BRONX BOUND

New MTA public art projects in train stations along the

Artist's Statements

 

Bronx Park East Station 2 and 5 lines
Candida Alvarez
The challenge of public art is what makes it interesting. As an artist who prefers to paint and draw, I enjoy the opportunity of placing my work in the world, where it is always available.

Birds share air space with us, and many of us rarely pay attention to them. But they are here with us and for some they provide wisdom, insight and song. My birds are ordinary. I wanted to subvert them and make them invisibly large and regal. By doing that, the birds in their emptiness give attention to their transparency and how they hold a space for the trees, the bushes, the snow, the branches, the wind, the sky and the leaves to exist, like a still-life painting…where the space outside of the object really creates the form of the object… My birds are very still. They become templates of the possibility that wind and air filled them once and they have left a mark...like a footprint in the snow.

Simpson Street Station 2 and 5 lines
Lisa Amowitz
This project presents the notion that structures, although built to outlast their architects, are fragile entities. Before September 11th we took our buildings and what they mean to us for granted. We assumed that they would always be there as a backdrop to our daily dramas. The vulnerability of our constructions is frightening. Buildings after all, are only glass, concrete and metal. The effort and creative thought that went into them, and the use they are put to, is where their power lies.

This project represents my personal reaction and testament to how New York City struggled to regain its spirit after the devastating attack. It also represents the Bronx, continuously renewing itself and blooming with spirit in many unexpected places as well as the vibrant spirit of the individual, struggling to find what is beautiful in what is often ugly, struggling to renew oneself after devastation.

I have chosen flower imagery to represent this spirit of renewal rebirth, and rebuilding. Flowers return after the bleakness of winter. They are like a face turned inside out with the spirit showing on the outside. Flowers help us to embrace the beautiful mystery of life pulsing through each person in every building in this city. Flowers can be destroyed and still grow back to bloom another season.

This project may not be permanent or it may outlive its creator. Hopefully it will become part of the urban landscape and also part of the mental landscape of the weary traveler who will appreciate the love its creator put into it. My wish is that in viewing this art one senses that the spirit that flows through the streets and buildings of the city is part of them and they are part of it, and that as long as they are alive their spirit is stronger than any building man can build or destroy.

Pelham Parkway Station 2 and 5 lines
Tomie Arai
Pelham Parkway is a tree-lined boulevard that connects Pelham Bay Park with the Bronx Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo. Because both the White Plains Road line and the Jerome Avenue line are also within the vicinity of large parks in the Bronx, I have chosen to honor these sites with a panorama of trees and plant life indigenous to New York City.

Fall foliage, spring blossoms and summer wildflowers accent glass inserts of historical photographs from Bronx neighborhoods. Ten photographs were chosen from the archives of the Bronx County Historical Society to represent the community surrounding the station. These images will be screened and fired onto glass. Spanning a period from 1899 to 1969, they include views of Prospect Parkway, White Plains Road, Tremont Avenue and specific numbered streets that cross the path of the elevated tracks of the Number 2 subway line.

The title, “Back to the Garden,” is taken from the lyrics of a Joni Mitchell song.

Gun Hill Road Station 2 and 5 line
Andrea Arroyo
These works titled My Sun (Mi Sol), My Planet (Mi Planeta) and My City (Mi Ciudad), are inspired by life in New York City where nature, diversity and the environment harmoniously interact.

In my work, I celebrate nature and humanity while examining the notions of gender, race and identity. My interest in the human form derives from my background in dance.

Burnside Avenue Station 4 line
Laura Battle
Surely whoever invented the wheel must have been looking up. When we look at the moon, we consider our place in the universe and imagine destinations beyond our reach. We look to the orbit of the planets around the sun to understand night and day. We leave in the morning, we return at night. Motors, industry, and ultimately transportation itself were no doubt born out of this singular encounter between man and sphere. My project for the Burnside Avenue Station windows links the universe with wheels-in-motion through forms and structures common to both

Windows in an elevated station present a unique opportunity for the subway rider—that of looking out and up. As I began to consider the possibilities for these in particular, I thought about the greatest of windows throughout the history of architecture, the rose windows, which have dramatically and spiritually embellished architectural spaces with their symmetry and luminous color. The sun came to mind immediately. I imagined its circle looming large. I though about wheels, then arrived at the idea of playing with the geometries of circles as a way to link planetary orbs and wheels. Both are geometries, timeless in form, an important consideration for any permanent work of art.

Influenced by a mosaic floor pattern from the terrace at the Piazza Campodiglio in Rome designed by Michaelangelo, I included these round, oculus designs in my paintings and drawings. I remembered how much the station longed for color and quickly arrived at blues and yellows for my palette, for their reference to day and night, and for their uplifting juxtaposition.

I look forward to the possibility that passengers hurrying to a train or coming home from a long day at work might pause for a moment or two to look at these windows. I believe that their spirits would rise and that they would briefly be transported to another place. Everyone can enjoy the timeless geometries found in the cosmos and ponder their application here on earth.

Mt. Eden Avenue Station 4 line
Amir Bey
The original designs submitted to the MTA Arts for Transit program were etchings on copper foil that are part of an on-going series of mine, The Procession of Folk. This series is devoted to the notion of people as waves and streams whose movements can be seen as processes of social evolution.

The face is the key component for this series because of the simplicity of the features of the face, and how those features can describe the most unique characteristics of an individual. Since the vast vocabulary of expressions of the face is universally understood, the face is both personal and communal. A train station such as the Mt. Eden Avenue station is an appropriate venue for The Procession of Folk.

While I have carved and cast many sculptural designs in stone, bronze, plaster, and other materials that are devoted to that series, The Procession of Folk #3 installation is twelve faceted glass windows and is also two-dimensional. I feel proud and fulfilled, not only as an artist whose work will be seen and possessed by a community, but also as an individual who rides the subways frequently and is permitted to contribute to that environment with its currents of daily public movement. In this way, the windows will be taking a life and direction of their own through the use and interpretations made by others, and will reach beyond my personal dreams in ways that I would not be able to imagine
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Allerton Avenue Station 2 and 5 lines
Michele Brody
Working with the layouts for the 2 and 5 red and green lines as they run from the Bronx through Manhattan to Brooklyn, the four Mandalas that I created for the Allerton Avenue Station were derived from layering, twisting and turning the outlines of green and red into a series of intertwining radiating patterns.

These Mandalas were generated with the desire to coat the train platform with a central abstract image of color, light and form. From up close, or afar, each Mandala is meant to at first dazzle the viewer with color and light, then upon closer inspection, reveal a central structure inspired by the mark of subway lines themselves. Their meanings are open to interpretation, and are meant as a form of meditation for the passing public and subway riders.

170th Street Station 4 line
Dina Bursztyn
“Views from Above” captures the essence of certain poignant moments I have experienced while riding on the elevated tracks in the Bronx. The time is sunrise, or most often, sunset.

The sky unfolds in brilliant colors—the train seems to be riding among clouds, everything is coated with a glowing halo and the mind becomes porous.

Reality, memories and dreams overlap.

West Farms Square/East Tremont Avenue Station 2 and 5 lines
Naomi Campbell
My work is an organic response to the interwoven relation between man and nature. Walking around East Tremont I noticed the train tracks snaking past the Bronx Zoo. The immense green space of the Zoo with all its animals is what caught my eye. Coming from a strong background in art and animal sciences, I considered it as a twist of fate. I went back to my old sketchbooks filled with a variety of animals in all kinds of shapes and poses. It is what provided the starting point for this project.

Since I was a child, whenever I lived within reach of a zoo, I would always end up there. It was a kind of sanctuary for me in the urban jungle. I decided to bring this idea of an oasis up onto the station platform and transform the environment completely.
Gone were the monochrome colors of the surrounding neighborhood, replaced by a fiesta of animals. Using the animals and abstraction of shapes, I created a new world for the aboveground platform. Using the organic qualities of the medium I chose to explore its properties, pushing them beyond a simple 2-dimensional surface. I am interested in the rhythmical nature of movement as it shapes colors creating a kinetic movement that gives emotional depth and sculptural quality to the otherwise flat medium. The love of form through sculpture and the sensitivity to textures through printmaking lent sensitivity to the form that allowed atmosphere to develop. The idea of chipping away at the medium into facets sought the energy emanating from what I loved about both primitive art and modern art simultaneously.

The final response is a voice of the natural rhythms found in nature that reflect a deeper philosophy often bordering on subtle paradoxes. Clean, simple statements reveal layers of existing thought that run deep like a pool of poetic imagery. The idea of bridges marks my work. Here, I am bridging community, global and interpersonal bridges through a labyrinth of environments formed in glass and touched by the nature of the sun. Working with glass and mosaic is very liberating and is another way of working with art that can be as expressive of the past as is of the future.

241st Street Station 2 line
Alfredo Ceibal
The presence of animals (besides humans) means that we share the space and experience of living in the city. If this is a good experience in most cases and a bad one in some, these animals are here to stay. Such is the case with birds. There are numerous species of birds crossing the skies of New York City. They play in the gardens of houses, in parks, and on rivers, beaches and lakes. Their amazing combinations of colors and their singing add beauty to our lives; their graceful behavior teaches us the art of appreciation and contemplation of the natural environment that surrounds us.

“Permanent Residents and Visitors” depicts an aerial view through the eyes of some of the most common birds living and visiting the city: gulls, ducks, blue jays, eagles, cardinals, geese, and crows, amongst many. Observing birds—the richness of their colors, their flight, and their song—has always inspired me to paint. Appreciating the perspective of birds reaffirms that these creatures are definitely part of our lives. I feel the viewer will be refreshed by the colors and content of this artwork and will be reaffirmed like me by the fact that these creatures are a part of our lives.

Neried Avenue Station 2 and 5 lines
Noel Copeland
The Neried Avenue Station is located near the famous Bissel Gardens, founded in 1993. It is a community garden that provides organic vegetables for organizations such as City Harvest, NYC Charity, and Senior Centers. The garden serves as an education center for adults and children as well as a resource center for the Parks Department and Operation Green Thumb.

I have created nature designs for this station. I think the use of flowers, trees, and animals are appropriate subjects for this site.

Burke Avenue Station 2 and 5 lines
Béatrice Coron
Reading on the subway is a daily commuter activity that is common but highly individual. At the same time the Bronx has been the home and inspiration for many writers. I wanted to celebrate the borough's rich literary heritage that encompasses the voices of writers as diverse as Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Shalom Aleichem, Jack Kerouac, Countee Cullen, Cynthia Ozick, Grace Paley, Allen Ginsberg, Chaim Potok, E.L. Doctorow, and many others. These authors tell the story of the borough from colonial times to suburban and contemporary community developments. Their works help us travel through time, into different social classes and communities making each of us an insider.

In my project Bronx Literature, each glass panel celebrates one writer and the atmosphere of his/her books. The station will present the following books: Ulalume, Edgar Allan Poe; Mottel, the Cantor's Son, Sholem Aleichem; The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin; and El Bronx Remembered, Nicholasa Mohr. Each writer's stories or poems are a window on a particular neighborhood at a particular time. Each of the windows in the image also depicts people reading.

The artwork at the station will make us discover the many aspects of the borough and enrich the everyday activity of commuting.

Jackson Avenue Station 2 and 5 lines
George Crespo
I am both an installation artist and an author illustrator of children’s books. I tapped into my experience as a storyteller for this project.
I designed images representing stories from six different areas of Latin America—The Condor Prince, from Peru; How the Birds Brought the Rain, from Mexico; The King That Wanted to Touch the Moon, from Dominica; How the Sea Began, from The Dominican Republic and Maria Cenicienta: A Puerto Rican Cinderella. The designs were painted in oil on vellum paper.

219th Street Station 2 and 5 lines
Joseph D’Alesandro
Form. I have always found that a simple silhouette can communicate a variety of emotions and qualities. The basic shape of a person can be used to express the components of a personality. Sincerity, happiness, excitement, concern, love—a shape is an amazing tool to an artist. He uses it to capture an essence. In these panels, I have chosen silhouette to depict the personality of a populace—a truth we can each find inside ourselves.

Color. Color is the most stimulating component of everything we see. Here, different colors are treated with equal importance. A variety of colors represents a mixture of cultures, nationalities and ethnicities as well as our diverse individualities. Vibrant colors, vibrant people. Simultaneously, the colors are used as a complement to a series of tessellations—patterns created by the repetition of geometric shapes. In the work of M.C. Escher, rich landscapes are developed by using the negative space that comes to life when two geometric forms overlap each other. In this case, I thought it would be an ideal marriage of form and theme to merge this style with the silhouettes. Using all aspects of color—tonality, hue, placement, contrast, and saturation—I wanted to distinguish foreground from background, positive from negative. I strived to achieve an overall effect of simple yet complex design. It is the very quality that I find fascinating about people.

The beauty of imagination, what sparks it?

Theme. The feeling I take with me when I view a piece of art is a direct result of its theme. The figures I’ve used are subjective. There is flexibility in their style and there is, always room for further exploration. I serve the people that appreciate small wrinkles in time. My goal is to achieve a simple reaction.
A smile

174th Street Station 2 and 5 lines
Daniel Del Valle
The Bronx River is an artery that flows from the South Bronx up to Westchester County. It crosses through many neighborhoods, parks, and passageways. For the last several years the Environmental Protection Agency has been making efforts to restore the river—cleaning and preserving the landscape for the community to enjoy.

My work is a representation of a group of people taking a canoe ride up the river, visiting famous sites like the Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Gardens, and passing through Bronx neighborhoods. It also represents events that have become traditions in the Bronx such as the Golden Ball Festival. In my representation people take a canoe ride up the Bronx River, make masks, draw outdoors, plant new trees, and clean up the environment.

Not everyone can take a magical trip on the river to see these sites but the 2 and 5 trains allow people to travel to these locations. I have designed graphic floral motifs for the niches that are situated on the outside of the train platform. They represent the simple reflections of nature that surround us.

Bedford Park Boulevard Station 4 line
Lehman College Station

Andrea Dezso
The idea of a Community Garden came to me during one of my walks around the Bedford Park Boulevard station in the Bronx. I did not see such gardens in that neighborhood, and started playing with the idea of creating an imaginary one to decorate the walls of this stop on the 4 line. People leaving the neighborhood or coming back to it will see colors and shapes that are different from the ones predominantly found on their streets. Children will find critters and bugs hidden at their eye level among the leaves which they may never otherwise see in the city: a grasshopper, a ladybug, blue and green beetles.

Lehman College has a beautiful campus with grass, trees and squirrels, but most of the neighborhood residents don’t see much nature on their streets. The red-brown-tan of the many-storied buildings and the gray of the pavement are the dominant colors on the streets. The extremely wide avenues, the bridges, train tracks, overpasses, garages, tire shops, a Laundromat with a beautiful broken neon sign from the thirties, an old bakery, a couple of modern high-rises in the distance, a few small convenience stores and the occasional small family house give the neighborhood its urban industrial visual flavor.

What if there were more colors, more playful shapes? What if there were more plants? The community gardens I know are lush, rich, unique little islands in the middle of the urban bustle where the planting and decorating reflect the vision of several people. What usually results is a unique composition of plants, colors, and shapes. Neighborhood residents cherish these gardens as places of creativity, nature and beauty.

I approached my subject in a playful way, by combining real creatures with imaginary ones and by working with scale: having monumental size plants and bugs next to a cat of more or less regular size. I hope that my garden will delight commuters and inspire them with its playfulness and intense colors.

225th Street Station 2 and 5 lines
Nicky Enright
Much of my work is inspired by the colors, energy, and motion of the universe. I have been creating fragmented views of the universe that play with notions of space and direction.

For this project I chose to create artwork that would evoke a calm New York City under an energetic sky. Inspired by the subway, I set out to make a reversible design that shows movement in many directions. I created cityscapes where the skies evoke constellations, shooting stars, orbiting planets and moons, and brilliant sunsets. They also suggest motion, interaction, and freedom. These colliding worlds, in their striking diversity, co-exist and are unified by the silhouette of the city.

Aesthetically, the curved forms I created provide a welcome contrast to the angularity of the subway system. The pieces are bright and colorful and meant to be appreciated from a distance, as well as from an intimate perspective. The works offer recognizable city architecture under vibrant skies. In order to honor the people of New York, I painted residential buildings rather than the cliché NYC skyline.

My design is a tribute to New York. Through my art, I hope to encourage commuters to view the city from an unusual perspective, one where the enormity of the city is dwarfed by something much larger. Ultimately, I hope commuters will forget their day-to-day lives for a moment and conjure thoughts about the mysterious universe and our place in it.

Woodlawn Avenue Station 4 line
Josie Gonzalez Albright
My initial submission for this project was a sketchy idea showing children playing in a park or playground against a swirling background. I sketched and photographed children over a six-month period in various stages of play in parks, playgrounds, outside, and inside. Soon this evolved into a study of how children move into and through space, stopping to observe, spinning, crouching, sliding, and running. My young son Billy was a readily available model, and can be seen in my sketches running after the birds and pointing at the kite. Other models were Liam and Madeline Galvin who were inspirations for the swing and bench designs. My visits to the Woodlawn area, with its extensive park surroundings, provided much visual inspiration as well.

During this time I also met with Willet Fabricators in Philadelphia to understand how to design work for fabricated glass. Experimenting with these images, I created collages with silhouette-like figures and marbleized and handmade colored papers. I increased the scale of the children to fill each window frame. For fabrication in the faceted glass, I wanted a lot of clear glass to be used that would capture the transparent quality of the children’s figures. Warm shadows were created by using ‘fritte’ glass crystals that were fused over the glass allowing for more flexibility and detail with the material and adding a bubbly, raised texture to the figures. Lots of clear glass also allows for light from adjacent colored glass pieces to spill over and create exciting, new color combinations as the sunlight moves through the station each day.

I worked with the architects’ measurements from the beginning, visualizing how these images would fit into the 15 designated window spaces for this project. Later, as measurements were corrected, the intended five window designs at the center were changed to four instead to allow for a wider window width that would better complement the look of the fabricated glass. What you see here on view are 13 of the 14 window designs.

In November 2005, nine of the fourteen windows were installed at the Woodlawn Avenue Station, with the remaining five scheduled for installation in the spring of 2006.

Mosholu Parkway Station 4 line
Corinne Grondahl
My work at its core deals with ‘change’—metamorphosis. I got several inspirations from the site as well as the Algonquin meaning of “Mosholu”—smooth stones. “Smooth stones” brings to mind the expression, “diamond in the rough,” the impact of pressure and time on raw material. In fact, the metaphor, river water flowing over rocks speaks of the flow of humanity through the station as well as the process of matter in transition.

I have always loved the expression; “A man never steps in the same river twice.” A river is a live moving force of nature and not a stagnant pool. The time of day, the light or someone’s mood—all these factors will make the impression of this installation “change” on a daily basis.

The panels themselves speak of movement and transition. They stretch beyond the parameters of the framing in all directions. The fact that you are able to see through the panels integrates the inside with the outside. Rather than a place to disembark from, it becomes a destination. “Metromorphosis” alludes to the vascular system of the heart and arteries, which is how I view the transit system, essentially the lifeblood of the city. The side panels represent the arteries and the middle panel, Mosholu Parkway station.

My work has always been about re-appropriating materials. I view recycling as materials in flux—in the process of becoming. “Birth of a Station” reflects this transformation.

The properties of glass are singularly suited for my work. Molten material in suspended animation fully realizes my concept for this station.

233rd Street Station 2 and 5 lines
Skowmon Hastanan
Since I moved from Bangkok to the Bronx in 1973, the New York Botanical Gardens has been a place where I can rejuvenate my spirit when I’m feeling homesick. During my high school years I often walked on Bedford Avenue to the Garden; I volunteered in the Herbarium when my sister was renovating the Enid Haupt greenhouse. It is my sanctuary when I am yearning for Thailand. In its tropical room, I imagine myself back home in my old backyard. Looking at flowers and fruits I can recall their Thai names.

This project is my homage to the Botanical Gardens.

Freeman Street Station 2 and 5 lines
Daniel Hauben
My installation at the Freeman Street station consists of faceted glass panels depicting Bronx street scenes. Faceted glass is similar to stained glass, except that the glass pieces are an inch thick and cemented together with epoxy. This makes them very strong, and able to withstand the onslaught of wind and weather that it will encounter as a piece of outdoor public art on the train platform.

There will be four large panels (four feet by eight feet), with two each installed on the uptown and downtown sides of the train platforms. The panels will be able to be seen from the street below as well. In addition, each indoor area will feature a three-panel alcove window, which will also be a faceted glass version of my original work.

Kingsbridge Road Station 4 line
Mario M. Muller
My aim is to create work that transcends the contexts of chronology. I believe my images would look as good and relevant in 1934 as they do in 2004. And thus will have consequences in 2094.

The four, 3-part compositions act as single cohesive scenes. However, each panel can act individually as well as in diptychs. In environs of demographic diversity, I believe public art should be inclusive and provide relevance. Images need to reflect the cold (coats/hats) and the hot (shorts/skirts) characteristics of New York City. The length of shadows indicates different times of the year. The silhouettes and shadows of my urban motif iconography evoke the fluid and mercurial magic of this urban crossroads. Identity is established through body language and gait rather than the shape of a nose or the logo on a t-shirt.

Images need to be able to be read from near and far. Interaction with the glass windscreen panels will be activated close up from the platform where commuters stand and wait for their trains as well as from across the tracks. When engaging core principles of working in glass, metaphors of windows to other worlds are all but inevitable. I wish to embrace this potential by creating fictional windows to the sidewalk vitality below.

183rd Street Station 4 line
José Ortiz
Using architecture and landmarks, the work that I am presenting is a depiction of the cultural and historical perspective of the area, which is known as the University Heights section of The Bronx. The Bronx takes its name from Bronck's Farms, an early settler in the area. Swedish immigrant, Jonas Bronck’s 500-acre farm lay between the Harlem River and the Aquahung River—now the Bronx River.

The theme of "Many Trails" symbolizes the multiculturalism of this area from the time when Native Americans inhabited the land through today's immigrant population. "Many Trails" also symbolizes travel and finding one's way through the use of visual history. The first panels show the area in which the Siwanoy Nation, a branch of the Mohicans, resided before 1693. In this panel, I have incorporated the "Many Trails" symbol used by the Mohicans to symbolize the many moves they had to endure throughout their history. Panel #3 is a representation of the first settlement of Europeans in the area.

Although there is no actual founding date for University Heights, the creation of this community included the Aqueduct, St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, and the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, which is housed at Bronx Community College. Through the use of architecture and landmarks several panels represent this area and the era of its founding.

Panel #11represents the continuity to the story-—in order to understand where you are going, you must first know where you are coming from. The "Many Trails" symbol appears again as way to connect the historical perspective of people from all walks of life and varied cultures who have found their way to this small lay of the land.

Fordham Road Station 4 line
Moses Ros
In “Patriasana, Wholesomeland,” figures dance in a joyful frieze across the Fordham Road station on the IRT line, their brilliant colors and undulating forms evoking the vibrant nature of Fordham Road, a shopping mecca for the Bronx. The figures’ shaped background panels represent basic wholesome items sold in the shops lining Fordham Road, such as an umbrella, a hat, a coat, boots, pants, and gloves. The border between the panels and the rectangular window edge is made of translucent glass, allowing the background colors of Fordham Road to provide a muted backdrop.

These original images were created as paintings on canvas and carved wood, translated into fused and faceted glass windows. The style of the paintings is inspired by the printmaking process—the wood, for example, has a curved background, like the block plates used in printmaking. Abstracted figures on rectilinear canvas attached to the curved freeform wood create a finished, assembled work of art.

176th Street Station 4 line
Juan Sanchez
The challenge was to create art that is attractive, beautiful and stimulating for an urban train station. I wanted to visually convey a spirit reaching and striving. Human hands reaching out toward each other became the symbolic vehicle.

Hands are visually beautiful with corporal, theatrical and expressive possibilities. With faceted color glass as an ideal medium, I wanted to create images of certain transcendence; something universal and experiential. I photographed hands and digitally converted them into colorful silhouettes against contrasting color backgrounds. From digital laser prints, I cut and tore them to create a series of mixed media collages using watercolor, Color Aid paper and color pencil. You can see hands from all directions reaching out for life, meaning and fulfillment.

From these collages, multicolored faceted glass structures were fabricated. The transition from photography, digital processing, collage, and cartoon drawings to the final faceted glass windows and windshields was an extremely stimulating creative process. There were pleasant surprises along the way and the end results for the artist was pure joy.

I hope that these colorful and dynamic faceted glass works will transmit that same pleasure and joy to people waiting for their next trains to arrive. I want them to feel their humanity commuting; reaching out everyday.

167th Street Station 4 line
Carol Sun
“After living in the Bronx, one appreciates its many virtues and expresses gratitude that it is what it is and not what others say it should be.”'

“Despues de haber vivido en el condado del Bronx, uno aprécia sus muchas virtudes, y al mismo tiempo expresas gratitudes, que es lo que es y no lo que otros dicen lo que el condado debe de ser.”

“Home is where the heart lives.”

“El hogar es donde el Corazon vive.”

This proposed artwork represents my metaphorical reflection of the Bronx within a heroic time-scape comprised of the past, present, and future.
Using a caterpillar’s metamorphosis, I want to show, simply and directly, the idea that the Bronx is a place whose changes are a part of its history, and whose families can look back and forward in time with pride, knowing that they are responsible for many positive changes and beautiful transformations to come.

In my panels I combine radiant outdoor urban life with the calm, simple pleasures that are experienced in the home and community. The day is just beginning and a warm cup of coffee sits on the kitchen table. Outside in the breeze, ubiquitous sparrows playfully flutter and build their nests while the school bus waits for students. Next to the apartment building the quiet basketball court promises afternoon games. These are not just bustling experiences of the inner city, but the equally valuable notes struck by the more tranquil family life that defines much of the Bronx.

This image of the Bronx is based on my personal experiences from living there as a child as well as relationships I have with the community as a mature artist. Like many families, we had few luxuries—our lives revolved around my father’s job and our education. I fondly recall the small daily treasures—eating candy from the penny candy store, exploring the many parks, riding my bicycle through the streets, marveling at vast sunrises and sunsets, summers at Orchard Beach, walking through the New York Botanical Gardens with my father, indulging in sweet ice cream sundaes on Fordham Road, and the excitement of school trips to the Bronx Zoo.

I have witnessed the challenges faced by the borough—the problems of urban decay, white flight, and racial and geographic prejudice. I have seen the environment and population go through dramatic and trying cycles of change. But looking at the Bronx, I continue to see the positive influences prevail as neighborhoods find new ways to thrive. These images express my belief that we can gather strength and inspiration from daily life as it is modestly lived in the vibrant Bronx.

*The first quote is by Sidney Sun, the artist’s brother

Prospect Street Station 2 and 5 lines
Marina Tsesarskaya
I have created several panels representing stylized city views of the Bronx that can be seen from the Prospect Street station. The panels represent the seasons: springtime where you see blooming flowers and budding trees in front of buildings; summer—a landscape full of green trees and flowers; fall, with falling leaves and darker skies; and winter, with snow, and trees without leaves.

A series of four panels contain the same ironwork ornament design that was used in the Prospect Street station, as well as many other Bronx train stations when they were originally constructed. These panels depict stylized buildings along with irises, connecting the built environment with nature. It is intended for installation on the east side of the station so that the sunlight can be seen through the glass. The series include images of the Bronx by night along with orange lilies, known to remain in bloom at night. These panels are intended for the west side of the station.

I have chosen these images because they represent timeless views of the Bronx, the four seasons that change constantly, flowers that represent the borough’s connection to nature, and the historical ironwork ornament that connects all of these images with today’s Bronx train stations.