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Artists Are Transforming Used NYC MetroCards into Miniature Works of Art

Single Fare Miniature Paintings

Artist: Guno Park

New York City MetroCards are often disposed of immediately after use, but as artists are demonstrating, we should think twice before tossing them. In an ongoing series of exhibitions called Single Fare, creatives are transforming the small tickets with miniature paintings, drawings, and sculptures. From portraits of people to lush landscapes, there's an impressive amount of detailing on these unconventional palm-size canvases. Their new life makes us reconsider things we might regard as trash; here, they show a spectacular use of upcycling.

Since 2010, Single Fare has brought together artists from New York City and beyond. Working from the same format, they each tackle the challenge of creating something unique. Often, the semi-glossy card is covered with gesso or paint to completely obscure its utilitarian past—the words MetroCard are erased. The only visual markers left are the ticket shape and the tiny hole that’s punched in the bottom.

Now in its fourth iteration, Single Fare 4 is currently accepting submissions until August 23, 2017. Those selected will appear at Highline Stages starting Saturday, September 16.

Artists are transforming New York City MetroCards from items of discard into miniature paintings, drawings, and sculptures.

Single Fare Miniature Paintings

Photo: MURZO

Single Fare Miniature Paintings

Artist: Casey Read

Single Fare Miniature Paintings

Artist: Ryan Morse

Miniature Painting

Artist: Lena Danya

Miniature Painting

Artist: Alyssa Monks

Miniature Painting

Artist: Dina Brodsky

Metrocard Paintings Singlefare Jiannen Wu

Artist: Jiannen

Single Fare: Instagram

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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