Free Art, $1.7M Art Pondered for Metro Stops

Donated art could include entertaining diodes

There's free art, and then there's $1.7 million art.

Both could be added to Metro stations, both current and future stops.

The free art is being considered for the Farragut North Metro stop on the Red Line, according to the Examiner. Shifting lights "designed to respond to the movement of patrons riding the adjacent escalator" could be donated to Metro by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Golden Triangle BID.  It is the concept of artist Jefre Manuel, who said it is loosely inspired by the maritime travels of Admiral Farragut, for whom the adjacent park is named.

The catch? Metro would have to pay to operate and maintain the light-emitting diodes.

The cost probably wouldn't add up to the $1.7 million that Metro is planning to spend on five pieces of art that would become part of the Dulles Metrorail project, the Examiner reported.

That's a lot of cash to fork over at a time of financial instability. The art will be funded through federal and local money and is already included in the total cost of the project.

With a total project cost of about $5.2 billion, what's $1.7 million among taxpayers?

“As a percentage of the entire program, it’s probably a relatively small item,” said Bob Chase, president of the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance that advocates for more funding for roadways. “Should federal dollars go for this? In a perfect world, probably not.”

Here's hoping that both art projects are more appealing than the new Star Trek video ad being displayed at the Farragut West stop on the Orange Line, which is just kind of tacky.

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