Image via Single Fare Facebook

The New York City subway has long served as a makeshift gallery for budding and well-established visionaries, but a group of artists is taking it one step further by utilizing another transit-affiliated canvas for their works: MetroCards. As part of a two-day exhibition, “Single Fare,” now in its fourth run and taking place in the Meatpacking District, artists are reimagining the MTA’s iconic transit passes into installations, paintings and more.

Jean-Pierre Roy, one of the creators of the exhibition, tells The New York Times that the “only real constraint” was to create a work of art either on a MetroCard, or using one. Artists have taken this creative liberty to put together a variety of unique works — covering the MetroCard entirely or in part with tiny paintings, or constructing complex sculptures. In the past, cranes, trains and chandeliers have been crafted; portraits and landscapes have been drawn and detailed cut-outs, which cast shadows, have been painstakingly crafted. (Our favorite is this one of Yoda.)

Image via Single Fare by Heather Mcleod
Image via Single Fare by Dan Landau
Image via Single Fare by Brian Britigan 


The Single Fare Facebook page explains where the idea for the show came from: “Inspired by the notion that the city’s subways and buses allow for a kind of creative interchange unmatched in human history, the first ‘Single Fare’ sought to create a unique art event where art and artists could come together to form a monumental event made from a tiny, innocuous piece of plastic: The MetroCard!”

This year, over 3,000 projects were submitted for consideration when Jean-Pierre Roy and Michael Kagan, the other “Single Fare” creator, put out an open call for artwork. To see the pieces in person, pay a visit to Highline Stages on West 14th St. this weekend from 5 to 8PM on Saturday and noon to 6PM on Sunday.

Next, check out 20 Original Examples of NYC Subway Art and Top 10 Subway Art Installations in NYC.

 meatpacking district, Metrocards, Single Fare, Single Fare 4

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