Art at Amtrak Welcomes Marisa Morán Jahn’s Re/Connections Along the West Side Highway in New York

Presented by Amtrak and Gateway Development Commission, Jahn’s large-scale public artwork explores our interdependent relationship with water

NEW YORK – Amtrak and the Gateway Development Commission (GDC) are pleased to announce Re/Connections, a new large-scale artwork commissioned from Marisa Morán Jahn, is now on exhibition along the fence surrounding Block 675 in northern Chelsea. The installation, wrapping the construction fence at the future site of the highly anticipated Hudson Tunnel Project, is the latest expansion of the highly successful Art at Amtrak public art program.

“The continued growth of Art at Amtrak to the Block 675 fence demonstrates the Hudson Tunnel Project’s commitment to community and collaboration,” said Art at Amtrak Director Sharon Tepper. “Recognizing that construction for the Hudson Tunnel Project will be present in this neighborhood for some time, the location of the latest installation makes a powerful statement for what lies ahead in the new era of rail and the critical impact connectivity has on culture.”

Re/Connections will span the fences on three sides of the site: 274 feet along 30th Street, 235 feet along 29th Street, and 201 feet along 12th Avenue, facing the Hudson River.

“Block 675 will soon be full of activity on the most urgent infrastructure project in the country,” said New York Commissioner and GDC Co-Chair Alicia Glen. “As work on the Hudson Tunnel Project moves rapidly towards construction, this vibrant artwork is one of many ways we intend to show our commitment to being good neighbors.”

To create Re/Connections, Jahn blew colored dye onto rice paper which was then scanned and digitally manipulated with additional coloring and patterned motifs. This technique echoes traditional paper cuttings inspired by her Chinese and Ecuadorian heritage. The resulting imagery was printed on mesh vinyl and installed along the 10-foot-high fence. For Jahn, both the holes within the work and the mesh surface serve as portals connecting times and places.

By placing the art around the staging area where Amtrak and the Gateway Development Commission will build the new rail tunnel linking New York and New Jersey, Re/Connections invites reflection on the transformative role of transportation and trade.

Jahn’s works “exemplify the possibilities of art as social practice” (Artforum) and explore “civic spaces and the radical art of play” (Chicago Tribune). She has undertaken projects in collaboration with immigrant families, domestic workers, and public housing residents. Jahn’s work has engaged millions via the United Nations, the Tribeca Film Festival, the White House, and the Venice Biennale of Architecture. Jahn is represented by SAPAR Contemporary and is the Director of Integrated Design at Parsons/The New School.

Amtrak launched Art at Amtrak in June 2022 in New York Penn Station. The program has commissioned installations by various New York and New Jersey based artists including Derrick AdamsDennis RedMoon DarkeemDahlia ElsayedDavid Rios FerreiraGhost of a DreamShoshanna Weinberger and Saya Woolfalk. Adams was the first artist to create original digital work for the four large screens in Moynihan Train Hall in partnership with Empire State Development, and Joshua Frankel’s video work Within the crowd there is a quality is currently on view through mid-November. The Metropolitan Lounge at Moynihan Train Hall features work from multidisciplinary visual artist Karen Margolis, on view through Summer 2024. The program recently expanded to Washington Union Station, where Tim Doud’s A Great Public Walk was unveiled in September 2023, and to William H Gray 30th Street Station in Philadelphia with Adam Crawford’s Euphonic & Chromatic Drift in October 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.

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