Artwork by California State University, Dominguez Hills Assistant Professor of Art Devon Tsuno will soon become part of the greater Los Angeles region’s rich history of public art projects.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) recently named Tsuno among 17 artists chosen to create site-specific, integrated artworks for four stations along its Purple Line (D Line) Extension Sections 2 and 3.
“I think that having grown up in L.A. and being the fourth generation of my family in Los Angeles, it’s amazing to create something that’s permanent, that’s reflective of those multiple generations of my family,” said Tsuno of the opportunity.
Tsuno will design an installation as part of the Wilshire/Rodeo Station, which is currently under construction and slated to open in 2025. He is eager to bring his concept to life, and while he cannot reveal yet what it will be, he did say this project will reflect themes that are woven throughout his artwork.
Tsuno works primarily with spray paint and acrylic to create abstract landscape paintings, prints, and large-scale installations that are deeply rooted in family history, the Japanese American experience, and Los Angeles’ natural environment. His works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, at the Hammer Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, U.S. Embassy in New Zealand, and Gallery Lara in Tokyo, among others.
Being selected by Metro for this project holds not only professional, but personal significance for Tsuno.
“Mobility was a barrier for me growing up in the busing program in the Los Angeles Unified School District,” Tsuno explained. “So having a presence of my work in the Metro system is awesome, and the extension of that line is great because it will really improve mobility for mostly working-class folks.”
Moreover, Tsuno’s grandfather was a gardener in Los Angeles and served clients in Beverly Hills, not far from the future Wilshire/Rodeo Station. Tsuno’s uncle later joined him in the business. He said having his artwork installed at that location further ties his family’s history to the area.
“I’ve always been proud of my family’s work in this community and am excited to have the opportunity to continue that labor as an artist,” Tsuno said.
For more information about the Metro Art project for the Purple Line Extension, visit the online announcement.