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Alan Sonfist

The Narrative History of Merrick, 1993

Hand-painted porcelain tile on platform columns

Mounted on the elevated train platform's concrete pillars, the series consists of eight panels of hand, painted tile that depict the community's past and its links to the nearby sea. As the artist described the concept, "I will create a series of tiles tracing the history of Long Island, beginning in the Ice Age, through paintings of rocks and plant life. The next stage would show how the Native Americans interacted with plants and sea life, followed by the first Europeans, who settled in Long Island and established farms and a seafaring industry. Later, a tourist industry developed, as well as several advanced industries. ... The early history of Merrick describes developed grain farms with cows and sheep.... The railroad eventually became a bridging device to bring together the surrounding communities and contributed greatly to the development of contemporary Long Island." The artwork was created in conjunction with the installation at the Bellmore Station, the station east of Merrick.

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