Andrés Guzman has been boarding the Blue Line at the Lake Street/Midtown Station for more than a decade, never really paying much attention to the utility building that sits beneath it.
Now, after more than a month of Guzman’s careful spray-painting, it’s hard to miss.
This fall, Guzman was asked to use the utility box as a foundation for a new mural. Each side is now decorated with a different plant – bee balm, coneflower, common milkweed and mullein, often found alongside roads and known for its healing properties.
“I wanted to do something that was universal and that could be appreciated by different cultures and for different reasons,” Guzman said as he put the finishing touches on the mural.
Increasingly, artwork like Guzman’s is being used to make busy boarding areas more attractive and less susceptible to property damage like graffiti. Other recent examples include murals at the 28th Avenue Park & Ride, mosaics at the Uptown Transit Center and the application of artwork on shelters in Saint Paul and Brooklyn Park.
“All these projects are about giving unexpected joy to customers and passerby while also giving artists a unique opportunity to share their work,” said Mark Granlund, Metro Transit's public arts administrator.
If you are an artist who would like to be considered for future projects, please contact Mark Granlund.