporter at chofmann@asu.edu and follow @chofmann528 on Twitter.  

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