We’ve recently installed a lovely permanent artwork, Dom (Variations) by artist Laura F. Gibellini, which extends across three stations on the M Line in Queens! At the Seneca Avenue and Forest Avenue Stations, (images above) Gibellini created imagery of clothes hanging on clotheslines printed and hand-painted on laminated glass. The garments speak to local residents and an idea of domesticity, bringing a human scale to an otherwise everyday subway passage. Natural elements and branches and trees can be seen through the semi-translucent glass. Overall, the work seeks to inspire an ethereal and dreamy atmosphere that evokes memories of the past and of a dreamed home. We will feature the third section – a vibrant mosaic of Laura Gibellini’s Dom (Variations) soon!
"The most authentic organic way to make music… you see some of the greatest musicians in the world come down here."
Thanks Mr. Bublé! You never know who you’ll hear singing in the subway, as Michael Bublé made a special appearance in front of Nancy Spero’s artwork at the 66th St - Lincoln Center subway station. Don’t forget, MUNY auditions are coming up…Monday, May 13th!
In case you missed last week’s Grand Central Centennial celebration, here is a wonderful video created by ARTINFO featuring Arts for Transit’s permanent artwork throughout the terminal. AFT director, Sandra Bloodworth speaks about the marvelous art, architecture and history of this magical place. Stay tuned to all the Arts for Transit & GCT centennial events here!
On the evening of Grand Central Terminal’s 100th birthday, 135 Improv Everywhere participants staged a surprise performance in the grand windows on the terminal’s west side. Equipped with a variety of LED flashlights and camera flashes, performers appeared suddenly and unannounced along three floors of windows, creating a shower of light for the commuters and tourists below.
Full story: Grand Central Lights | Improv Everywhere
We were so excited to work with Improv Everywhere on this event! Big thanks to everyone involved!
The Grand Central Centennial is just days away! If you are planning on visiting for the celebrations on Friday (or any day for that matter!) take a minute to check out the stunning Sirshasana, by artist Donald Lipski. This sculptural chandelier was created in the shape of a golden-rooted olive tree suspended above the Grand Central Market near Lexington Ave and 43rd Street. Made from aluminum and polyester resin with branches that span twenty-five feet, the tree is covered with 5,000 brilliant crystal pendants that glitter in the morning sunlight. The piece elevates the space, bringing the feel of an outdoor market inside. Lipski drew upon Hindu and Greek lore as an inspiration for this work. “To the ancient Greeks the olive tree symbolized freedom and purity,” he explains. “And the name Sirshasana refers to a yoga headstand posture - the inverted tree…” In addition to alluding to the famous, historic chandeliers found throughout Grand Central, Lipski’s olive tree is a comment on the allure of the exotic and tempting wares sold in the Grand Central market place. Certainly worth taking a look… or better yet a picture!
Above: Donald Lipski, Sirshasana, 1998.
In honor of the Grand Central centennial, we would like to highlight Arts for Transit’s permanent artworkthroughout GCT. First up, artist Ellen Driscoll who referenced the historic constellation ceiling from the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal in her glass, bronze and mosaic relief, As Above, So Below. Located in the Grand Central North passageway, her artwork takes the viewer around the world to the night sky above five different continents, representing myths, civilization, heavens, and the underworld. A close look at any of the faces in the work reveals their diversity, as indeed, the people in these mosaics represent many different backgrounds. However, the artist has altered them to take on the attributes of mythical figures. The work summons the everlasting and the ephemeral, reminding us of our worldly past while we hurry through the station.
Above: Ellen Driscoll, As Above, So Below, 1998.
The new 2013 Art Cards have arrived!! Seen by a billion people each year, AFT commissions artists to create images that are talked about, noticed and admired by riders when they are posted on subway cars throughout the system. This year, we focused in on the Centennial of Grand Central Terminal! Waahhoo 100 incredible years! Artist Marcos Chins envisions a Grand Catwalk — admiring commuters and visitors in their varied, vibrant fashionable costumes and postures with an extra dose of historic architectural design details found at this temple of transportation. Heading to work, band practice, yoga and the like, these travelers journey beneath the iconic celestial sky ceiling in style. Keep your eye out for this gem and for more Grand Central Centennial excitement! Available at www.transitmuseumstore.com
We’re proud that our own MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design Director, Sandra Bloodworth, participated in TEDxCapeMay Recreation and Re-creation, in October. Her talk, Re-creation of Public Spaces, takes you on a visual journey through the MTA’s subway system with a focus on the power of art to transform public spaces. To tell the story of the amazing rebirth of the New York’s subway over the past three decades, Sandra tours stations, both elevated and subterranean, where the introduction of permanent art has transformed the everyday experience of straphangers. Sandra shares a great background story on Arts for Transit and its role in transforming a very public place. Enjoy and share it!
At the Seaford Station on the Long Island Rail Road, artist Carson Fox created Blue Sky Pursuit, consisting of 14 laminated and tempered glass windows. These windows extend the sky creating a bright blue fantasy, filled with butterflies and birds, their flights traced with dots of clear glass that meander, overlap and reveal paths of movement, speaking to migration and the act of travel. The dots also transform the sunlight creating a prismatic effect that enlivens the landscape. Fox used bird and butterfly images inspired from Victorian era engravings, an aesthetic where natural life is a lush and swarming profusion.
The work was created from a process that includes painting on the glass. The 14 windows, eight on the north side of the waiting room and six on the south, combine to create a place for commuters as they mark the start of their day in a space made radiant by the artist’s vision.
Above: Carson Fox, Blue Sky Pursuit. 2009.
Every day is a celebration for someone or something at Times Square, but especially on New Year’s Eve when hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and visitors gather to watch the ball drop. Artist Jane Dickson's artwork “The Revelers” captures the spirit of celebration with her glass mosaics. Consisting of approximately 70 expressive life-size figures, “The Revelers” is located throughout the Times Square-42nd Street subway station. Each person is either in motion, walking, gesturing, linking arms or dancing; all enjoying themselves and each other’s company. So if you happen to be visiting Times Square this evening take a look around, and know we wish you all a “Happy New Year!”
Above: Jane Dickson, “The Revelers,” 2008.
Merry Christmas to all! Please enjoy Robert Kushner’s 4 Seasons Seasoned mosaic which features bouquets of flowers - from every season - that reflect such influences as Dutch flower paintings and Japanese screens at the 77th Street station on the 6 Line. A painter, sculptor and printmaker, Kushner has always been fascinated by organic patterns. A key figure of the Pattern and Decoration movement, he continues to feature vegetal motifs in his works, often along with geometric patterns and architectural shapes. Notice the wintery holly berries just in time for the season. Have a holly, jolly holiday!
Above: Robert Kushner, 4 Seasons Seasoned, 2004.
We have just installed a new Lightbox Exhibition presenting the one…the only… (drum roll please) Marilyn Monroe! Placed in two locations on 42nd Street, the yearlong exhibition features the work of photographer and filmmaker Sam Shaw, known for the famous image of Marilyn in her white dress standing above the Lexington Avenue subway grate. Along with this iconic image, the Lightbox depicts rarely seen images from a 1957 day in Manhattan, in which the two spent wandering the town, allowing Shaw to capture an unguarded and playful Marilyn. Made possible by Duggal Visual Solutions, and the Sam Shaw Archives, the fascinating photographs from that day can now be seen in the 42nd St-Bryant Park on the B, D, F, M station mezzanine. In addition, a super-sized version of the iconic subway grate photograph is on view at 42nd Street and Broadway, just outside the entrance to the Times Square subway complex.
Above: Sam Shaw, Marilyn in New York. 1957
Music Under New York’s Holiday music festival starts today! American Soundscapes will run from December 17th to the 21st, at multiple locations throughout the subway system. MUNY celebrates a distinctly American sound from classical to jazz, drawing inspiration of traditional music from home and abroad. To see the full list of performers and locations, click Here.
Above: Mecca Bodega’s Instruments.