A frazzled commuter bumps you as you make your way through a crowded subway station. As you approach the platform, your train leaves the station. What could make a day in the frantic New York City Subway better?
Look around. Often we are too busy hustling and bustling to fully appreciate the jewels that are encrusted in the walls of station stops and cars. Wind down and take a local train from the past to the present of New York City subway art.
In the 1980s, the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) started a grand improvement project, installing unique art pieces underground. Standing the test of time, Time Square Mural by Roy Lichtenstein dominates the Times Square station near the 7 line. Ben Snead’s ceramic-tiled mosaic called Departures and Animals depicts symmetrical images of fish and birds. See it in the Jay Street-Metro Tech station station on the F line.
In the subway, you can spot flying people, a modern rendition of Egyptian-themed porcelain enamel, and floating hats, all distributed throughout the city’s cavernous and expansive system, and all waiting for you to discover.
In the last decade the MTA decided to further their dedication to preserving and acknowledging fine art by introducing “art cards” inside subway cars. Grand scroll-like images portray life in the New York subways. These subway art cards exude the same warmth, joy and happiness we might find in a greeting card–just bigger!
Subway art pieces are little comforts, reminding us on our most grueling days in a cramped subway car how to stop just for a moment and enjoy beauty everywhere.