New App Lets Subway Riders Access Artwork

March 15, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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NEW YORK — A new mobile app allows users to browse through more than 200 works of contemporary art that have been installed in stations throughout the New York City Subways, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and MTA Bridges and Tunnels, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced yesterday.

The MTA’s Arts for Transit collection has been added to the Meridian App for Apple and Android mobile devices. Select a work of art, and the app provides still images, text information on the background, inspiration and significance of each work, and at selected stations, video and audio clips featuring its artists.

For the New York subway stations with wireless internet connectivity, the Meridian App also provides turn-by-turn directions at select large stations to the precise locations of the art works. This indoor-navigation feature will continue to develop as the MTA adds cell and data service throughout the MTA network.

 “We get lots of positive feedback about our art collection,” said Sandra Bloodworth, director of MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design. “It’s a part of riding the train that people love. Now we’ve made it easier to find out more about the collection. We’d already posted a significant amount of information about our art online, but with this app, it is as if you have a museum in the palm of your hand.”

The app is built by Meridian Apps, a firm specializing in place-centered apps that offer spatial navigation for museums, convention halls, stadiums and large stores. Using the app, subway customers can enjoy the same experience as museum-goers at large institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History.

In the Meridian App, the entire collection of MTA-commissioned artwork is organized by subway or railroad line and by artist. To browse by line, simply select a line and each station with artwork is listed in order from north to south. To browse by artist, all artists are listed alphabetically by name.

To help customers find their way to the works of art in the MTA’s collection, the app provides step-by-step transit and walking directions in selected stations.

Artwork in the MTA network is administered by MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design.

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