Expo art to expand with new sculpture along 4th Street

Daily Press Editor

Given the title of a new sculpture coming to Downtown Santa Monica and its placement at the Expo station, you might think the artist was inspired by the realities of driving a car through the city but the work is actually a reference to Santa Monica’s history.

“Saint Monica’s Tears” will be installed this winter by artist Walter Hood and Metro is inviting art lovers, transit riders and anyone interested in the project to meet Hood this Saturday from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Hood will host a guided walk along through Palisades park from 10 – 11 a.m. exploring the natural and cultural points of inspiration for his Expo station work. He will then host a talk from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Camera Obscura Annex (1450 Ocean Ave.) to discuss his artistic process, past work and Metro-commissioned artwork slated for installation this winter.

The Downtown sculpture will be installed at the west side of the station facing 4th Street. According to the artist, the “Saint Monica’s Tears” was inspired by the city’s namesake.

“Saint Monica is known as the “weeping saint,” as she was said to have shed tears every night over her son Augustine’s hedonistic lifestyle,” said Metro’s description of the project.

“Father Juan Crespi thought of her eyes when he first saw a pair of sacred springs, named Kuruvungna by the local Tongva tribe, at what is now the border of Santa Monica and West Los Angeles.

Water has shaped the geology of Santa Monica, eroding the sandstone at the coastline. The artwork will reference both the geological and cultural history of Santa Monica through the use of sandstone and hand-formed glass that recall Saint Monica, Kuruvungna and the Palisades.”

Hood is known for his work in public spaces and has worked extensively in urban environments.
“The power of water is integral to the geologic history of Santa Monica.

Water shaped the coastline, eroding the sandstone at its edges,” said the artist’s statement of the Santa Monica project. “And yet most residents seldom engage this geology. This proposal springs from this enmeshing of geological and cultural history.”

Hood is one of eight artists chosen to create works along the second phase of the Expo Line from Culver City to Downtown Santa Monica and his work will add to the existing artistic touches along the tracks.

In addition to the sculpture at the DTSM station, the three Santa Monica stations feature murals by different artists. Bergamot Station’s works feature collages of locally found items, 17th street showcases the wardrobes of residents who donated items to the artist and the downtown station’s works showcase the diversity of Los Angeles.

There are also etched drawings depicting transit history set into the platforms of the local stations and several local artists were commissioned to create custom TAP cards for the Santa Monica section of the line.

The event is free and open to the public however space is limited, so please RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-the-artist-walk-and-talk-with-walter-hood-in-santa-monica-tickets-38164346588.