Along the Way
MTA Arts for Transit
Publication Date: November 2, 2006
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Along the Way is a tour through New York's underground museum of contemporary art, works commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit for the subway system and commuter rail lines. Vivid murals by Roy Lichtenstein and Romare Bearden convey the energy of Times Square, while Robert Wilson's Coney Island Baby captures the festive spirit of the city's playland. Currently underway are a photographic installation by Mike and Doug Starn at the new Fulton Street Transit Center and a large-scale ceramic wall drawing by Sol LeWitt at Columbus Circle.
Initiated in 1985, this collection of site-specific public art now encompasses more than 150 pieces in mosaic, terra-cotta, bronze, faceted glass, and mixed media. The program takes its cue from the original mandate that the subways be designed, constructed, and maintained with a view to the beauty of their appearance, as well as to their efficiency. Arts for Transit is committed to the preservation and restoration of the original ornament of the system and to commissioning new works that exemplify the principles of public art, relating directly to the places in which they are installed and the community around them.
Sandra Bloodworth has been director of MTA Arts for Transit since 1996.
William Ayres is chief curator at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, New York, and editor of 19th Century, the magazine of the Victorian Society of America.
Noted actor Stanley Tucci has been riding the New York City subways for the past thirty-five years.