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October 2, 2009

The Buzz About Hive: Public Art and Transit

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In July 2009, Metro installed the public art piece Hive by sculptor Janet Lofquist at the Delmar Transit Plaza on the corner of Des Peres and Delmar Avenue.  Public art is one aspect of the federally-mandated transit enhancement projects that Metro completes each year, and is an important component of the vitality of public transit.   Public art in transit helps improve the appearance, use and safety of our system, and to date more than 150 art projects have been installed and/or performed through our Arts in Transit program.

Watch below to find out more about Hive and why transit agencies like Metro invest in public art.

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6 thoughts on “The Buzz About Hive: Public Art and Transit”

  1. bikesRbest says:

    The best art is supplied by Mother Nature as trees, flowering bushes, ivy, etc. They change with the seasons and with the helping hands of mankind can grow to exhibits no man made art can ever accomplish. Love art myself and all for more art but Metro has destroyed the natural beauty that once existed in some areas just to install more parking lots. Metro needs to understand the the importance and pleasures of natural surroundings and man made objects of art if they want these expenditures appreciated and respected. Instead most of Metro’s enhancement expenditures are for parking lots since Metro prefers concrete over nature – – so unfortunate.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I doubt it’s a preference; probably more of a necessity. But we like flowers and bushes too, and have planted many and many at various transfer centers and along MetroLink.

  3. Paul says:

    I take MetroLink and get on at the Sunnen station. I am always stunned at the beauty of the blackeyed susans and other flowers (sorry I don’t know my flower names!) that run the length of the platform and serve as a backdrop to the station. It is at its peak during the late summer weeks. This August as I was admiring the flowers, I saw 4 yellow finches flitting among the flowers. It was a cool sight! The above serves as an example of how Metro does use the surrounding area to beautify the stations.

  4. RTBones says:

    Contrast that with the stark industrial nature of the stops at Skinker, Big Bend, and Forsythe. Obviously, putting plants underground wont work – but how about a mural/painting/sculpture where plants/trees/shrubs cant be placed. Heck, even wall-sized advertisements might work.

    1. Courtney says:


      Thanks for your feedback on the Skinker, Big Bend, and Forsyth stations. I would like to highlight some of the art that is currently at those stations…mostly because I think it’s really interesting. At Skinker, there is a piece called Speed Shift by artist Erwin Redl that uses LED lights and microcomputers to create an ambient light and electronic sound combination that is controlled by incorporate algorithms, controlled randomness and other computer code effects. The inspiration was the what the artist called “the underpinnings of mass transit – speed, mobility, precise timing, and computer technology.”

      And in the Big Bend station, the piece Linear Accelerator uses closed-circuit cameras feeding images to pattern recognition software sensing the number of passengers waiting on the platform. With few passengers present, the art is calm. As more passengers arrive, colors appear and bands begin to travel across the shapes. Then, as the MetroLink vehicles approach, the lights become more monochromatic as unlit bands move across the shape with increasing frequency, evoking the train’s direction and speed. Crazy, huh!

      The Regional Arts Commission has a listing of other public art at St. Louis transit centers on their website if you are interested.

      But your feedback, both from yourself and bikeRbest, it’s good to have various kinds of landscaping/art around the stations…something bright and vibrant. Maybe a combination…like at Citygarden?

  5. RTBones says:


    With due respect to both Metro and the artists involved in the three stations I mentioned…our stations are stark and industrial.

    Have a look here for some pictures of art in metro stations around the world:
    Around the World

    And if you really want to be awed, have a look at Moscow’s metro:

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