Installation will span spaces throughout the station beginning Jan. 19, 2023, coinciding with solo exhibition at the FLAG Art Foundation
NEW YORK – Amtrak has commissioned critically acclaimed multimedia artist Derrick Adams to create an expansive new work for Art at Amtrak, the year-round public art initiative recently launched at New York Penn Station. The installation, titled The City Is My Refuge opening Jan. 19, 2023 and running through the Summer, marks the first time a single artist has taken over the entire concourse used for the program, providing a truly immersive experience.
“Art at Amtrak has succeeded at transforming New York Penn Station into a destination for inspiring encounters with contemporary art,” said Amtrak Director, Planning and Development, New York Penn Station Sharon Tepper. “We can’t wait to see the initiative grow further as the visionary Derrick Adams installs vibrant new work throughout the station.”
Adams, who frequently rides Amtrak between New York City and Baltimore, has created an installation at the bustling Penn Station that highlights 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 elements of the installation, Adams is creating an audio component that will be accessible via QR code.
Adams says, “I’m excited by the opportunity Art at Amtrak offers to share my work with the enormous public that passes through New York Penn Station each day. I hope The City Is My Refuge gives them what the city gives to me: a sense of wonder, purpose, and connection.”
The City Is My Refuge is part of a banner moment for Adams in New York. The major solo exhibition Derrick Adams: I Can Show You Better Than I Can Tell You, made up of 16 large-scale works from his new series Motion Picture Paintings, is on view at the FLAG Art Foundation (545 West 25th St.), from Jan. 12-March 11, 2023.
Art at Amtrak is curated by Debra Simon Art Consulting. 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, and Designer), Megan Lione (Community Board 5), John Hatfield (Former Executive Director: Silver Art Projects, Socrates Sculpture Park), Kendal Henry (Assistant Commissioner of Public Art, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs), Lisa Kim (Gallery Director, Ford Foundation), and Sarah Mills (Community Board 4).