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MTA Arts & Design


Utica Avenue

Jimmy James Greene

Children's Cathedral, 1996

Ceramic mosaic and iron grillwork in passageways leading to platforms

Dominating one of Jimmy James Greene's huge mosaic panels in the Utica Avenue station is a plump yellow angel on rollerblades. Perhaps more than any image in the ten panels that compose Children's Cathedral, this demonstrates the artist's intentions: to reflect the desires, dreams and memories of the community's children in their own drawings. "At first," he says, "I talked with the kids about how they play, learn, pray, and celebrate. Then they drew." What emerged were images of the neighborhood: shops, a woman pushing a baby carriage, a teacher in class, plants, flowers, and, most of all, children in action: singing in choir, jumping rope, reading, riding bikes. The artist took hundreds of the children's images and arranged them into eight groupings, adding color to the pencil drawings. "They were the soloists," he says, "I was the orchestra leader."

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