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Photograph: Courtesy Jason MandellaQueens of the Night (2021) © Katherine Bradford, NYC Transit 1 Avenue Station. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design.

These gorgeous new mosaics are coming to L train stations

Will the new art make the subway wait a bit less tedious?

Written by
Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

Commuting on the ever-dreaded L train is about to get a bit more beautiful: New mosaic artwork has been added to two L train stations. 

The new pieces, "Queens of the Night" by Katherine Bradford at the First Avenue Station, and "No Less Than Everything Comes Together" by Marcel Dzama at the Bedford Avenue Station, can both be found on the Canarsie-bound lines. These installations culminate the upgrades and improvements at both stations as part of the L Train Project, which notoriously shut down weekend service in 2019 

"Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" depicts the sun and moon rising and setting on the city, along with a constant flow of people. 400 square feet of glass mosaic are now at the mezzanine and new stairways at the Driggs Avenue end of the station. 

Photograph: Courtesy MTA Arts & Design and Kris Graves.No Less Than Everything Comes Together (2021) © Marcel Dzama, NYC Transit Bedford Avenue Station. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design.

Bradford herself takes the L train to her studio everyday, so she'll be able to proudly pass by her creation as straphangers admire the work, which is inspired by New York's creatives and essential workers constantly bustling through the city. Her nearly 400 square feet of of installed mosaic are located in the north and south mezzanines on 14th Street, and in three of the newly opened staircases at the Avenue A end of the station. 

Over the past two decades, ridership at the First Avenue Station has increased by 60 percent and the Bedford Avenue Station has become one of the busiest stations in Brooklyn, the MTA reports. 

“Both of these projects celebrate the energy of the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, and the creative communities that have been home to so many diverse groups of people over time,” said Sandra Bloodworth, Director, MTA Arts & Design. “Katherine Bradford’s vibrant, colorful figures radiate an energy that is mystical and inviting, welcoming riders to share in the communal activity of moving around the city. At Bedford Avenue, Marcel Dzama’s spectacular vignettes provide delight and wonder, perfectly encapsulating the fantasy of New York that drives so many to visit or make a home in this city. Each artwork draws the viewer in and lets them know that they are somewhere unique.”

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