Location: New York City, NY, United States
Completion date: 2023
Strategic Planning and Curation
Debra Simon Art Consulting
Production Printing and Installation
Derrick Adams was invited to be the first artist to create artwork for a full takeover of the public spaces in New York Penn Station. For the vinyl installation, Derrick highlights the the wonders of what the urban environment can offer if you seek it. The City is My Refuge reframes the city as a place where the natural world shares space with humanity, and where one can find peace. In addition to the visual artwork, Derrick created an audio component that is accessible via QR code.
Amtrak is in the beginning stages of the renovation of New York Penn Station. While this process in ongoing, Amtrak wanted to energize the station for the benefit of the commuters and other visitors through a temporary visual public art program entitled Art at Amtrak.
As the curator of Art at Amtrak, my role is to select artists for each installation of original
digital artwork based on size specifications. I collaborate with an Amtrak committee and an independent art advisory committee for final selection of artist and artwork. The digital files are then sent to ColorX to fabricate and install 6,200 feet of vinyl. Due to the foot traffic during the day, the installation hours are 10:00pm to 4am. Paper Robot, a graphic design company created all the signage throughout the station.
NY Penn Station had a negative reputation for many years. Recent efforts have greatly improved the perception of the public spaces within the station. The Art at Amtrak initiative has has been leading the effort and is now recognized in the metro area as a place where people can view the work of renown artists. Derrick Adams wanted to engage with a large number of people, especially non-museum and gallery attendees. Because the art changes every six months, we use PVC free vinyl so it does not end up in a landfill.