SANTA MONICA— LA Metro is adding to its collection of artwork throughout the transit system, with the construction of the Saint Monica’s Tears. The art piece will be composed of 32 massive sandstone by sculpture artist Walter Hood.
The art project has began under Metro Arts and Design team members who gently thread and transport the trapezoidal stones by crane. Each stone weighs approximately 10,000 pounds each.
According to Metro Saint Monica’s Tears, the artwork is expected to be geological and have a cultural history about Santa Monica. It will be located on the west end of Downtown Santa Monica Station near 4th Street.
“As this is a Metro project, the artwork is located at our Downtown Santa Monica Station on Metro property. All Metro-commissioned artworks are site-specific and in this case, “Saint Monica’s Tears,” responds directly to its namesake city. This station–which sees the highest on and off-boardings along the alignment–creates an opportunity for punctuation through iconic sculpture” said Metro Arts and Design Letitia Fernandez Senior Manager.
When selecting a location, Santa Monica was referenced as “[the] weeping saint.” Worried about her son’s safety and lifestyle choices the weeping saint was said to cry herself to sleep every night. Francican missionary and explorer of Las Californias father Juan Crespi imagined the weeping saints eyes when he came across his first pair of sacred springs, which is now borderline of Santa Monica and West Los Angeles.
“Saint Monica’s Tears is distinctive not only in scale and ambition, but also in meaning. The site-specific artwork reframes intertwining cultural histories through local geology. Through large scale sandstone quarried in Ojai, CA, and hand formed glass, the work will recognize the nearby sacred springs, originally and still called Kuruvungna by the Tongva, that once ran down the Palisades cliffs above present-day Pacific Coast Highway and caused Spanish explorers to recall the weeping eyes of St. Monica, for whom the city was named” Stated Fernandez
Hood is the creative director and founder of Hood design studio located in Oakland California.
Hood Design Studio is a collective process of working across art with fabrication, design, landscaping, and research.
Winning the 2017 Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture award, Hood enhances the use of urbanism. His art utilizes different types of urban landscaping for his artwork.
Hood has built his credibility with unique design and features that have led to publications within “Dwell, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fast Company, Architectural Digest, Places Journal, and Landscape Architecture Magazine,” listed Metro.
“The power of water is integral to the geologic history of Santa Monica. Water shaped the coastline, eroding the sandstone at its edges. And yet most residents seldom engage this geology. This proposal springs from this enmeshing of geological and cultural history,” said Hood.
“This monumental artwork offers a new landmark for Santa Monica–something place-defining for locals and visitors alike. The large-scale sculptural work will encourage people to slow down by raising awareness of the city’s layered cultural history through geology” closed Fernandez