Shawna X designs 'Cyclical Everything', a permanent art installation at the newly opened Elmont LIRR station

Shawna X is known for her rich image-making across many different mediums. This year she was commissioned by by MTA Arts & Design to create her first permanent public installation at the Elmont Long Island Railroad station- the first to be opened in nearly 50 years! The station sits on the border of Queens and Long Island and celebrates Belmont Park, home to the Islanders at UBS Arena and the Triple Crown at Belmont racetrack.

Entitled Cyclical Everything, the artwork features a series of ten vibrant laminated glass panels fabricated by Tom Patti Design that line the walkway of the station's overpass. The panels depict bodies in motion and reference the central role of the many performers that make up UBS Arena. Bright and colorful on their own, the series utilizes sunlight to reflect a bevy of colors throughout the day, reshaping the existing space.

Geometric metal railings on the eastbound platform and in the ramp of the westbound platform use an oval motif with bold black lines to depict the rhythms of the nearby racetrack. The shapes represent the ever evolving nature of Elmont and the many distinctive cultures at home around this historic attraction.


“Cyclical Everything is about transformation and seeing from a renewed perspective, emphasized by multidimensional colors and varying opacities to create distinctions of different levels of light and scenery, and repetitive motifs in metal,” states artist Shawna X. “I hope these artworks will inspire LIRR riders to take in Elmont in a new way.”

Shawna X is an American artist of Chinese descent from Xiamen, China and Portland, Oregon, and based in New York City. Growing up, Shawna utilized art as a vehicle to communicate complex and simple emotions to her peers. Today she does the same,  creating projects on a grander scale focusing on ideas surrounding cultural identity, the creative process, and motherhood. She has been invited to speak on these topics by Adobe Max, Us by Night, AIGA Keynote speaker, and Creative Independent. She creates experiences in music, fashion, and technology, collaborating with clients such as New Yorker, MINI, Academy Awards, Nike, Google, and Ghostly International.

MTA Arts & Design encourages the use of public transportation by providing visual and performing arts in the metropolitan New York area. The Percent for Art program is one of the largest and most diverse collections of site-specific public art in the world, with more than 350 commissions by world- famous, mid-career and emerging artists. Arts & Design produces Graphic Arts, Digital Art, photographic Lightbox exhibitions, as well as live musical performances in stations through its Music Under New York (MUSIC) program, and the Poetry in Motion program in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America. It serves the millions of people who rely upon MTA subways and commuter trains and strives to create meaningful connections between sites, neighborhoods, and people.


Photos by Collin Hughes 

Glass fabrication by Tom Patti Design