Arts for Transit
I went through the subways and I saw, oh my god, this is like something different a lot of people don't know about like what is art in subways about. I was working on that, to be very honest. When I first jumped in, I was blank. I was nothing.
Slowly and gradually. I increased my knowledge and my skills and everything. I think this is the most amazing thing that happened to me in my life. Closing doors. I have always noticed the art in the subway and enjoyed it. As a subway rider, I just love experiencing them and finding new ones. When I get off at a station, you see something like this and it takes your mind off the terrible weather. You see something nice every day, thousands of New Yorkers write the New York City rails. But what would seem like a Monday activity has been turned into a first rate museum experience by the M Ta's Arts for Transit Program. You want to make the transit environment inviting. You want to speak to people, you want to give them something to look at and admire. For 25 years, Arts for Transit has been commissioning artists to create works for permanent installation and subway and commuter rail stations. It adds beauty, it adds character to the stations. The whole point is to make people feel cheerful and happy. Various stations on the Brighton line serviced by the B and Q trains have been undergoing renovations over the past few years. Each artist brings his or her own inspiration to these works. Everyone is real. The man and the woman at the bottom next to the sand castle. That's me and my boyfriend. You can see I was young. Deborah Masters decorated her concrete reliefs at Ocean Parkway with characters she photographed in the Coney Island area. I had to understand what vaudeville was, what the side show was, what kind of people went to the beach, because Coney Island is a very different place than any other place on Earth at Avenues, Jane M. Artist Rita Mcdonald portrays a whimsical and pastoral theme of Brooklyn's past and Mosaic Tile. I chose this pattern as a way of referencing the time period when the original station was built. I believe it was in 1907. The idea was that the modern pattern would strip away and reveal the past pattern. I think it makes people stop and think. I think she did a really good job with the concept and design the mixture of colors. It's very bright, it brightens the commute at Neck Road station. Mary Temple's work is as subtle as it is sophisticated. This piece is called West Wall Morning Light. And this piece is very much about that human desire to stop time. The light on this wall never changes. The leaves never turn brown and fall. That moment is still artist. Vito Acci worked with architects to design the West Eighth Street New York Aquarium Station. Which was inspired by local sites. We thought, why don't we take a model from what's around here? There's Coney Island, there's a beach, there's an amusement park in the same way that waves go up and down. Why don't we try to do that in the station at the Coney Island, Stillwell Avenue Station Artist Robert Wilson's My Coney Island Baby, celebrates the neighborhood in a 370 foot glass brick wall with silk screened iconic images for artists. Arts for transit provides a great opportunity to have their work displayed in highly visible public venues. It's really exciting to see it come to life. It gives an artist a chance to think, maybe I can do something much more part of the every day life of people. It still feels like I have a relationship with those people in some way. It's as good as it gets for an artist. A lot of people stop, even when we're working to put it up, and a lot of people say thank you. Actually, it's a free outdoor museum. You get to see parts of New York you may not otherwise visit, and we're always open.
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