Metro Dedicates Mural at Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station

Artists, art enthusiasts and transit riders joined Metro to officially welcome a new public art project,  “Vehicle. Destination. Imagination.”, to the Metro transit system at a special dedication ceremony on June 28. Located at the Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Station, the 36-foot long and 12-foot high mural is the newest addition to Metro Arts in Transit’s public art portfolio.

“Sometimes public art is added to existing infrastructure, like we’ve done here with this wonderful new mural, and at other times it’s incorporated as part of the overall design of the transit system,” said David Dietzel, Chairman of the Bi-State Development Board of Commissioners. “The common thread through all of these examples is that art always plays an important role. And it always should.”

IMG_6088Commissioned by Metro’s Arts in Transit program, the “Vehicle. Destination. Imagination.” mural was created by local St. Louis artists Catharine Magel and Con Christeson. Magel is best known for her mosaic sculptures and large-scale murals, including her ceramic mural on the flood wall along the Mississippi River trail. Christeson has collaborated on several projects for Metro Arts in Transit, creating artwork for the North Broadway and Gravois-Hampton Transit Centers.

“The design of the mural points to a story, a story about the history of the community, and a community’s past, present and future,” Magel said. “The story isn’t my story. It really belongs to everyone.”

Inside Look: Learn about how community input helped shape the final mural design.

Vehicle. Destination. Imagination.” combines three-dimensional elements with vibrant colors to celebrate the spirit of the St. Louis region. Magel and Christeson engaged with several community groups to develop the imagery and design for the mural, including residents of the Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood, the community collabARTive of Peter and Paul Community Services, and Angela Hunter Knight and the art students from Crossroads College Preparatory School.

IMG_6085“We engaged the community to help shape the design, and we did it in many different ways,” Christeson said. “It made our final product that much more interesting, and I think everyone will be able to see the influence of that engagement in the mural.”

“At Metro, we are always looking for ways to enhance our infrastructure, to give our passengers a better experience, and to give the neighborhoods we serve a more beautiful and welcoming transit system,” said Ray Friem, Executive Director of Metro Transit. “With the creativity and hard work of our artists and Metro Arts in Transit, we continue to enhance a $2 billion network of transit infrastructure our region has invested in, and ensure it continues to be an invaluable and inviting asset for years to come.”

Metro Arts in Transit has a proud history of enhancing transit infrastructure, beautifying neighborhoods, and bringing art to the community through commissioned artwork and art programs. One of the nation’s earliest transit arts initiatives, Arts in Transit has sponsored hundreds of art events and programs for thirty years. The program is supported by the Missouri Arts Council and the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission.

Arts In Transit Mural Goes Up at Forest Park Station


If you catch MetroLink at the Forest-Park DeBaliviere MetroLink Station, you may have noticed something colorful going up on the eastbound wall across from the platform — a new Metro Arts In Transit piece.

The new mural by artists Con Christeson and Catharine Magel is about 36 feet in length and 12 feet in height, and features a colorful backdrop with several three-dimensional components. The artists asked for feedback from residents of the neighborhoods near the Forest Park-DeBaliviere Station and worked with students from Crossroads College Preparatory School to gather insights and incorporated all of the input they received into the design process.

“This mural by Con Christeson and Catharine Magel is truly a reflection of the Forest Park community and showcases the dynamic and powerful movement public transportation has in this neighborhood and throughout the St. Louis region,” said David Allen, Director of Metro Arts in Transit.

Installation of the mural is expected to be completed by the end of the month. The art piece will be officially dedicated sometime in May.

Magel and Christeson both live in St. Louis and have studios in St. Louis. Magel is best known for her work with large-scale murals and mosaic sculptures, including the tree sculpture at the UMSL-South MetroLink Station. Christeson has collaborated on several projects for Metro Arts in Transit, creating artworks for the agency’s North Broadway and Gravois-Hampton Transit Centers.

Video: Christeson and Magel explain how community input helped shape the final mural design.