Exhibition Tuesday! Today we feature two wonderful AFT artists who have exhibitions up right now:

Ellen Harvey completed two AFT projects: The Home of the Stars at Metro-North’s Yankee Stadium- 153rd Street and Look Up, Not Down at Queens Plaza. She is featured in a solo show, “NOW at the Corcoran, The Alien’s Guide to the Ruins of Washington, D.C.” on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C until October 6, 2013.

Donald Lipski, who created the shimmering permanent sculpture, Sirshasana, above the market of Grand Central Terminal, recently installed Hiding My Candy, at San Diego New Central Library. 


Donald Lipski, Sirshasana, 1998.

Donald Lipski, Hiding My Candy, 2013.

Ellen Harvey, Alien Souvenir Stand, 2013. 

Ellen Harvey, Home of the Stars, 2009.


Complimenti a Sarah Sze! She is representing the United States at the 2013 Venice Biennale with her installation Triple Point.  Wonder how her intricate and abundant 3-D work would look in 2-D??  Well you’re in luck, because Sze will transform the walls of the 96th street station on the Second Avenue subway line …  and here is one of her proposal drawings.  We can’t wait to see this artwork in full bloom!  

Top Image: Sarah Sze, Triple Point (Planetarium), 2013. © Sarah Sze, courtesy of the artist, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, and Victoria Miro gallery, London Photo Credit: tom powel imaging

Bottom Image: Sarah Sze, Proposal Drawing for 96th Street subway station. 


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!


Our newest Lightbox exhibition is up! Greetings from Coney Island, includes eight stunning panoramic time-lapsed views of the famed seaside amusement park by photographer Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao. Located at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays subway complex, these photographs were all taken as dusk turned into evening on one summer’s night. Coney Island is back in business and these photos showcase its appeal and attractions. With his long exposures that capture and compress time within each frame, Liao brings the viewer into the picture through his technique of wide angle and expansive viewpoint.  

 Above: Greetings from Coney Island, selected photographs by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao, 2013.


The A train in the Rockaways began restored service today! So, if you are heading out to the beach; check out the wonderful artwork along the line! 

From Top: Jason Rohlf, Mauricio Lopez, George Bates, Simon Levenson, Jill Parisi, Ingo Fast, Callie Hirsch, Michael Miller, K K Kozik, Duke Riley.


In Memoriam

We are saddened to share news of the passing of two stellar artists, whose artwork graced subway stations in New York City, where they are seen by thousands each day.  We celebrate Jack Beal’s and Helene Brandt’s artistic achievements and mourn their loss.  Heartfelt condolences to their family, friends and admirers.

Jack Beal


Trained as an abstract expressionist, Jack Beal soon turned toward figuration in his works, eventually achieving great success and becoming a leading realist. His dramatic murals The Return of Spring and The Onset of Winter located at the Time Square-42nd Street station link the subway to the classical Greek myth of Persephone, exploring the relationship between goings-on above ground and below.  They are a stunning pair of mosaics and fitting tribute to the artist’s achievement. 

Beal died peacefully August 29, 2013 in Oneonta, NY. He is survived by his wife, artist Sondra Freckelton.


Helene Brandt


Helene Brandt created  vibrant and expressive sculpture in metal that evokes energy and movement.   In her native Bronx, she collaborated with Acconci Studio and di Domenico + Partners at the 161st Street- Yankee Stadium station and created a site-specific mosaic artwork.  Within the walls that open in Vito Acconci’s shifting architectural forms Helene Brandt’s Room of Tranquility is revealed, where all is peaceful, still and reassuring, achieving a place of serenity, so close to the roar of the stadium crowds. 

Brandt died suddenly on August 27, 2013 on vacation in North Carolina.  She is survived by her husband, Dr. Philip Brandt,  children and grandchildren.

Images: Jack Beal, The Onset of Winter, 2005.

Helene Brandt, Room of Tranquility, 2002.

Photos by Rob Wilson. 


Artist Christopher Russell’s work, Bees for Sunset Park, at the 9th Avenue station on the D Line in Brooklyn is now open! Centered on the image of the bee, Russell imagined the station as a kind of beehive, a center of activity, with many individuals converging, darting in and out, to and from their many pursuits. Incorporating this imagery, Russell designed two sets of gates and finials for the fences that surround the open spaces at each side of the station. The cast bronze gates are based on honeycombs, greatly magnified, which are populated by equally magnified bees depicted in their crowds, busily occupied.

Images: Christopher Russell, Bees for Sunset Park, 2012.


Less than a week away! Everyone get ready for Nick Cave’s HEARD•NY in Grand Central Terminal co-presented by MTA Arts for Transit and Creative Time. From March 25–31, 2013, Chicago-based artist Nick Cave will transform Grand Central Terminal with 30 life-size, multi-colored horses, peacefully “grazing” and periodically breaking into choreographed movement to the accompaniment of live music. #IHEARDNY

Above: Photograph by James Prinz, Courtesy of Nick Cave Studio


The re-vamped Central Ave/ M-line station in Bushwick re-opens today! Check out our newest project by Brooklyn-based  artist George Bates, “Generation Dynamica”. The stainless steel artwork celebrates our  richly diverse communities which are shaped by the contributions and aspirations of the individuals who live in them. This is George’s second project for Arts for Transit. If you are heading to the Rockaways to surf this weekend, visit his glass project “Symphonic Convergence” at Beach 36th Street.


No plans for this Memorial Day weekend? Take a trip north to MASS MoCA and check out Jason Middlebrook’s newest exhibition! Middlebrook created the beloved AFT piece Brooklyn Seeds at Avenue U on the Q Line in Brooklyn a couple of years back. His show, My Landscape will feature a dozen new works as well as a 28-foot high functioning fountain suspended from the gallery ceiling. The show opens this Sunday and will certainly be worth the beautiful drive up!


Jason Middlebrook, Brooklyn Seeds, 2011.

Jason Middlebrook, Inspired by Asian Pear Wrapping, 2012.


One of our D Line artists, Portia Munson (artist of the Fort Hamilton station), has a lovely show opening tonight! Check out Reflecting Pool, Munson’s fourth exhibition at the P·P·O·W gallery, from 6-8PM this evening.

 Above: Portia Munson, Gardens of Fort Hamilton Parkway Station, 2012.    Portia Munson, selected images from Reflecting Pool


Last week, Americans for the Arts held their annual convention in Pittsburgh and presented the Public Art Network 2013 Year in Review. We are very happy to announce that Leo Villareal’s project Hive (Bleecker Street), installed last summer at the Bleecker Street/Lafayette Street Station on the 6 Line, was honored as one of the top 50 exemplary and innovative public art works created in 2012. Over 350 public art projects were submitted from around the U.S. Wahoo! Here are some great shots of this dynamic LED sculpture.

Images: Leo Villareal, Hive (Bleecker Street), 2012. Photos by James Ewing


Looking for some great art exhibitions to visit this summer? Starting today and running each Tuesday throughout the summer, we’ll list some current exhibitions (many in NYC) of our very own AFT artists. First off:

Jason Rohlf’s, project Respite is installed at the Mott Avenue station in the Rockaways. His work is currently featured in “Reticulate” at the McKenzie Fine Art Gallery in NYC, on view until August 17, 2013.

Xin Song, the artist whose project Tree of Life is installed in the Bay Parkway Station in south Brooklyn,  will showcase her work, FIVE ELEMENTS: A Celebration of Transformation by Xin Song in an exhibition along five blocks on Broadway from West 36th Street through West 41st Street beginning Thursday July 11, and running until August 25, 2013.


Xin Song, Tree of Life, 2012.

Xin Song at work on Five Elements. Photo by Courtesy of FCBID

Jason Rohlf, Soundings, 2013.

Jason Rohlf, Respite, 2011.


We are so excited to introduce our newest permanent project! Located at the Smith-9th Street station in Brooklyn (the highest station in the subway system) Brooklyn-based artist Alyson Shotz was influenced by the local maritime history of the surrounding Gowanus & Red Hook communities to create a series of windows and large wall mosaic in her work, Fathom Points + Compass Bearings and Nautical Charts - Gowanus & Red Hook from 1733-1922. At the 9th Street entrance, four large transom windows, fabricated by Franz Mayer of Munich, are etched with an elegant line drawing depicting an historic plan of a boat hull, built in Brooklyn around 1770. Up ahead, a vivid blue mosaic fabricated by Mosaika dominates the space and riffs on an adapted 1779 nautical map of NY Harbor as seen from the Brooklyn shoreline. Upstairs, there are 26 windows – closed for decades – that now provide stunning views of the harbor and neighborhood with glittering glass featuring historic nautical maps. We love it and think you will, too!

Above: Alyson Shots, Fathom Points + Compass Bearings and Nautical Charts - Gowanus & Red Hook from 1733-1922, 2013.                                     Detail: Window in North Passageway and 1776 Nautical Map

Photo Credit: Rob Wilson and Lester Burg

Have you seen the new Poetry in Motion yet? Chase Twichell’s poem To the Reader: Twilight, is paired beautifully across with a detail from artist Felipe Galindo’s drawing for his glass artwork, Magic Realism in Kingsbridge, located at the 231st Street station on the 1 Line. We love collaborating  with our friends at the Poetry Society of America!


As the weather gets warmer, we hope you’ll take a trip to enjoy the beauty of upstate New York! Hop on the MNR Hudson Line and get off at the newly finished Peekskill Station to see Joy Taylor’s artwork, Jan Peeck’s Vine. Inspired by the natural beauty surrounding Peekskill Station, Taylor recreates local indigenous bindweed plants as imaginative structures that morph from rigid girders into flowing tendrils, leaves and flowers. The artwork begins with a pair of painted steel sculptures on the southbound platform that echo the historic elements of the existing station and free them to run riot in a whimsical overhead design. While you’re in Peekskill, check out the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art for some more great pieces of contemporary art! 

Above: Joy Taylor, Jan Peeck’s Vine, 2012. Photo Credit: Ken Shung