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Queens Chronicle

Sculptures will double as workout equipment

Pieces to go under No. 7 train in Sunnyside; dismantled in a year

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Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:42 am, Thu May 16, 2013.

A new public art display plans to encourage Sunnysiders to work out.

This summer three brightly colored metal structures that double as workout equipment will be installed under the No. 7 train’s 40th Street-Lowery Street stop on Queens Boulevard, according Emily Colasacco, director of the Department of Transportation’s Urban Art program. Renderings of the pieces show structures that look like a more modern version of the pull-up bars seen in some public parks.

The MTA is working with artist Darren Goins, who up until a month ago lived in Long Island City, to design the pieces, and with the Girls and Boys Club of Sunnyside to install, deconstruct after a year and maintain the works.

As is protocol with all works in the Urban Art program, which has installed more than 100 temporary works since 2008, the sculptures must be removed no more than a year after their installation.

This has been an issue in LIC in the past. An MTA artwork installed on the Pulaski Bridge has lasted “way over a year,” Community Board 2 member Sheila Lewandowski said.

In the past months Goins, who will receive a grant for his work and supplies, collaborated with teens and children in the Girls and Boys Club to dream up the design. Members were encouraged to create minimodels of the possible workout equipment-abstract sculptures.

“We’re excited to install a functional piece of art,” Colasacco said at a CB 2 meeting last Thursday.

The board plans to send a letter in favor of the proposal as long as the Boys and Girls Club of Sunnyside promises to visit the installation on a biweekly basis to clean any bird droppings, trash or graffiti tags.

For safety, the sculptures will be bolted into the ground on top of a rubber play surface that will stretch out 6 feet on each side.

A hotdog vendor currently uses the proposed area for his cart’s home base without a city license for his business, according to MTA borough planner for the department Hilary Gietz.

“The program gently displaces these vendors through beautification,” Gietz said.

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