Initiative Commissions Regional Artists to Create Large-Scale, Site-Specific Works for One of New York’s Busiest Locations
NEW YORK – Amtrak today announced that Art at Amtrak, its year-round public art initiative at New York Penn Station (NYP), will continue with new commissioned installations by Dennis RedMoon Darkeem and the collective, Ghost of a Dream. Opening Friday, September 30, and spanning multiple locations in the station’s upper level, their works follow the inaugural installations in the series, by Dahlia Elsayed and Saya Woolfalk, which opened in June and remain on view through Sunday, September 18.
“Art at Amtrak continues to advance our commitment to ensuring all travelers have a modern, inspiring, safe and accessible experience to the cultural capital of the world,” said Sharon Tepper, Amtrak Director, Planning and Development, New York Penn Station. “In its first few months, this initiative has made Penn Station a site for contemporary art that engages visitors from around the world, and we look forward to seeing the station retransformed.”
Multidisciplinary artist and educator Dennis RedMoon Darkeem is creating Patchwork Travelers, which draws colors, patterns, and icons such as totems, earth mounds, and the medicine wheel from his dual heritage as an Indigenous and African American into an expansive, visually rich work. For Darkeem, the site-specific installation in Penn Station, a place that connects people and places, is an opportunity to honor and share his indigenous traditions with a large and diverse public audience
Ghost of a Dream (Lauren Was and Adam Eckstrom) will install Aligned by the Sun (Connections), a site-specific new work in their Aligned by the Sun project, for which they asked artists around the world to capture and submit short videos of the sun. Exhibited in the concourse, a location from which one can travel anywhere, Aligned by the Sun (Connections) takes stills from these 223 videos and connects the images via the horizon line to create a continuous landscape that surrounds the Amtrak departure hall and places viewers metaphorically in the center of the planet.
Over the last five years, Amtrak has made more than $300 million in capital improvement investments at New York Penn Station, in addition to its investment in Moynihan Train Hall. These include a new ticketed waiting area for Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT passengers, new wayfinding and signage throughout the facility, improved accessibility, including renovations of elevators and escalators, and major rail State-of-Good-Repair improvements to enhance the reliability of service.
Art at Amtrak is curated by Debra Simon Art Consulting produced by Common Ground Arts. Simon was Director of Public Art at the Times Square Alliance, created Arts Brookfield, the largest privately funded public art program in the United States, and co-founded the River to River festival.
The Art at Amtrak advisory committee comprises art-world and local-community leaders including Livia Alexander (Director, Visual and Critical Studies, Montclair State University), Christine Blanco (Assistant Director of Facility Signage and Transit Arts Programs, New Jersey Transit), Sandra Bloodworth (Director, MTA Arts & Design, Metropolitan Transportation Authority), Danielle Bursk (Director of Artist Services & Public Arts Inclusion, New Jersey State Council on the Arts), Gonzalo Casals (Senior Research and Policy Fellow, Arts and Culture Mellon Foundation), Willie Cole (perceptual engineer, artist, designer), Megan Lione (Community Board 5), John Hatfield (Executive Director, Silver Art Projects), Kendal Henry (Assistant Commissioner of Public Art, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs), Lisa Kim (Gallery Director, Ford Foundation), and Sarah Mills (Community Board 4).