Con Christeson and Phil Robinson | 2005
North Broadway Transit Center
Concrete, ceramic tiles, and casting resin
14′ h. x 9′ w. x 1′ 3″ d.
Metroglyph Portal is a concrete gateway through which commuters enter the bus stand of the North Broadway Transit Center. The shape of the portal echoes the architectural details of the outbuilding at the rear of the Center. The top of the installation exhibits a circular opening that contains a cast resin mandala, symbolic of movement and mindfulness. As sunlight passes through the opening, the resin mandala glows warmly, becoming the central focus of the piece.
The rest of the structure is veneered in 8×10-inch tiles, which are impressed with textures and patterns from scrap bus parts. The artists, Christeson and Robinson, spoke with mechanics and were given access to Metro facilities to find discarded scrap metal, fly wheels, gear boxes, and other parts to create interesting patterns. After speaking with bus operators about punching tickets, the artists decided to use a punch tool to impress on the clay. Other found objects, random letters, and text were also incorporated into the patterns, referencing the billboards and signs seen while riding buses.
Commissioned by Arts in Transit for Metro Transit St. Louis.