67-year old artist Philip Ashforth Coppola has spent the last 37 years sketching and chronicling the amazing, if not sometimes elusive, underground mosaic art of the New York City subway system and has no plans of stopping anytime soon. In his self-published book, “Silver Connections” Coppola talks about the many hidden treasures of Manhattan Island with the wonder and awe of a child.
Way down beneath the streets of Manhattan there is still an ancient crow-stepped Dutch house on Wall Street, and for that matter, the spire of St. John’s Chapel still needles the sky over Varick Street, sloops go a-sailing from the Battery like they did back around 1800, and an old foot bridge still crosses the Harlem River from Third Avenue, and locomotives sporting big black funnels pull in at Grand Central by the hour.
The Metropolitan Authority is also doing its part. The MTA Arts & Design division is responsible for restoring, maintaining and documenting the art as a part of the city’s rich history.
he MTA’s leadership determined that original, engaging and integrated artworks should be part of the rehabilitation and construction process and civic leaders and arts professionals agreed, lending their prestige and support to various committees that developed the policies and procedures to include art as an integral part of the rebuilding effort. The program’s establishment occurred as both the historic preservation and public art movements began to influence public policy and as cities nationwide began their own rebuilding programs. Arts & Design’s work continues to flourish in today’s environment, as the use of mass transit continues to grow, and more stations are built or rehabilitated, which in turn increases the presence of art in MTA stations.
images via The New York Times