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A mosaic, 92 feet long, reveals slices of a Los Angeles sky. Dynamic layers of color and texture capture the soundtrack of Hyde Park. Hundreds of stained-glass pieces, arranged to look like bursts of energy, emit colorful reflections on the ground.

When the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Line opens next year, the project’s eight stations, spanning 8.5 miles, will come to life with dozens of public art pieces. In 2015, 14 of more than 1,200 applicants were selected to create art for the transit line that will zip through Los Angeles, El Segundo, Inglewood and parts of unincorporated L.A. County. The works, many made with tile, enamel and glass, are intended to capture the spirit of the historically rich neighborhoods the trains will sweep through.

“When we look at artwork for new projects, we’re really looking at diverse representation in every sense of the word, including diversity of approach,” says Zipporah Yamamoto, arts and design director for Metro. “And so the artwork is as varied as you would imagine from a city that is as diverse and a cultural hotbed like Los Angeles. We think there’s something for everybody.”

Even so, controversy and criticism has surrounded the Crenshaw/LAX line since it was announced, particularly for its potential to adversely affect the predominantly African American communities along the project’s path. Concerns over gentrification, rising housing prices and demographic change in the Crenshaw District inspired Destination Crenshaw, a 1.3-mile open-air museum meant to revitalize the core of black L.A. that has also raised questions about displacement.

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