Published : Friday, August 11, 2017 | 2:54 PM
The works of Pasadena-born artist Walter Askin are among those included in the Los Angeles Metro’s “Through the Eyes of Artists” exhibit now ongoing at Union Station along its new photographic light box passageway.
Established in 2003, the “Through the Eyes of Artists” series was created in the tradition of colorful travel destination posters to encourage riders to explore communities throughout the expanding Metro transit system.
The posters are then displayed on board Metro trains and buses. More than 40 artists have been commissioned to date.
Each artwork focuses on a particular neighborhood or city within the Los Angeles County and highlights special, often lesser known or under-appreciated facets of those communities. Among the subjects of these artworks are urban gardens, backyard barbeques, street parades and cemeteries. Askin is known for fostering parades and festivals.
In Askin’s work “Pasadena” a whimsical procession of playful characters is portrayed as it marches through his hometown on the upcoming Doo Dah Parade on November 19, 2017. The artwork won for Askin a Silver Medal from the LA Society of Illustrators.
Aside from Askin, also featured in the exhibition are other artists and their works about their respective Los Angeles communities such as Jonathan Anderson (Gardena), Sarajo Frieden (Venice), Wakana Kimura (Inglewood), Christine Nguyen (Long Beach), Mary Ann Ohmit (Azusa), Sam Pace (Leimert Park), Jane Gillespie Pryor (Whittier), Aaron Rivera (Lakewood), Artemio Rodríguez (East Los Angeles), Shizu Saldamando (Little Tokyo), and Edith Waddell (Glendale).
Born in Pasadena in 1929, Askin is known for his imaginative and satirical paintings, sculptures and graphic works.
He was encouraged by his parents and teachers alike to pursue art. He studied sculpting, painting, and printmaking art at the Pasadena City College under Leonard Edmondson, and started his own art group entitled “Walter Askin and his Modernist Group”. He went on to earn both his BA and MA at the University of California Berkeley, from 1949 – 1954. He taught at City College beginning in 1956, and has guest taught at UC Berkeley.
Askin also attended the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford University, England. He’s been exhibiting in solo and groups shows since 1956 and his work has been displayed across the nation from MOMA and the Whitney in New York City to the Norton Simon in Pasadena and Kauai Museum in Hawaii; from all over Europe to the 8th Annual Biennial in Taipei, Taiwan.
Askin has art pieces in 57 selected institutional collections. As early as 1961, he received the Purchase Prize (one of many) at the 10th Annual San Gabriel Valley Artists Exhibition, Pasadena Art Museum (currently the Norton Simon Museum). He was also artist representative for the academic council of the College Board in New York.
The exhibition will also feature artist-led tours throughout the summer. The exhibition and tour kick off a year of activities celebrating this award-winning series that will run through 2018.
August 19: Tour led by artists Wakana Kimura and Shizu Saldamando.
September 23: Tour led by Wakana Kimura and Shizu Saldamando.