Seen at the Peekskill Metro North Station. According to a Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) press release dated April 26 2013:

The just-renovated train station at Peekskill now boasts “Jan Peeck’s Vine,” a steel sculpture that creeps around columns and railings and spells out the name “Peekskill” under the eaves.

The work by artist Joy Taylor and commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design translates natural forms into dramatic sculptures that echo the structural elements of the existing station, but frees them to run riot in a flowing, whimsical design. The artwork is named for the area’s first European resident for whom the city is named.

“The piece is designed exclusively for Peekskill,” Taylor said. “It incorporates the zigzag structure of the historic station, which transitions into a flowering vine descriptive of the current flowering of the arts in the city. The vine itself is a stylized contemporary vision of the indigenous bindweed that Jan Peeck would have found growing here on his arrival.”

The Vine consists of two matching sculptures on the southbound platform, one on either side of the stairs. From their bases they rise to the canopy roof, surrounding two supporting columns with zig-zag pattern that replicates the lacing historic northbound canopy. As they climb up the columns, they begin to curve and twine, transforming into vines that meet above the stairs like a huge vine-covered arbor welcoming visitors to a local garden.

These sculptural elements are fabricated from carbon steel rod and shaped plate carbon steel that gives the vines, the leaves and flowers a sinuous three-dimensional reality as well as a distinctive silhouette.

Elements of this sculpture recur in the two “Peekskill” monograms atop the elevator entrances. The third element includes several vine-like railing inserts that replace vertical railings in several sections on the northbound platform. Here the design, a near-symmetry reminiscent of the larger vine sculptures, is cut from flat steel and finished to match “Jan Peeck’s Vine,” unifying the elements. The artwork is finished in two colors, gray-green for the vines and leaves, red-orange for the flowers.

While it hints at earlier Peekskill architectural motifs, “Jan Peeck’s Vine” is a thoroughly contemporary piece. It takes advantage of steel’s ability to soar free of support, to twine and suspend itself in air. Its bold color and stylized, oversized leaves and flowers add a striking new layer to Peekskill’s visual life which will become part of the experience of arriving here.

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