In dreams begin responsibilities…   W.B. Yeats

We hope you’ve seen our second Poetry in Motion featuring a poem by Aracelis Girmay titled Noche de Lluvia, San Salvador  and a detail of artwork by Elizabeth Murray  who was commissioned to create a large-scale permanent mosaic artwork called  Stream at 23rd Street-Ely Avenue in Long Island City - Court Square in 2001. The work is described in this podcast. Elizabeth also created another monumental mosaic work for the New York City Subway system: Blooming  at 59th St – Lexington Avenue.

Leading the way for female painters in the 1960s and 70s, Murray was an important player in the art world. Often alluding to every-day objects in her work, her strong forms and unconventional construction technique put her at the crest of the abstract movement. She drew inspiration from painters like De Kooning and Cezanne, from life, and from everyday images in cartoons, comic strips, and street art. 

Have you discovered Blooming during your travels in the city? It’s an amazing all-encompassing installation.  We like to think of it as a glorious hidden treasure in the vast labyrinth that is the New York City subway system.  The boldly bright stepping shoes and steaming coffee cups were included in the design to represent “part of the ritual of every morning or evening subway trip”. So true. The images are intended to “stimulate thoughts about passage, as does the poetry”. The work was fabricated by Miotto Mosaics.

Inspired lines of poetry from William Butler Yeats:  In Dreams Begin Responsibility and Gwendolyn Brooks: Conduct Your Blooming in the Noise and Whip of the Whirlwind are integral to this permanent work. We are so happy to share Elizabeth Murray’s incredible project with you as this year’s National Poetry Month draws to a close. But keep your eye out because we’re celebrating poetry all year long. Look for new Poetry in Motion in subways and taxis!

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