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Artistic “Enhancements” Coming For Several MetroLink Stations

Brett Blume
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This bronze piece entitled "Everyone Appreciates a Punctual Train" by artist Mary Lucking was unveiled Wednesday at the entrance to the Wellston MetroLink stop. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

This bronze piece entitled “Everyone Appreciates a Punctual Train” by artist Mary Lucking was unveiled Wednesday at the entrance to the Wellston MetroLink stop. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -  Several MetroLink stations are in line to get spruced up with new artwork.

That process began Wednesday morning at the Wellston MetroLink stop, as artist Mary Lucking took the cover off her bronze piece entitled “Everyone Appreciates a Punctual Train”.

It depicts a pair of birds and a bushy-tailed squirrel keeping a close eye on a clock, all situated on a birdbath-like stand.

“I came out here about a year-and-a-half ago to visit the station and was thinking about what it’s like spending time waiting for a train,” Lucking said while explaining her source of inspiration. “Then I saw birds flutter by and I was thinking about how the birds have this completely different sense of time.”

She took that idea and ran with it, installing other animals high in the rafters of the shelter that protects MetroLink riders from the elements.

They are not readily apparent to riders who aren’t paying attention — just the way Lucking designed it.

“You might notice one, and then you might notice another one another time you’re there,” Lucking explained. “So they’re little details that you can learn to enjoy.”

Metro president and CEO John Nations added that believe it or not, this kind of thing matters to some riders.

“One of the main complaints that we get is the aesthetics of some areas of our system,” Nations told KMOX News. “They say we should be working more closely with some of our communities. We’re responsive to that.”

Nations was quick to point out that installation of new artwork at more than a half-dozen stations won’t take money away from operating Metro trains and buses.

“These are federal funds which we are required to spend on enhancements,” he said.

The money came from ARRA, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Through Metro’s Arts in Transit program ten new artworks will be created and installed across the Metro system over the next several years.

MetroLink stations in line to receive artistic enhancements include:

*  Stadium

*  Wellston

*  Union

*  UMSL South

*  Central West End (CWE)

*  Arch Laclede’s Landing

*  Lambert-St. Louis International Airport

Work at those stations will be funded 100% with federal stimulus money.

Funding for the remaining three — Forest Park-DeBaliviere, Riverview Hall MetroBus Transit Center, and the future Downtown Transit Center — will come from Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants, with 80% of each project funded with federal money and 20% in local dollars.

img 6490 Artistic Enhancements Coming For Several MetroLink Stations

Lucking has also placed several life-sized birds in the rafters of the Wellston MetroLink stations for sharp-eyed riders to discover. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

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