Starting in 2014, Houstonians' commutes will look a lot better. As METRORail's North, East End, and Southeast Lines near completion, each station along the way will be outfitted with a touch of class: Houston is taking fine art to the railways with the Arts in Transit program.
Arts in Transit aims to place art in a community context, transforming "individual stations from bland, generic necessities into engaging showcases, each offering a proud and meaningful reflection of the diverse neighborhoods they serve," according to the METRORail website.
"Our goal [for the exhibition] is to provide the community with a sneak-peek," said Kimberly Williams, chief administrative officer for METRO's capital programs department. "This partnership with the MFAH brings the artwork to an audience that goes beyond the light rail corridor."
The agency has built upon the success of the Main Street light rail and collaborated with community members and artists over the past five years in meetings and forums. Houstonians provided input on themes, concepts and images for their neighborhood stations; they took part in the selection of artists to bring those ideas to fruition; they gave feedback to the artists during the creative process.
Now the artists' final renderings are up for view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
"Our goal [for the exhibition] is to provide the community with a sneak peek," said Kimberly Williams, chief administrative officer for METRO's capital programs department. "This partnership with the MFAH brings the artwork to an audience that goes beyond the light rail corridor."
The exhibition features works by 22 artists (most hail from the Houston area) and includes mock-ups for three sculptures in addition to the stations' wind screens. The works range in style and subject matter from representational to text-oriented, inspirational to historical. Local artists include Jesse Sifuentes, Carroll Parrott Blue and Dixie Friend Gay.
"What you see is really a cumulative effort ... with a lot of involvement and input from both sides," Williams told CultureMap.
You can find the exhibition at the MFAH through Oct. 10, in the corridor between the Cafe Express and the parking garage. A reception will take place on Sept. 13th from 6-8 p.m. to showcase the final designs.
Go take a look, and let us know what you think!