“My work has always been about place, home, and how we relate to the world around us,” Gibellini said. “When I came to visit the sites, I saw that people hang clothes outside here, which is something people do in Spain and it reminded me of home.”
The installation includes a mural inside the Fresh Pond station lobby, and painted windows at the Forest and Seneca avenue stations. The mural gives a view into a sparsely decorated, quaint bedroom with some clothes scattered on the bed to give it that lived-in feel.
At Forest and Seneca, Gibellini painted an assortment of socks, shirts and shorts blowing in the wind, some looking so real that they almost give the stations a lemon fresh scent. The scope of the Forest Avenue station installation includes four windows and the Seneca Avenue station features eight windows.
While she has never worked with tiles or mosaic art before, a German manufacturer associated with the MTA’s Arts for Transit program aided Gibellini in creating the finalized pieces.
“The MTA has worked with a lot of fabricators and manufacturers, so you work with someone who builds the pieces for you,” Gibellini said. “The original pieces, both the mosaic and glass, were collages. I had that idea in mind, and we worked together to make the specific decisions.”
Gibellini is a professor at the School for Visual Arts in Manhattan. There, she teaches art theory for students enrolled in the MFA in Art Practice program. Now 35, she was encouraged to pursue a career in the arts from a young age by her mother.
“My mom thought I had an artistic talent. She thought it was music, but it wasn’t music. I played piano for a while but I hated it,” Gibellini said. “Then she said, 'why don’t you try drawing' and I was game for anything. So I started at age eight. I knew right away that was what I wanted to do.”