In 2015, Hudson Yards and its surrounding area looked like nothing more than an enormous construction site, with so many different projects, it was hard to separate one from the other. But in September of that year, the MTA completed and opened its #7 crosstown subway line to Hudson Yards, and the artwork alone could be a destination.
The artist, Xenobia Bailey, created the commissioned glass mosaic entitled Funktional Vibrations for this new subway station. The overlapping mandala-like circles and patterns sit on top of a stunning cobalt blue background. In the YouTube video above, Bailey describes working with the fabricator, and giving them the specific yarn color for every color we now see in this commissioned work.
The mosaic begins the minute pedestrians step on the escalator, located on the ceiling above, extending all the way down. Inside the station mezzanine, a curved recessed ceiling dome with repeating mandalas and patterns.
About the artist ~ Xenobia Bailey is a fiber artist who works primarily in crochet, textiles, and needlecraft. She is known for her crochet African-inspired hats and large crochet pieces and mandalas. She will tell you that her work is an accumulation of materials in the tradition of African-American art, and reflected in the music of the 1960s she grew up with. Viewers will notice references to music in her designs. For this project, she transferred her textile creations to digital images, enlarged and transformed working with her fabricator, Miotto Mosaic Art Studio.
The No. 7 subway service project was a 1.5 mile extension from Times Square to the new 34th Street/Hudson Yards station located at 34th Street and 11th Avenue. The underground station extends about 1,200 feet along 11th Avenue, running from West 32nd Street to West 37th Street.
The station consists of three public floors ~ the upper mezzanine, lower mezzanine, and the platform level, which is 125 feet below street level.
See more images of Xenobia Bailey: Funktional Vibrations at 34th Street/Hudson Yards at MTA Arts & Design.
While you’re there take a tour of the largest green roof in New York City at The Javits Center. Don’t miss Gillie & Marc’s King Nyani, a temporary art installation in Bella Abzug Park. Help The High Line Plinth imagine its 2022 and 2024 art installations.
Keep an eye open for the next New York City Yarn Crawl.