The power of subway art, 20 years later


The 86th St. station on the West Side IRT has long been decorated with mosaic versions of paintings. While the third graders’ art at 59th St. have long been removed, these tiled paintings at 86th St. still give the station a more artistic feel. Today, Times reporter Martin Espinoza chats with some of the artists about the origins of the paintings and what these drawings mean to them 20 years later. It’s a nice New York story about some good that came out of an Arts for Transit program.

Categories : Arts for Transit, Asides

4 Responses to “The power of subway art, 20 years later”

  1. Morgan says:

    How disappointing to take the artwork by children that was installed at the 59th Street station and call it, “rather ugly.” I hope those kids never hear your opinion.

  2. cjstephens says:

    The “artwork” at both 59th Street and 86th Street was both amateurish and, in many cases ugly. What would you expect from children? It sounds like this was meant to be an exercise in raising the self-esteem of a handful of schoolchildren, which is a fine goal, but why did it have to involve foisting these eyesores on blameless commuters for decades? A child’s art looks great on a refrigerator door, but it is extremely rare that it should be seen outside the home, the classroom or the schoolhouse. With all the talent in NYC, is this the best we could do? I think that the examples of the other Arts in Transit projects show that a subway platform can serve as an amazing canvas. We deserve better than what is on display at 86th Street. Pry off the tiles and give them back to their creators, now that their self-esteem is secured.

    • Matt says:

      Dear Lord. Clearly the Grinch hasn’t gone back into his mountaintop cave until the next holiday season yet…

      “Foisting these eyesores on blameless commuters for decades”? Have you honestly seen one person boarding a train at 59th or 86th Streets flip out like you just did? I’m just going to take a wild guess and say that your parents never praised your work on the refrigerator.

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