Home > New York City Transit > TransitTrax

On Time / Grand Central at 100

Helle Andersen: I'm Helle Andersen and you're listening to an “In the News” podcast on TransitTrax, New York City Transit's podcast service.

"On Time” is a new exhibition of contemporary art commissioned in honor of the centennial of Grand Central Terminal, and is now open at the New York Transit Museum Annex. Amy Hausmann is the Assistant Director of Arts for Transit

Amy Hausmann: This is an exhibit of contemporary artists, 18 contemporary artists, who are looking at Grand Central through a different lens. They’re thinking about Grand Central and they’re thinking about the passage of time.

Helle Andersen: We took a look behind the scenes as Arts for Transit and the artists worked relentlessly to get the exhibition ready for the public. Some had delicate historical artifacts that needed to be displayed with great care. Jane Greengold is one of the artists.

Jane Greengold: When the idea of doing something for this exhibition came up I walked around Grand Central and I happened to meet a guy who was a conductor who’s the fourth generation conductor who’s worked in this station, and he told me that his family had been collecting memorabilia of their passengers for four generations.

Helle Andersen: From small pieces to a large sculpture of a fantastical version of Grand Central, artist Lothar Osterburg explained how his version of Grand Central Terminal came to life.

Lothar Osterburg: By doing this process I’m not building a model. It’s not going to be a train set. We’re just trying to be realistic and it stays in the level of being a model. But it is becoming more of that dream world or that fantasy world and it’s like, “oh, something is off here.”

Helle Andersen: Lothar's version of Grand Central Terminal with great zeppelins has been transformed into a poster that can be seen in the New York subway system throughout 2013.

Lothar Osterburg: Then I started thinking, what if the Hindenburg never had crashed and the zeppelins had taken over the world, and we could have transferred from trains to zeppelins right here in the main concourse.

Helle Andersen: We saw behind the scene, now let’s go to the scene. And everything was certainly on time on opening day at the New York Transit Museum Gallery. The exhibit features elements such as painting, poetry, interactive media, performances, and video.

We spoke to the artist Peter Sis about the inspiration behind his piece.

Peter Sis: I was inspired by the, it's incredible, 100 years, sense of time, sense of beauty, sense of grandeur. And sense of coming here very morning from the train, then sometimes I can feel like upset or something and then you see how beautiful it is, and it just warms up your heart.

Helle Andersen: The subway poster called “Grand Central Catwalk” was also introduced as part of the exhibition. The poster is made by illustrator Marcos Chin.

Marcos Chin: Because of the width, the horizontal width of the piece, I wanted to make it similar to a catwalk and represent the people who travel through the station and on the subways and use them as inspiration really.

Helle Andersen: So how did opening day go? We checked back with Assistant Director Amy Hausmann.

Amy Hausmann: The show is really magical. There are so many incredible pieces of work and now that we can see it as a whole exhibit and we see how the pieces work with one another, there's a lot of dialogue back and forth between the video work and the painting and the sculpture. So it's a really wonderful space to be able to come in and walk around.

Helle Andersen: The exhibition will be open through July 7, and it’s a must se for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy. These artists explored the sense of time, so that you can spend time at this great exhibit.

For TransitTrax I'm Helle Andersen. Thanks for listening, and thanks for riding with New York City Transit.