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MTA Arts & Design


183rd Street

Jose Ortiz

Many Trails, 2008

Laminated glass in west side mezzanine windows

To depict the cultural and history of University Heights, artist Jose Ortiz focused on its architecture, landmarks, and signage on the local streetscape, as a way to portray the people who lived here over time. The title of the work relates to the specific journeys of the areas many residents, from Native Americans, through today's immigrant population and to the idea of travel and how one finds ones way.

The first two panels of the 11panels he created show the land inhabited by the Siwanoy Nation, a branch of the Mohicans, until the late 1600s, followed by representations of the first settlement of Europeans in the area. Cornerstones of the neighborhood are also shown: the Croton Aqueduct, St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, and the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at Bronx Community College. The work, which is to be read serially, begins and ends with a Native American symbol that refers to the connection between the many people who have call this place home.

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