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MTA Arts & Design


East 180th Street

Luisa Caldwell

Station Villa, 2011

Laminated glass, stone and glass mosaic

Inspired by the historic 1912 Italianate villa structure of the station and its proximity to the Bronx Zoo, Luisa Caldwell created a series of colorful and lively artworks with references to classical beauty, reflective of the architectural style of the original building.

Fifteen unique and site-specific pieces are placed throughout the station.

Above the doorway entrance, there are three lush and vibrant floral bouquets with an elk and elephant welcoming the traveler and serving as a Bronx Zoo reference. Along the corridor, mosaic and glass artworks are on opposite walls. In the windows, glass panels reflect the arches of the historic station, flowers, and vines, creating an illusion of depth and light. On the walls, mosaic frames of silver mirror reflect the thematic arches and complete an effect of calmness sought by the artist, who follows feng-shui principles.

These works are balanced with five additional mosaics within the station. Two are located next to the stairs and portray small creatures and vases reminiscent of the niche bouquets at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Along the East 180th Street corridor that serves as a station exit, there are three more mosaics created with a blend of stones that echo the massive rock outcroppings found throughout the Bronx. A colorful peacock and lizard sit on the rocks, looking like they are taking a break from the nearby zoo.

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