Construction has not started on the Purple Line, but behind the scenes artists have been working for months on their proposals to beautify the light-rail system’s planned stations in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
On Monday, the Maryland Transit Administration and Purple Line Transit Partners unveiled dozens of art submissions created for the $6 million art-in-transit program.
The proposals, all of which are posted on the Purple Line website, range from colorful murals to suspended sculptures. Approximately 80 artists submitted proposals for the 21 stations along the 16-mile route from Bethesda to New Carrollton. A selection committee composed of MTA and Purple Line Transit Partners officials as well as community members is scheduled to choose the winning work for each station sometime in mid-May.
But before the winners are chosen, the public can weigh in on each submission on the Purple Line website.
Below are some of the artworks proposed for Montgomery County stations (click to expand the images):
Ivan Depena proposed adding interactive LED light threads inspired by subterranean root growth patterns that can be programmed to respond to train arrivals, movement and the time of day.
Atelier Manferdini proposed a slit animation technique in which artwork of cherry blossoms remains stationary, but as passengers move along the platform, the blossoms appear to open and shut.
Craig Kraft proposed a colorful mix of neon tubes above the platform.
Chevy Chase Lake station at Connecticut Avenue
Benjamin Ball was inspired by trolley cars that once traveled along Connecticut Avenue for his proposal “Ghost Train.”
Andrew Leicester pays tribute to Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s radial design of Washington, D.C., in his proposal.
Vicki Scuri proposed installing colorful, nature-themed windscreens.
The five proposals for this station are inspired by the historically black community of Lyttonsville or invoke the memory of Saumel Lytton, the freed slave who founded Lyttonsville after buying land in the area west of Silver Spring in 1853.
Cheryl Foster for Lyttonsville station
Sally Comport for Lyttonsville station
Meg Saligman for Lyttonsville station
16th Street/Woodside station
Molly Dillworth said she was inspired by house plants on windowsills and clouds.
John Ruppert described his “Passage” as an expression of the optimism felt by early proponents of the Purple Line such as Harry Sanders.
Unterhalter Truhn proposed these colorful windscreens for the station’s platforms.
Silver Spring Transit Center station
The Megan Geckler studio proposed glass panels depicting Silver Spring attractions and the daily lives of residents based on photographs sourced from the community.
Martha Jackson-Jarvis’s proposal calls for a blue, whimsical steel sculpture on the rail bridge over Colesville Road.
Oak leaves and acorns—the official symbol of Silver Spring—are prominent in Nobuho Nagasawa’s proposal.
John Rogers proposed outlining and compressing maps of Silver Spring to adorn the windscreens at the station.
Silver Spring Library station
Andrea Dezso developed this artwork featuring images of the seasons on metal panels that’s designed to separate the tracks to prevent people from walking across them.
Paul Hobson pitched a ticker display that will show famous quotes from books.
Ries Niemei’s station fence design would feature galvanized steel panels cut with a woven pattern.
Dale Drive station
David Griggs pays tribute in his design to Silver Spring resident Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking book on insecticides, Silent Spring.
Steven Weitzman proposed a nature-inspired wall near the station.
Susan Zoccola wants viewers of her glass-and-steel work to feel like they’re walking along a creek.