art for all and all for art.
I have always been a firm believer that the arts, consciously or unconsciously, leave a positive impact on most people’s minds. We tend to go to museums and art shows, not just to see the talented artists, but to perceive and gain a new understanding of another perspective. Though these pieces may be very simple and generic, they have been seen and portrait in a way our eyes and minds are not particularly used to. That is the beauty of art; it unites us just by showing how different or alike we can see, think, and feel. How wonderful to use this unity factor and use it on the streets, in the alleys, in the parks, and better yet, around our transportation system.
New York’s Arts for Transit Director, Sandra Bloodworth, first joined Arts for Transit in 1988 as a manager, before becoming deputy director in 1992 and then director in 1996. Her role, as the director of Arts for Transit, is promoting arts through temporary posters, Art Cards, Lightbox and secondly, the larger mission of commissioning permanent art for stations being rehabilitated under a capital program. They have installed over 230 works of art in MTA NYC Transit, Long Island Railroad, Metro North, and MTA Bridges and Tunnels. They also promote excellence in urban design via advocating, “that good design does not have to cost more money. In fact, really excellent design can save you money.”
Arts for Transit also includes music in order to promote their ideas of better design and the overall promotion of the arts within a public setting. What better way to involve residents, in such fast paced lives, than live art? Not only would this, in a public unconscious way, help gather people together for maybe just a smile, it also promotes a better use of space, whenever and wherever possible. Sandra Bloodworth explains about one of the art works in a subway station, “We’re sitting in front of the perfect example of how the art can be about the people and the place, Sol LeWitt’s “Whirls and twirls (MTA)” at 59th Street-Columbus Circle. LeWitt captured the movement of the subway, the flow of people through the station. When you look at this artwork, you feel the motion around you, the energy — and the riders get it, it’s intuitive, we don’t have to explain it.” We may be running late for things, but believe it or not, these “random” piece of art we see everywhere, unconsciously calm us down, make us smile, make us wonder, take us by surprise, motivate some of us, and inspire some. Not to mention a better use of spaces, promoting various infrastructure, and improving the public transit users’ experience.
Whirls and twirls (MTA) (2009) © Sol LeWitt, 59th Street-Columbus Circle Station, A, B, C, D, 1 lines, MTA New York City Transit. Commissioned and owned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts for Transit. Photo: Rob Wilson.
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