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Los Angeles Metro community of angels exhibit underwhelms

One of the seven Gary Leonard photos on exhibit at the Metro Red Line Vermont/Beverly Blvd Station
One of the seven Gary Leonard photos on exhibit at the Metro Red Line Vermont/Beverly Blvd Station
copyright 2014 Lori J Bjork

Gary Leonard's Community of Angels Metro Art Photo Lightbox exhibition


There is a multitude of praise I would share if asked my thoughts about Los Angeles' (L.A.) Metro public transportation system. If there was a job for Metro cheer leader or ambassador, I'd apply. I utilize the Metro and appreciate them mucho. In addition to the mostly stress-free way I can count on them to get me around the greater L.A. area, I enjoy the way they integrate art into the Metro experience.

Seven photos on display at Metro Red Line Vermont/Beverly Blvd Station commissioned by Gary Leonard
copyright 2014 lori j bjork

Another thing I am a fan of are the angel wings paintings by artist, Collete Miller, you can find sprinkled around L.A. The angel wings are an enticing photo op for earth angels of all ages, ethnicities and genders regardless of where they call their global home.

So when I received the information that the Metro Red Line Vermont/Beverly Blvd Station, 301 N Vermont Ave, was the chosen venue for artist Gary Leonard's photographed portraits of a cross-section of Angelenos in front of a pair of Collete Miller angel wings, I wanted to go there. I was excited to peep the photos with my own two, sun-glassed, prescription spectacles-enhanced peepers.

In reference to this exhibit, the article in THE SOURCE by Amalia M. Merino also shared:

"The wings signify the goodness that each of us has to contribute to Los Angeles."

My appreciation for the Metro and previous witnessing of the joy-inducing, angel wings paintings make me sad to report that I was underwhelmed by Leonard's Metro Art Photo Lightbox exhibition, "Community of Angels."

It isn't so much that I find the photos to be sub par on a photo by photo basis. Perhaps the point was that the only thing that seems different from photo to photo is the "angel" posing in the photo. And I am not sad, necessarily, that I saw the photos.

It's more that if I had a magic wand and the exhibit would have been mine to create, I would have included:

  • more than seven photos and
  • more photos of your average Joe or Josephine capturing the joy and FUN of posing with wings (for examples of what I mean by this, see the slideshow included with this article).
  • I may have sent out a call for photo submissions and chosen a bakers' dozen from the photo submissions to include in the exhibit.

To sum up, I don't recommend making a special trip to see the commissioned photos on display at the Metro Red Line Vermont/Beverly Blvd Station. If you happen to find yourself at the station, then go for it if that sort of thing interests you.

Also, seventeen of Leonard's photographs are on view at the Fine Arts Building, 811 West 7th Street (a block from the 7th Street Metro station), until June 8, 2014. As I have not seen this exhibit, this review is only for the photos at Vermont/Beverly station.

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