The MTA, in 1982, started a multi-billion-dollar capital improvement program to rehabilitate the transit system. In 1985, as part of the program, they introduced 'Arts for Transit' that promoted design excellence by bringing artworks into the MTA stations.
"Today, 'Arts for Transit' oversees a number of programs that bring visual art and performance to the MTA network. They are most well-known for the Permanent Art program, which incorporates commissioned works of art into capital construction or renovation projects throughout NYC Transit, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road and NYC Bridges & Tunnels, according to Urban Omnibus."
When the reporters spoke with Director Sandra Bloodworth, she discusses why 'Arts for Transit' is important.
"It engages the public, but it also sends a huge message that someone truly cares about this space and, accordingly, about the riders...These are works by the same artists you see in museums - Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Elizabeth Murray - but now you can see them on your way to the museums."
Bloodworth also says that "Introducing quality art tells the public that there are all these people invested in the space."