There are more than 75 operational subway stations in the sprawling Los Angeles Metro system. All of them have been touched by the hands of artists whose goal was to make interminable delays and frequent TAP-card checkpoints worthwhile - or at least aesthetically pleasing. Without looking at a station sign, a regular passenger knows where he is simply by looking at art such as the vibrant tilework at Hollywood and Western; the supposedly flying dreamers (they are not falling!) at the Civic Center; and the sky-blue film canister ceiling of Hollywood & Vine. The commissioned works started 25 years ago, and Metro proudly holds tours of them. In June, July and August, on the first Thursday of each month, Metro will offer summer tours focused on three downtown stations. The docent-led journeys depart from Union Station and end at Seventh & Metro, crossroads of the ever-expanding railway. Now, the next time out-of-towner friends mock our public transportation system, you can point out the unique artworks rather than the locations of celebrity arrests. Tours begin at the station's information kiosk, just inside the Alameda Street entrance. Union Station, 800 N. Alameda Blvd., dwntwn.; Thu., June 5, 5:30 p.m.; free. (213) 922-2738, metro.net.
Thu., June 5, 5:30 p.m., 2014