Today, we would like to spotlight painter Olive Ayhens who created two beautiful pieces of artwork for our ONTIME/Grand Central at 100 exhibition. Ayhens hones in on the architectural details from above to create a swirling, bold tapestry of color that conveys the reflection of life both inside and outside Grand Central Terminal. She uses the constellations as the sky above the terminal, freeing them from their earthly architecture. Also, keep a look out for her poster… coming to a subway near you!
What did 2012 look like on New York City’s subways? From video journalist Rebecca Davis’s perspective, it was a mix of loneliness, intimacy, exhaustion, and, of course, smart phone-gazing. Davis’s video Commuters 2012 is a voyeuristic glimpse of life in New York’s connective tissue, the subway—hundreds of snapshots of regular people living their lives underground, selected from more than 3,000 photos she took last year.
“So often on the train we bury ourselves in something we’re reading or music we’re listening to and forget to look around and take in some great human drama that is constantly being played out in New York,” Davis says. The best moments in her video are of children and of couples—kissing, laughing, or just sitting there. “I hope it makes people stop and look more deeply into all the different faces and human moments we encounter each day in a city like New York where privacy is hard to come by.”
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.
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 TEDxCapeMayRecreation 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!
If you’re traveling through the NYC subway this holiday weekend, make sure you stop at the upper mezzanine section of the Times Square/42nd street station for the MUNY Hanukkah celebration! Wendy Sayvetz, a soprano often compared to Judy Collins, Joan Baez and Enya will be serenading the crowds from Noon to 1:00PM this Sunday, December 9th. She will be followed by the Walkabout Clearwater Chorus, formed by theeeeee Pete Seeger to bring an environmental message about the Hudson River, from 1:00 to 3:00pm. Definitely worth a listen…and Happy Hanukkah!