BART Art | Warm Springs to Richmond
Sky Cycles at Warm Springs. Photo courtesy of bart.gov.
Art abounds in BART and there is no shortage of art to experience on your daily commute. The artwork at BART stations also bring each trip to life. The entire system is home to nearly 50 artworks of a vast variety of mediums and forms - mosaics, tile work, paintings and sculptures enrich several stations.
From Warm Springs to Richmond (the orange line), there are plenty of artworks you likely haven’t noticed along your ride.
Sky Cycles. Photo courtesy of Catherine Widgery/Russell Abraham.
Warm Springs | Sky Cycles by Catherine Widgery
As you enter the Warm Springs BART station by ascending a trio of escalators to the concourse, you’ll pass through the clouds of the Sky Cycles. The entrance rotunda is the work of Catherine Widgery, who has created over 40 site-specific public artworks across the United States and Canada.
Widgery’s sky is a composite of photos from Mission Peak, Lake Elizabeth and the surrounding areas taken by residents and visitors. These photos are blended into a continuous single image around the station’s rotunda. Widgery says that this artwork encapsulates the entire area through the eyes of many, at different points in time of the year, day or hour.
Along the east and west sides of the concourse there are also glass panels of sky images in a wealth of different colors, and they cast beautiful shadows as sunlight filters through the station. The east side panels reflect the hills beyond, taking on greener colors and the west panels evoke the water of the bay, with blue tones and rolling shapes.
Peace Wall and The Tree of All Languages. Photo courtesy of Felicia Kieselhorst.
Fruitvale | Peace Wall and The Tree of All Languages by Carolyna Marks, Xochitl, Roberto Guerrero and various artists
Over 3,600 brightly colored, hand-painted tiles make up the Peace Wall, located within the Fruitvale station. Painted by over 3,000 local children as well as celebrities, BART officials and community members, the tiles form a large mural.
Carolyna Marks graduated from UC Berkeley with both a bachelor’s and master’s of fine art, and created the organization World Wall for Peace. She raised $45,000 for this project and has also created over a dozen peace walls around the Bay, including at Jack London Square and in Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley.
To the right of the mural is a piece called The Tree of All Languages, created by Xochitl and Roberto Gurrero. The tree’s twisted trunk reads World Wall for Peace in a variety of languages, and at the top of the tree, a dove holds a globe between its wings.
Untitled. Photo courtesy of Felicia Kieselhorst.
Lake Merritt | Untitled by William Mitchell
Waves and birds circle a courtyard just outside the Lake Merritt station concourse, evoking a feeling of flowing and ebbing despite the defunct fountain in the center. This large plaster relief is just one of several works in BART stations by William Mitchell. His work is also on display at 16th St Mission, 24th St Mission, and Richmond stations.
This circular courtyard at Lake Merritt also houses the entrance to the BART Operations Control Center, and previously, BART police headquarters. The relief has portholes, originally intended for visitors to be able to look into the control center and catch a glimpse of behind the scenes at BART.
Not a local artist, Mitchell was born in London, and worked throughout Europe, as well as in Hawaii and Qatar.
Untitled. Photo courtesy of Felicia Kieselhorst.
MacArthur | Untitled by Mark Adams
Large orange, blue, red and black ovals streak across the walls of MacArthur station behind bike racks and benches.
Mark Adams originally designed a mosaic mural within the station, over the main stairs. He constructed it with the help of Alfonso Pardiñas, another BART artist.
However, the stairs were removed and an elevator was constructed, requiring the removal of the mural. Adams was very understanding of the project, as accessibility was a personal concern to him and his family, and returned to paint two wall murals.
The brightly colored round shapes of his murals burst from the walls, brightening up the otherwise blank space, and providing the station a sense of movement and excitement.
Untitled. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.
El Cerrito del Norte | Untitled by Alfonso Pardiñas
Alfonso Pardiñas designed the mosaic work at El Cerrito Plaza, Lake Merritt and El Cerrito del Norte. Pardiñas founded Byzantine Mosaics, fabricating for mosaics at Union City, Lafayette and Mark Adam’s original design at MacArthur. At El Cerrito del Norte, his work can be seen along the side of a stairway to the platform as well as either side of the fare gates.
The mosaic at El Cerrito del Norte runs alongside a staircase, in several shades of blue with strands of orange and green tiles. Several people run their fingertips along the smooth glass tiles as they rush to catch a train, not realizing the intentional architectural placement of the artwork. Reminiscent of flowing water, this mosaic leads riders up to the platform, reflecting the movement of people throughout the station.
Architecture and art work in tandem to create spaces that are efficient and functional, but also beautiful. So on your next trip anywhere along the Warm Springs – Richmond line, take a moment to stop and really look at the spaces around you. You may encounter one of these artworks or one of the others that reside in and around BART.
BART is home to over 50 artworks in mediums from concrete to glass to ceramic tile. BART is currently completing a full assessment of its collection. More information and a spreadsheet of the collection can be found online.