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Forestation Syncopation

New Hyde Park

Forestation Syncopation

Sandy Litchfield
Artwork in laminated glass by Sandy Litchfield showing abstract shapes in forms in various colors.
"Forestation Syncopation" (2021) © Sandy Litchfield, LIRR New Hyde Park Station. Photo: Etienne Frossard

About the project

Sandy Litchfield’s “Forestation Syncopation” unveils the ways natural and built environments interact, as seen from the train journey on the Long Island Rail Road through to New Hyde Park and the surrounding area. Situated in two westbound platform shelters and one eastbound platform shelter, each window portrays a distinct view of a landscape impression, as if catching a glimpse of morning sun before work, or the flicker of light through the trees on the way home to Long Island after a day in New York City.  

Blending geometric and organic shapes, these long horizontal abstract landscapes are conscious of the architectural structure they inhabit. Evergreens and oaks mingle with streetlights and water towers; electric wires extend into maple tree branches; clusters of houses intersperse with forest islands and leafy backyards. The everyday moments captured in these images celebrate the sylvan suburbs of the New Hyde Park area of Long Island. 

With an emphasis on color and light, the artwork incorporates the painterly application of watercolor complemented by linear details that define intersecting edges. The original artwork was made using a hybrid process of hand drawing and painting and digital technologies and was then fabricated into 36 laminated glass panels by Mayer of Munich. 

“Forestation Syncopation” references the rhythmic flows and interruptions of a musical score. Syncopation is a musical term that involves a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected, and often considered a vital element in holding a musical track together. Forestation is the establishment of forest growth on areas that either had it previously or lacked it naturally. Together, these concepts describe a continuous landscape that binds and connects the urban town-scape to the tree-lined streets and parks of New Hyde Park, as well as railway system which connects them all. 

About the artist

Sandy Litchfield was born in New York City and now lives in Amherst, Massachusetts where she is an Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts’ Department of Architecture. She received her BFA from the University of Colorado in Boulder and her MFA from UMass Amherst. In 2007, she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work is focused on landscape as a construct for understanding place and notions of belonging. Working primarily as a painter, she merges imagery from natural and urban environments, underscoring the interconnected relationship between humans and the places they inhabit. These visual concepts are informed by a diverse collection of imagery, including old maps, historic pictures, and photographs. Her work has been recognized with grants and commissions from the NYC Public Art for Public Schools, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Puffin Foundation. Litchfield has exhibited in numerous museums including the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park and The Portland Art Museum.