Commemorating the Santa Fe Chief!

February 18, 2022

Commemorating the Santa Fe Chief!

I have long admired the historic Santa Fe Depot in my adopted hometown of Monrovia, CA. Over the years it fell out of use and into disrepair. But when a new light rail system came through, the station was revitalized and made the centerpiece of a city park. As part of its Art in Public Places program, the City of Monrovia put out a call for artists to decorate several utility transformer boxes in the city, so I jumped at the chance to paint the one at the nearest corner to the station.

My design would commemorate the station in its glory days when the classic Santa Fe Chief passed through on its route from Chicago into L.A.’s Union Station. Working the design around the physical structure of the box was tricky, owing to an additional smaller cabinet added on the back that contained a battery backup.

I’m pleased how the design blends various angles of the station and the train parked there and makes sense as you walk around it. I’m also pleased with the stories that passersby told me while I was out painting the box… Memories of boarding this train in Chicago with their families to start a new life in the Golden State.

Watch this video with the sound turned up to get the full effect!

This public art project is featured in the February ’22 issue of Railroad Heritage Journal, a publication of the Center for Railroad Photography and Art, based in Madison, WI. 

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Had such a great two days at the O..O.S. Cal-Stewart Meet this weekend at the Glendale Civic Auditorium. Had lots of folks stop by my table full of train paintings.

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