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Commuting Through Nature

Merillon Avenue

Commuting Through Nature

Cara Enteles
Glass artwork on a station platform with depictions of flowers and butterflies.
"Commuting Through Nature" (2020) © Cara Enteles, LIRR Merillon Avenue Station. Photo: William Mebane

About the project

Cara Enteles’ "Commuting Through Nature” at the Merillon Avenue station celebrates the bucolic landscape of Garden City and brings nature prominently into the station. The glass windows of the elevator towers show a mix of local wildflowers and foliage that create floral lacework, giving way to a landscape of windswept sky and the bodies of water that enliven and define Long Island. The concept of the artwork is centered on the monarch butterfly, considered by the artist to be “the ultimate commuter,” which makes a 3,000-mile migration, including a stop in Long Island, every September. 

The butterflies appear alongside flowers and plants familiar to residents of Garden City or visitors to the Garden City Bird Sanctuary. Among them are various types of Milkweed, Asters, Queen Anne’s Lace, vines, and other local plant life, lovingly selected by Enteles, who is an avid gardener. The exaggerated scale of the floral vistas and butterflies allows those who encounter the artwork to become immersed in the local natural landscape. The images are activated by light that changes over the course of a day, and through the seasons of the year. 

Enteles’ paintings were translated into the 50 hand-painted, laminated glass panels located throughout the station by fabricator Glasmalerei Peters Studio. A metal decorative fence depicting Enteles’ kaleidoscopic pattern of butterflies is also installed at the station, via the Nassau Avenue pedestrian bridge. 

About the artist

New York-based artist Cara Enteles explores relationships within nature as well as the effects of man’s destructive actions on the natural world. Her unique technique builds up layers of oil paint on transparent acrylic sheets or reflective aluminum panels. The effect creates paintings that change with the light, mimicking nature. Inspired by the Hudson River School, Enteles aims for a contemporary way to create depth and light in landscape, while exploring the conflicts of man versus nature. Enteles has a BFA from Parsons School of Design. She has exhibited at Wave Hill, the Long Island Museum and the Islip Art Museum. Enteles' work is exhibited nationwide and in Europe.