On January 24 around 5:45PM, I took the Blue Metroline to go home. I used this metroline almost every weekend last year and always saw the art on the upper part of the Compton Station signs (see pictures below). With this assignment in mind, I decided to take a piece of art I’ve pasted by repeatedly and research more into it. The murals are made of ceramic tiles by Eva Cockcroft, an artist who got to share her work all over America, taught at U.C. Irvine, and “published two books and numerous essays in Art in America, Artforum, and the New Art Examiner” (“Compton: Past, Present and Future”). She wanted to focus on Compton’s past, present and future through twelve panels which are mounted above the station benches; it focused on the cultural diversity of the city by celebrating different races and cultures. In an article by Metro titled “Compton: Past, Present and Future”, descriptions of the panels are given but does not specify which description fits which panel so I’m not 100% sure what panels I took a picture of, represented.
Cockcroft makes a statement with her murals, saying “The history books are filled with the stories of kings, generals and geniuses. My work celebrates the ordinary people ignored by the books, without whose convictions and courage no progress is possible” (“Compton: Past, Present and Future”). As said before, these murals represent cultural diversity and though I don’t have pictures of all of them, they depict figures and history of African American, Indian, Spanish, Mestizo and Samoan culture that have contributed to what Compton is today. I feel these murals are such great examples of seeing the beauty in history, especially in a place like Compton, where when these murals were displayed in 1995, had already been “recognized as a city dominated by gangs and violence” (Feder-Haugabook).
“Compton: Past, Present and Future.” LA Metro Home, www.metro.net/about/art/artworks/compton-past/.
Feder-Haugabook, Ayala. “Compton, California (1867- ) •.” BLACKPAST, 20 Aug. 2017, www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/compton-california-1867/.