2012-03-23 / Community

New Art At The End Of The Subway Line

The transformation of Rockaway Line stations took a big step forward with the recent installation of new artwork in the fa├žade of the Mott Avenue terminal building. As the before and after images show, the artwork brings brightness, color and importance to the building, which also received an entirely new interior, easier access to the platform and an elevator.

The artist, Jason Rohlf, created original paintings for the project, which were translated into hand painted laminated glass panels, and treated to achieve his signature textured, multi-layered appearance. Titled “Respite,” the work is on the front wall of the station’s building – and visible to all who enter or leave the station – and on both sides of the elevated platform area where it meets the stairs and elevator. The art encompasses the NYC transit station, beaming light and color throughout the architectural space. “Respite” is an abstracted landscape in a sense, of birds perched on outstretched branches. The branch and bird forms are composed of vertical bands of color against a background that has subtle overlapping circular forms. A series of blue dots float throughout the glass panels, symbolizing captured conversations, as a variety of colors and circles echo the dynamic environment both on the train and in the community. The colors in the birds blend into the branches, symbolizing the connection between people and their community.

The series of glass panels has three distinct color themes (green for dawn, blue for midday and orange for dusk) and relate to the strong links between nature and light in the seaside community.

“As an artist, this project was a fantastic opportunity to really impact the architecture and create work that serves to reconnect the viewers with the surrounding landscape,” said Rohlf, as he inspected the newly installed work on a chilly March morning.

Each of the stations on the Rockaway line received an allocation for original, permanent artwork which was commissioned through a selection panel that included representatives from the Rockaways.

Lester Burg, MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design project manager said, “It is wonderful to see the appreciative response from riders coming off the train, when new art is being installed. When they smile, it means we’ve done a good job.”

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