Art Underneath the Elevated 2020 & 2017

RISE commissioned artists to host temporary art exhibitions to activate the public space under and adjacent to the elevated A line train tracks in Rockaway, Queens.

introductory photo

In 2020 & 2017, RISE solicited proposals for the Art Underneath the Elevated initiative, to commission artists to envision, produce, and exhibit temporary public art installations underneath or adjacent to the elevated A-train in Far Rockaway, Queens.

During the two cycles, the Artist Selection Committee chose the following projects for artist commissions through a competitive process funded by NEA artworks:

• Anthony Heinz May - Ten Twenty-Nine Twelve
• Dominika Ksel and Camila A. Morales - Sonic Constellation
• Jessica Findley - Projected Swimmers
• Jonathan ChesleyAlexandria Donati, and Andrea Parker - Rockaway Field Guide
• Kevin Sudeith - Rockaway Petroglyph

The commissioned artworks were featured along with community workshops to actively engage people of all ages in re-envisioning the underpass into a safe and inviting multimodal community and civic space to host a variety of events including these temporary artists works.

The space below the elevated A-line subway tracks is currently a fragmented demapped roadway, that has the potential to serve as an important cross-peninsula connection. With art and creative placemaking as a catalyst, RISE hopes to activate this public space to inspire the community to imagine its potential. 

This project builds on RISE's original initiative, Project Underway, the RISE & NYC DOT "Wellness Way" Partnership as well as the Design Trust for Public Space's "Under the Elevated" Program

The RISE Center served as the community hub for related exhibits and gallery location for public programs and community engagement to build on the selected projects. The Kevin Sudeith petroglyph and the Anthony Mays sculptures can still be seen on the corner of Beach 59th St and the subway entrance. 

This exciting initiative uses art and creative placemaking as a catalyst to temporarily transform and animate this fragmented and underutilized roadway into a vibrant and active public space. Through this initiative, RISE hopes to inspire the community to re-imagine the potential of Rockaway Freeway to reconnect the Peninsula and serve as an adaptable civic space.

Project Background
Located below the elevated A-line subway tracks, the five mile long Rockaway Freeway currently acts as a de facto community corridor for bikers and pedestrians. As part of our Project Underway Initiative, RISE has been working since 2012, in partnership with residents, local stakeholders and city agencies, to re-envision this much needed, yet underperforming and dangerous underpass into a safe and inviting public space that has the potential to serve as an important cross-peninsula connection for pedestrians and bikers. 




More info about the artists and their projects below