New Mosaic Subway Art at The Grand Street Station in Brooklyn
(4 min read) From eclectically modern to colorful cinematic, the Brooklyn subway is graced by some truly terrific works of art. The freshest addition to this magnificent underground gallery is a glorious mosaic installation created by famous Puerto Rican artist, Glendalys Medina.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s Arts & Design program was created back in the 1980s with the aim of overseeing the careful selection of artists and installations of artworks in subway and rail stations across the city. Since its inception, it has become the biggest site-specific public art program in the whole world and it just keeps getting better.
Brooklyn is one of the most popular neighborhoods in New York and as such it boasts more subway stations than any other area. Its subway walls are seemingly constantly artistically evolving in order to make rides through this Manhattan borough brighter and more interesting.
Glendalys Medina’s subway mosaic art is heavily inspired by diverse and colorful Brooklyn neighborhoods. During the (“terrible, horrible, no good, very bad”) COVID-19 pandemic, this talented artist would walk around Bushwick and Williamsburg, attentively observing and cultivating gratitude for all of the people and places that surrounded her. Those long walks were exactly what inspired Gratitudes of Grand.
This marvelously vibrant mosaic installation covers nearly 340 square feet inside Grand Street’s busy subway station. It consists of two panels of the highest quality glass mosaic tiles made and installed by Miotto Mosaic Art Studios. One glass panel stands on the Brooklyn-bound platform, while the other is on the opposite, Manhattan-bound platform mezzanine.
Both marvelous panels feature clusters of interlocking geometric forms, reminiscent of schematic design drawings or map details. The panel on the Brooklyn-bound side boasts colors of the national flags of Bushwick and Williamsburgh residents. These colors include those from the Lenape tribe, as well as Pan-African, Puerto Rican, Italian, Irish, and Dominican Republic flags.
The panel on the Manhattan-bound platform represents various changes in the neighborhood through the seasons. For this panel, Medina drew the elements from the Moore Street Market, a nearby church, birds in the summer, or the collar of a passing doggie.
“This artwork is an act of gratitude to those who built and transformed this neighborhood throughout history,” Medina said in MTA Arts & Design’s press release. “It has been an honor to create something lasting that I hope will resonate with those to come.”
Medina’s masterpiece is an integral part of an ongoing renovation project. We are curious to see what else will be remodeled and embellished in Brooklyn’s vast underground.