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Post-it notes | Source: Pixabay
Post-it notes | Source: Pixabay
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From New York City to Charlottesville, a Reactive Subway Art Installation

Picture of Rachel Gould
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 30 August 2017
On August 24, artist Matthew “Levee” Chavez welcomed New Yorkers to participate in a new edition of Subway Therapy. Following the devastating events in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month, New Yorkers were invited to transcribe their thoughts on Post-its, which were collectively displayed in the 14th street subway for all to see.

On August 12, a crowd of white supremacists violently stormed the streets of Charlottesville to preserve a local statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The event has deeply shaken the country in its aftermath, mortifying citizens from coast to coast.

Last Thursday, Chavez gave the people of New York City a platform—a subway platform, to be exact—to safely and openly transcribe their empathy, anger, fear, and frustration in the days and weeks following Charlottesville’s infamous rally.

The artist left stacks of Post-its and pens for passersby to record their thoughts, which subsequently spanned the bypass tunnel from 14th street and 6th to 7th avenue. Chavez collected the notes when the weekend came to a close, and intends to show them on his website.

Subway Therapy made headlines back in November of last year following Trump’s election, when thousands participated to express their grief and concern. “The original piece resonated with New Yorkers, who overwhelmingly voted for Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton. (She received 79 percent of the popular vote in the city.),” artnet News pointed out. “Thousands participated, and the colorful array of messages soon spread to other stations in Manhattan.”

“My intention with this project is to get people to write from their heart and their mind,” Chavez told Gothamist. “But it’s also a chance to see how other people are reacting, so that we can all connect in this struggling time.”