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34th Street-Penn Station

Elizabeth Grajales

When the animals speak..., 1998

Ceramic mosaic on 3 platform; handmade ceramic relief tiles on 1, 2 platform walls

In her series of mosaics, Grajales shows wild beasts in a pastoral setting, reminiscent of the 19th-century paintings such as the "Peaceable Kingdom" by Edward Hicks. One features a pair of lions happily coexisting with birds. A nearby stream (representing the Hudson River) with cliffs behind (the Palisades in New Jersey) form the backdrop. In another mosaic, a bear contentedly watches a doe and her young. Other panels show birds in flight and nesting. "As a child on shopping trips," notes Grajales, "I found the station dull and colorless. I wanted to give people something cheerful but also calming - a refuge in the city. That's why I used gentle colors like golden ochre and pale blues and greens for these idyllic Garden of Eden scenes."

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