By Damien Newton, November 14, 2013
The original LADOT TAP cards.
When Metro released special TAP cards for the opening of the Expo
Line, I was intrigued. Why, I wondered, doesn’t Metro do more
interesting things with TAP design all of the time? Why the insistence
on selling these boring blue cards?
Over the past year and a half, we’ve seen some other unique TAP
designs, the CicLAvia Tap Card and the LADOT Transit cards both released
earlier this spring come to mind. But most of us are still using the
boring blue-gray cards. Yes, I said “us.” My CicLAvia TAP card is lost
somewhere in my house with my press credentials.
But while Metro isn’t trying to do anything to liven up our wallets, LADOT is trying again.
LADOT announced earlier this week a collaboration with Downtown Los
Angeles’ Gallery Row Organization to sponsor an artist competition to
design the next wave of LADOT TAP smart cards.This design competition is
the first of its kind in any major metropolitan area in the world that
has a regional smart card system for its public transportation network.
The theme for card
designs is Downtown Los Angeles.The deadline for entries is December 18,
2013.Entry forms, official competition rules and instructions on how to
submit your design are all available at the competition webpage.
Two winning designs
will be chosen, and each artist will be awarded a prize of $500 cash
and a $500 gift certificate to Raw Materials Art Supplies, an art and
architectural supply store in Downtown Los Angeles.Winners will be
selected in mid-January 2014 by a five-person jury panel: Nic Cha Kim
(Gallery Row Organization), Qathryn Brehm (Downtown LA Art Walk), Nathan
Cartwright (The Hive Gallery), and two representatives from LADOT.
Also, as a special award, one of the winning designs will appear in my wallet.