Permanent Art

A permanent art installation on a station wall shows a woman on an orange background looking over her shoulder, with black hair framing her face.
"Metropolitan Faces" by Alex Katz at NYCT 57 St station. Photo: Etienne Frossard.


MTA Arts & Design commissions public art that is seen by hundreds of thousands of city dwellers, commuters, and national and international visitors who use New York City Transit, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, and MTA Bridges & Tunnels.

As the MTA rehabilitates subway and commuter rail stations through its Capital Program, it uses a portion of the funds to commission permanent works of art. Arts & Design's projects create links to neighborhoods with art that echoes the architectural history and design context of the individual stations. Both well-established and emerging artists add to a growing collection of works created in the materials of the system, such as mosaic, ceramic tile, bronze, steel, and glass. The art can be seen in the miles of walls within the system, as well as in the gates, windscreens, plazas, and station architecture.

Arts & Design works closely with the architects and engineers at New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North Railroad to determine the parameters and sites for the artwork that is incorporated into each station or facility. Artists are chosen through a competitive process, with selection panels comprising visual arts professionals and community representatives. Depending on the project, artists may be considered through an open call or an invitational process. Arts & Design managers research artists' slide registries and constantly conduct research to identify artists to be considered.

Banner image: "Sky Reflector-Net" (2014), © James Carpenter Design Associates, Grimshaw Architects, ARUP, NYCT Fulton Center. Photo: Patrick Cashin.

Explore the collection • New York City Transit

Explore the collection • Metro-North Railroad