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125th Street

Houston Conwill

The Open Secret, 1986

Bronze reliefs on mezzanine walls

The Open Secret, a series of bronze reliefs mounted on the mezzanine level, was the first Arts for Transit commissioned work in the subway, and it presents many of artist Houston Conwill's longstanding thematic concerns: community, history, and the creation of sacred spaces as each relates to the African American experience and quest for equality. The Open Secret holds mysteries, and viewers can look inside at the objects within. Two triangular sections serve as a time capsule of life in Harlem in the 1980s. "The exploration might be of a place or into our own minds where we find eternal secrets that are saved and put in the time capsules for our children and their children," Conwill says.

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