Client: Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Arts & Design and Long Island Rail Road
Location: Mineola, NY, United States
Completion date: 2023
Creative Project Manager
Public Art Services
Art Castings of Colorado
For the newly renovated Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Mineola Station in New York, Donald Lipski created a monumental 20’ 6” tall sculpture that celebrates Bessie & Roxey, two extraordinary figures whose stories of courage and determination have often gone untold. Their connection to Mineola, and ties to early 20th-century transportation, will be forever preserved in their shared local history.
In 1910 Bessica Raiche, a physician became the first woman in the United States to pilot an airplane solo. The biplane was built by Bessie and her husband in their Mineola home. She holds Roxey, a free-spirited pooch who in 1901 made his way onto the LIRR. He was adopted and cared for by the railroad crew and lived out his life on the train for many years. He was much beloved.
Bessie & Roxey celebrate the local history of Mineola as it relates to early 20th-century transportation. The scale of the sculpture allows for it to be enjoyed by LIRR passengers arriving at and departing from the newly renovated station.
Donald Lipski partnered with sculptor Christopher Collins to capture Bessie & Roxey in clay. This clay model went through a series of enlargements before it was translated into a foam model which was used by Art Castings of Colorado to create the final bronze sculpture. Public Art Services provided creative design and project management for this project.