At the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in Millbrae, California, there are 6 sculptures in bronze, concrete and ceramic by Scott Donahue, a public art sculptor. Donahue refers to these works as “Sculpture in the Round” because his “… goal is to compel viewers to move around the artwork and have its meaning slowly unfold.” This BART art is a little surprising the first time you see it as you head toward your train.

Sculpture by Scott Donahue

From one side to the other, you see this figure transition from her family and home in the suburbs to her business world in San Francisco via the BART train on top. (Zoom in on the photos below to see more detail.)

I’ve never had the chance to study all 6 of the sculptures at the station — always running late, I guess. In fact, what this sculpture says to me is, “Late for the train”.

This is my submission for this week’s Travel Photo Thursday on the Budget Traveler’s Sandbox website.

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25 thoughts on “BART Art

  1. Andrea

    Very interesting…never been to Milbrae so I never saw these but I love it when public art works are on show in p,aces where people have to wait around.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Julia, I agree. I like subway art, too. Many airports seem to be incorporating art and other exhibits in the terminals. A good thing!

    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks, Michael. About public transportation — I use it whenever possible, but the system here leaves room for much improvement (at least where I live in the Bay Area.)

  2. jade

    Love this shot- I’m always really interested in metro art- L.A. has some stops that are so filled with art and I always wonder about the artist who were commissioned for such projects. I’d really like to see all 6 and the transition you were talking about.

    1. Cathy Post author

      Thanks, Jade. Unfortunately, this photo doesn’t show the additional work and objects too well. But if you zoom in on it, on the left side you’ll see city buildings etched into the concrete and a couple of sculpted objects — one that looks like a conference room table. If you zoom on the bottom photo on the right, you’ll see the “home” side of things — houses, a family around a table, a “shapes” toy and other things. So from right to left — home to work. At least that’s how I’m interpreting it all!

  3. Leigh

    I am appreciating public art more & more. In Vancouve there is quite a bit near the waterfront but it’s not always obvious – you have to look up sometimes. I love the way art can shock & surprise.
    I can relate to the running late theme …..

    1. Cathy Post author

      This sculpture definitely surprised me the first time I saw it. I had just rushed down the stairs to catch a waiting train and caught a glimpse. I did a double-take — it was so unexpected.

  4. AirTreks Nico

    Hmm. While I’m always supportive of public art, and I do like the overall aesthetic of the Millbrae station, I’m not sure I can get behind this piece. Probably because it looks like a violation of this poor commuter woman’s personal space. Am I the only one who sees that?

    1. Cathy Post author

      There’s certainly a lot going on downtown to keep you busy. But I hope you get to check out some other great places in the Bay Area sometime, too.

    1. Cathy Post author

      I agree – very creative. Check out some of Scott Donahue’s other works on his website when you get a chance. Link is in the article.

  5. Pingback: Vancouver: The Drop | Traveling with Sweeney

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