Tidawhitney Lek

Meet Tida

Have you ever noticed the stunning mural on Anaheim Street and Gaviota Avenue? The artist behind it is Tidawhitney (Tida for short) Lek, local Long Beach artist who grew up in Cambodia Town.

Tida grew up in a large family, which you can imagine gets a little tricky for parents to coordinate rides to school. But Tida’s parents found a solution in public transit, encouraging her to begin riding with LBT to get to school. Learning how to use the transit system was a big shift for her.

“The first time I started taking transit I was in middle school. Soon after, I realized there was a big sense of freedom in the way I can travel and navigate,” she shared. From her middle school years at Jefferson, she continued taking the bus going to high school at Woodrow Wilson and onto Cal State Long Beach, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting (those are some LB roots!).

“Transit is such a key role in how a city operates. It really provides a way for people who work to get from place to another. Especially the elderly and lower-income communities. The low fares help with the expense of travel.”

Tida is just one of the artists whose work for POW! WOW! Long Beach will be on display at the First Street Transit Gallery beginning this month.

Learn more about Tida and her art inspired by her Cambodian heritage here!

Thank you for your art and riding with LBT, Tida!

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