Tuesday, October 8, 2013

For $2.50, A Ride And An Art Show

"Missed Connections" by Sophie Blackall©

On your next New York City subway commute pocket the iPhone and look around. You’ll be surprised by the atmosphere which, in some cases, is literally painted on the walls.

Currently, more than 200 platforms feature permanent displays connecting "to neighborhoods with art that echoes the architectural history and design context of the individual stations." For 25 years, MTA’s Arts for Transit has been choosing the most visionary local artists to adorn the stations using materials already on site—mosaic, ceramic, tile, bronze, steel and faceted glass. The result is a cornucopia of artwork on platforms, walls, gates and transfers all over the city.

My Avenue H stop on the Q-line, for example, is “the city’s only shingled wooden cottage turned transit station house,” rehabbed as Brooklyn Bucolic by artist Ed Kopel. And yes, those are actual bronze rocking chairs at the entrance.

There are other creative projects, too, like the famed Poetry in Motion, Lightbox displays, Posters (which just won a major award), and even podcasts and music.

Go here to look up your station.  As you'll see in this PBS series, Treasures of New York: Art Underground, each is a small masterpiece.


  1. I like the art in Subway.

    Since first time I saw the 'Missed Connections', I always like the drawing. I just stared at it, then look around, and then imagine or recall my memory.
    Riding subway alone could be very interesting and I like it sometimes...when you are not in a rush & the subway car you are on has a enough room to breath(this two conditions are must haha).

    NYC, this big but small place offers a lot of chances to 'connect' with others. Riding a subway, there are a lot of 'connections' you can see, feel, or experience...and I maybe could be one of those 'connection' to someone's eyes.
    To think about it, every Subway ride could be very unique and interesting...like the subway system and its concept, they offer us many kinds of 'connection' all over the place, haha.

    If you haven't watch this video about Sophie and this drawing, check it out when you have a time, it's pretty cool. I totally could related with her mind :)!


    1. What a great clip! She is so talented. We often think of other people on the subway as a nuisance. Blackall thinks of them as art.

    2. Yeah, and I love her way of thinking!

      One of my favorite stories I found while riding subway(in my country) is about 'love'. It happened to me a long time ago but it feels like not so long ago. The story mean a lot to me, it still remains in my heart vividly and sharply. I even wrote an essay about it when I was taking a writing class in America.

      A simple or ordinary thing could be interesting or meaningful, if you decided to give a little bit of attention or chance to it. This artist, Sophie feels it, and through her art, she influences others just like others influence on her!

      By the way, thank you for this blog post you made, Steve. I like your view of "For $2.50, A Ride And An Art Show"! I never thought that way before, but now I do, and it makes subway ride more fun place :)