The new 63rd Street station on the Second Avenue subway line in Manhattan, which opened January 1, 2017, features artwork by Pratt Institute alumna and Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts Jean Shin (B.F.A. Painting ’94; M.S. Art History & Criticism ’96). Shin was selected in 2010 by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Arts & Design, which commissions permanent art for subway and commuter rail stations, to create the major work. The Second Avenue subway line has been under discussion by city officials for almost a century, and the first phase of the project, with stations at 63rd, 72nd, 86th, and 96th Streets, has taken almost a decade to complete.
The 63rd Street station features Shin’s Elevated, a ceramic, mosaic, and glass installation depicting images selected from archival photographs at the New York Historical Society and the New York Transit Museum that capture the dismantling of the Second Avenue elevated line. The reflective installation will allow subway riders to see themselves in the images, fusing contemporary urban life with reminders of the city’s history.
Shin, along with artists Chuck Close, Vik Muniz, and Sarah Sze, whose work is also displayed in the new Second Avenue subway stations, was featured in the “Presentation on New York State’s Public Arts and Preview of the Art Installations in the New Second Avenue Subway,” which was held at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Manhattan on December 19. VIP guests attending the event were addressed by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast, and MoMA Director Glenn Lowry. New York Times writer Randy Kennedy highlights Shin’s project in “Art Underground: A First Look at the Second Ave Subway” (Dec 19, 2016).
Another of Shin’s major public art commissions, Reclaimed, which was commissioned by the City of Seattle Office of Art and Culture, was dedicated at a public ceremony earlier in December at the North Transfer Station in Seattle, WA.
Shin’s first MTA commission in 2008 titled Celadon Remnants is displayed at the Long Island Railroad’s Broadway Station in Flushing, Queens. Other works by Shin, who is known for her monumental installations that explore identity and community, have been exhibited in major museums nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Shin is one of a number of Pratt-affiliated artists whose work has been commissioned by MTA Arts & Design. The MTA’s subway and commuter rail stations also feature recent works by Undergraduate Architecture Professor Haresh Lalvani (M.S. Architecture ’72), whose MORPHING88 series of 24 permanent art panels was installed in 2015 at the 88th Street subway station in Queens; and Xenobia Bailey (B.F.A. Industrial Design ’77), whose work Funktional Vibrations, consisting of large-scale mosaics, was installed at the 34th Street-Hudson Yards Station that opened in 2014. Also on display in the system’s stations are works by Graduate Architecture and Urban Design Adjunct Associate Professor Vito Acconci; former faculty members Jacob Lawrence and Faith Ringgold; and alumni Duke Riley (M.F.A. Sculpture ’06), Ray Ring (B.F.A. ’67), Lynn Savile (M.F.A. Photography ’76); and Pat Steir (B.F.A. Graphic Arts ’62).
(photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority)