Underground Art

What for years was a spooky poorly maintained tunnel between Broadway Avenue and the MTA’s 191st Subway Station became a colorful walk-through in May 2015. 

6 artists had the opportunity to showcase their talent and inspire city commuters, who spend time taking selfies and pictures to share on Social Media on the newly painted beautification project.

“I’m so happy and proud I won the possibility to express myself and create impact with such an important program for the city”, Nelson Rivas said, better known as Cekis, his artistic signature and nickname used to opt for the collaboration that would relieve the underground journey.

191 Tunnel - Before Beautification Project

Out of 150 applicants, Cekis got the opportunity with other 5 artist selected by the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program to present these vivid 200 square feet murals for the Washington Heights neighborhood.

Rivas, a mural painter with 20 years of experience from Santiago de Chile, submitted the artwork “A veces es como una jungla”. All other 5 artists presented positive messages, warm welcoming’s, complex geometrical patterns and rolling landscapes.

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  • Andrea von Bujdoss (Queen Andrea) painted “Prismatic Power Phrases”.
  • Jessie Ulterhalter and Katey Truhn presented “Caterpillar Time Travel”.
  • Nick Kuszyk painted “Wrap Zone”.
  • Fernando Carlo, Jr. (Cope 2) presented “Art is Life”.

Washington Heights residents have complained about recent acts of vandalism on the tunnel’s 11 month-old murals, which have been sprayed and scribbled over. They also asked MTA for water drainage maintenance, since the tunnel floods during rainy days.

Welcome - Prismatic Power Phrases - Subway Tunnel 191

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