Friday, September 25, 2009

Underground art

A mosaic at the 36th Street R subway stop. Photo: Best View in Brooklyn

One of artist Grace Baley's favorite subway stations in the city is the 36th Street stop on the R line.

The Bay Ridge resident got into art because of mosaics like this one, which tells the history of the making of the subway.

"I swear people walk right by these things and don't even notice them," says Baley. "I had seen mosaics around that I loved, in New York City subways or just in random stores in New York. I just really loved and wanted to recreate them."

A little two pricey for her blood, one day Baley decided to make her own. Through lots of trial and error, she has taught herself, and, making them for the past 15 years now, is often commissioned to do portraits for people.

Baley works in her DUMBO studio, making mosaics like this Jimi Hendrix portrait, and has inspired others to try their hand at them as well. In her spare time, Baley trains at Gleaon's Gym in DUMBO, and this weekend, fifteen female boxers who train her will be showing mosaics they've made under the artist's watchful eye, as part of the Art Under the Bridge Festival. All proceeds from sales will go to the Brooklyn-based organization Girls for Gender Equity.

Baley will also be holding an open studio during the festival, in her space at 68 Jay Street, Room 819, where you will have the chance to see her work and meet the artist, as she'll be splitting time between her studio and Gleason's.

Ultimately, Baley would like to be commissioned to create her own subway mosaic, and become a part of subway history.

"[Mosaic's are] an outlet for this creative side that I personally never thought I would have," says Baley. "I really can’t draw a picture."

Gracey Baley photo courtesy of PowerImage PR
Jimi Hendrix mosaic courtesy of


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