Waiting for Toydot, 2015
Ceramic and glass mosaic, laminated glass
Artist Peter Drake's father was a model train enthusiast who built villages for his HO and Lionel trains. He also maintained a collection of painted lead toy figures for his train sets, from the 1930's era in which the Massapequa Station was originally constructed. Using the toys as inspiration, Drake created paintings of them in various poses waiting for their trains. The paintings were interpreted into a series of 17 laminated hand painted glass windows by Peters Glass for the station's new waiting room windows and the glass above some of the stairways. These windows depict travelers engaged in private moments. The luminous colors are made through multiple layers of transparent pigment that give the artwork a glowing appearance.
Two mosaic panels show the conductor and his trusty dog, overlooking the stairways. The largest artworks are reserved for two exterior brick walls on the platform, with detailed, hand glazed mosaics in relief for dimension. At 6 X 10 feet each, these works face north and south and also show scenes at Drake's mythic station.
The mosaics, created by Mosaika Art & Design are expressive and the innovative method of fabrication contributed a magical three-dimensionality. The south-facing mosaic can be seen from nearby Sunrise Highway. The warmly colored and richly detailed works evoke the adventure of travel and family, which refers to the artist's childhood LIRR memories of waiting for his father to return from the city each workday. A Bremen aircraft is shown flying above and refers to the former Fitzmaurice Flying Field at Massapequa Park, one town over. With all of its combined elements "Waiting for Toydot", provides a visual identity and deeply felt sense of place to the station.
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