By Andrea Lillo
The commissioned public artwork that has graced the transit system here for years will now be celebrated as the subject of a new rug collection, due to a new partnership between the Metropolitan Transit Authority and Concord Global Trading.
Called the New York City collection, the line is inspired by the curated posters that are a part of MTA Arts for Transit, the program that launched in conjunction with the MTA’s rehabilitation program in the 1980s, as well as by materials from the New York Transit Museum archives, which has documents dating back to the early 1800s.
Concord Global Trading long appreciated the artwork, but it wasn’t until it acquired a tufting machine that uses infinite colors that it decided to approach the MTA about licensing its designs, said Gulben Aksu-Bulat, co-owner and vice president. Though she is not originally from the city, she considers herself a true New Yorker, and, like millions of others, chooses “the subway for fast commuting.”
The initial collection will include about seven designs, with both trains as the subjects as well as well-known New York City sites such as Coney Island and Riverside Park. Manufactured in Turkey, the rugs will be available in nylon in sizes ranging from 2-by-3 to 5-by-7-feet. In addition, Concord will offer scatter rugs based on materials from the New York Transit Museum’s archives.
“We choose the artwork that would translate well to rugs,” Aksu-Bulat said, and which could be used for kids’ rooms or other settings. The target audience for the collection will be specialty and rug stores and museum shops. The company will also consider including other cities for design inspiration in the future.
“We are proud to bring something very unusual” to consumers, who can either place the designs on the floors or even hang them on the wall, Aksu-Bulat added.